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Blog: Budget Priorities

Jun 20, 2013 | By Marge Clark, BVM

Today, 6.20.13, Senator Barbara Mikulski will propose spending levels across the twelve appropriations subcommittees. This proposal will be in line with current law, the Budget Control Act law, passed in 2011. This set the spending cap at $1.058 trillion for 2014.

The House is setting forth an overall spending level of $ 967 billion, apportioning it to the twelve subcommittees. They are banking on $91 billion additional cuts from sequestration.

The Senate complies with current law in maintaining the 50-50 split between defense-related and non-defense discretionary spending in its allocations. However, the House violates this law in raising the amount provided to defense (Defense, Homeland Security and Military Construction/Veterans Affairs) to $629,168 billion, or 58%. This decreases non-defense spending to 42% of the total appropriation.

One example of the effect is that Health & Human Services and Education will be cut 18.6% from the 2013 appropriation: FY 2013 = $150,002 billion; FY2014 = $121,797 billion. Labor, HHS and Education provides the greatest discretionary program support (nutrition, housing, child care, etc.) to those in need, those at the margins of society. It is also the source of funding by which the 100% benefit (National Institutes for Health, Centers for Disease Control, transportation, law enforcement and courts, energy, research and development, clean water and air for example).

It is important to support Senator Mikulski in the overall spending level, and in proposing appropriations levels thast place the needs of people ahead of the military industrial complex.