The Administration announced on February 5 that President Barack Obama’s FY15 budget request to Congress will be released in two parts. Top line budget figures will be released on March 4. Funding and proposal details, including the budget appendix and justifications, will follow on March 11. Appropriators are expected to begin drafting FY15 spending bills in early spring.
Congress has already negotiated and enacted an FY15 discretionary spending cap as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 (BBA). Because the FY15 spending cap has been set, Congress should not have to engage in another prolonged budget negotiation. However, House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-MI) has indicated that the House will still craft an FY15 budget resolution.
In the meantime, Congress has to address the nation’s debt limit, which was reached on February 7. The Treasury Department is now taking extraordinary measures to prevent default on the nation’s obligations, now predicted to hit on February 27. Some Republicans continue to want to withhold support for a debt ceiling increase in exchange for unrelated policy changes, but House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) does not favor another debt ceiling debate. Democrats want to pass a clean debt ceiling increase. A vote is expected in the House during the week of February 10.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) contributed to budget deliberations this week in its “Budget and Economic Outlook: 2014-2024,” released on February 4. CBO projects that the deficit will continue to shrink through FY15, falling to just over $500 billion in FY14 and below $500 billion in FY15. This the lowest level since President Obama took office. After FY16, CBO projects the deficit will increase again due to leveling off of revenue growth.
View the CBO report: http://1.usa.gov/MXgerL