Thursday evening, the House passed by a decisive vote (332-94) a two-year, bipartisan budget deal that will avert a second government shutdown and replace sequester cuts scheduled to take effect in January.
The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 sets overall discretionary budget spending for the current fiscal year at $1.012 trillion, a compromise between the proposed House level of $967 billion and the Senate proposed level of $1.058 trillion. The agreement provides $63 billion to replace funding cuts incurred by sequestration, to be implemented over two years and split evenly between defense and non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs.
Sequester relief is offset by savings elsewhere in the budget, and is projected to reduce the deficit by $23 billion.
Republicans and Democrats have both praised the deal, describing it as a positive first step towards passing a bipartisan budget. The bill’s passage is good news for education advocates, as it replaces approximately 87 percent of the cuts incurred to NDD programs (including education) as part of the March 2013 sequester.
Read more about the budget deal below, and stay tuned for updates from the Senate’s consideration next week!
House Budget Committee Press Release: House Passes the Bipartisan Budget Act
EdWeek: Budget Deal Could Offer School Districts Relief from Sequestration
Shannon Kelly, Director of Advocacy, December 13, 2013. © National Association for Music Education (NAfME.org)