On Tuesday the Congressional budget conference committee, chaired by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI), reached a tentative agreement on the next two years’ federal operating budget. What does this mean for federal smart growth programs?
First, the big picture. The new deal sets top-line discretionary federal spending at $1.012 trillion for fiscal year (FY) 2014, $1.014 trillion for FY 2015 and provides $63 billion of sequester relief. Both the House and Senate still need to approve the budget before it becomes official: The House will vote on the budget agreement today and the Senate will likely take up a vote sometime next week. The measure is expected to pass both chambers.
The proposed agreement comes after Congress failed to reach a budget agreement in October, causing most of the federal government to shut down. The House and Senate eventually agreed on a short-term continuing resolution for the current fiscal year which is set to expire on January 15, 2014. If the proposed budget passes both chambers, Congress will have until January 15 to set funding levels for all federal programs.