Recapping the Deficit Debate to Date

Learn about ongoing federal budget negotiations through CWLA’s These Cuts Won’t Heal Campaign in addition to our regular Children’s Monitor updates. The latest news involved dissolution of the super committee without a plan for deficit reduction. The Budget Control Act (P.L. 112-25, BCA) that was passed in August to resolve the debate of raising the debt ceiling now requires a process called sequestration.

CWLA’s analysis of BCA includes a description of sequestration. Barring changes, in 2013 there will be a 9% across-the-board cut in discretionary programs and an 8% cut in mandatory programs. A select group of programs are exempt from these cuts, including IV-E Foster Care, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, Child Care, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and others listed here. The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act is a notable exception, currently expected to incur sequestration cuts, even as several lawmakers work to respond to recent child sexual abuse tragedies. From 2014-2021 sequestration sets a budget cap at the same annual level as 2013, but without direction for the discretionary cuts, leaving that up to appropriators. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has also created a helpful explanation of sequestration. As previously reported, some Members of Congress are already talking about repealing or revising these cuts.

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