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House GOP Appropriators Urge Budget Conferees to Decide Spending Levels

November 22, 2013—House Appropriations Committee Chair Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) and all 12 appropriations subcommittee chairs Nov. 18 sent a letter urging the leaders of the House-Senate budget conference committee to come to an agreement quickly on topline spending levels for annual funding bills.

The letter calls on the budget conferees to reach an agreement on both the FY 2014 and 2015 spending caps as soon as possible to allow appropriators to finish the FY 2014 spending bills before the expiration of the current continuing resolution (CR) on Jan. 15.

“We urge you to redouble your efforts toward that end and report common, topline levels for both the House and Senate before the Thanksgiving recess, or by December 2 at the latest,”  the letter states.

The letter, to House Budget Committee Chair Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and the committee ranking members, warns, “If a timely agreement is not reached, the likely alternatives could have extremely damaging repercussions.” The letter states that these impacts would include “the specter of another government shutdown” and the “probability of governance by continuing resolution, based on prior year outdated needs and priorities….” 

The letter also states, “[T]he current and the upcoming “Second Sequester” in January would result in more indiscriminate across-the-board reductions that could have negative consequences on critically important federal programs, especially our national defense.”

“In addition, failure to agree on a common spending cap for FY 2015 will guarantee another year of confusion,” the letter cautions. 

“The American people deserve a detailed budget blueprint that makes rational and intelligent choices on funding by their elected representatives, not by a meat ax. We urge you to come together and decide on a common discretionary spending topline… as quickly as possible to empower our Committee and the Congress as a whole to make the responsible spending decisions that we have been elected to make,” the letter concludes.

Chairman Rogers and Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) sent a similar letter Oct. 31 asking the budget conference chairs to reach an agreement sooner than Dec. 13 [see Washington Highlights, Nov. 8].


Dave Moore
Senior Director, Government Relations
Telephone: 202-828-0559


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