August 21, 2015
With no federal budget in place, and tough rhetoric from the White House, Congress could be facing another shutdown this fall.
administration is threatening to veto any legislation that exceeds
federal budget caps. On Capitol Hill, lawmakers are at odds over the
appropriate levels of domestic and defense spending.
Congress returns from the August recess on Sep. 8, lawmakers will have
only 10 legislative working days to avoid a shutdown. What options do
Pass a budget within constraints imposed by the Budget Control Act
Budget Control Act, (BCA), a compromise deal reached by lawmakers,
imposes strict, arbitrary budget caps on federal spending. Any budget
that exceeds the caps triggers sequestration, a meat axe series of
Sequestration is particularly damaging to the
defense department. If triggered, DoD will have to find $20 billion to
cut from its annual budget next year. Defense leaders have said that
sequestration is one of the biggest threats to national security.
Pass a Continuing Resolution
Continuing Resolution (CR) can keep the government operating at last
year's funding levels while lawmakers continue to work on a compromise.
CRs are commonly used to ensure uninterrupted operation of government
functions, and can last anywhere from a few hours to an entire fiscal
While helpful, a CR limits federal agencies from
developing long-term budget plans and strategy. Ironically, CRs often
result in cost overruns and government delays, the very things lawmakers
try to avoid by passing them.
Craft another Murray-Ryan deal
lawmakers have expressed a desire for another Murray-Ryan budget deal.
The deal, named after Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray
(D-Wash.), resulted in the Bipartisan Budget Act. That legislation
raised the budget caps for 2014 and 2015 in return for extending
sequestration to 2023.
That temporary fix is set to expire on Sep 30.
defense planners were thankful for the deal at the time, it simply
kicked the can and contained a devastating provision to reduce military
retirement. Due to aggressive advocacy by MOAA and its partners,
Congress repealed the cuts to military retirement in 2014.
this point, the prospect of securing a FY16 budget prior to Oct. 1 looks
very dim," said MOAA's Deputy Director of Government Relations, Col.
Phil Odom, USAF (Ret). "But it's imperative that Congress engage in
reasonable, bipartisan dialogue when they return in September."