Appropriations for FY 2012
Fiscal constraints continue to dominate the news in Washington. The House Appropriations Committee has released the top-line funding levels for all Appropriations Subcommittees for FY 2012. They include an allocation of $139.218 billion to Labor-HHS-Education --that funds the DD Councils -- which is $41 billion less than the President’s FY 2012 Budget and $18.217 billion less than allocated in the current FY 2011. Whatever the House eventually passes will likely not coincide with what the Senate passes
The House gives only the Pentagon an increase over the current FY. Under the House figures, the top line figures for total discretionary spending would be $1.019 trillion for FY 2012. That is a $30.4 billion net reduction from what was agreed to for FY 2011, but the true impact on domestic spending is far greater because of the $17 billion increase allowed for the Pentagon.
The picture is complicated by the Treasury’s prediction that the country will need to raise the debt ceiling on or before August 2 – or else default on payment of US debt, which could bring catastrophic economic consequences.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that to get his support for raising the debt limit, a debt and deficit reduction plan would need to set the top line for discretionary spending for the next two fiscal years and include reductions in discretionary and mandatory spending in subsequent years. In a speech on May 16 to the Economic Club of New York, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said he wants cuts in spending to at least match the increase in the debt ceiling, which would need to be about $2 trillion to get through 2012.
Mark-up for the House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee is scheduled for July 26. As the current Fiscal Year will end on September 30, it is likely that there will be one or more continuing resolutions (CRs) to fund the federal government temporarily in FY 2012.
It is hard to predict at this time what this means for the DD Councils.
The key House and Senate Committees regarding DD Act appropriations are:
Senate Appropriations Committee - Subcommittee on Labor HHS Education and Related Agencies
House Appropriations Committee - Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies