Chairs reach federal budget deal to reduce sequester

On December 11, FY2014 Budget Conference Chairs Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Washington) announced a two-year budget agreement, replacing $63 billion of sequester cuts over FY14 and FY15. For FY2014, the discretionary spending limit would be set at $1.012 trillion, offering an additional $45 billion for FY14 that is evenly split between non-defense and defense. The deal also would provide approximately $18 billion of sequestration relief for FY15 and would further reduce the deficit by approximately $22 billion. Both chambers of the US Congress are expected to vote before the December recess on the proposal.

While House Appropriations Chair Hal Rogers (R-KY) praised the deal, there is expected to be some opposition from both sides of the aisle. The Administration offered the following statement on the deal:

The Budget Control Act of 2011 enacted a trillion dollar reduction in federal government spending and set in place ten years of automatic budget cuts (also known as the sequester) totaling an additional trillion dollars. The University of Oregon and Oregon’s other public research universities have already been affected negatively by such reductions. A temporary funding deal passed in October reopened the federal government by extending spending authority until early 2014and empanelled a special Budget Conference Committee to work towards a budget deal.

University of Oregon President Michael Gottfredson joined Oregon State University President Ed Ray, Portland State University President Wim Wievel, and Oregon Health and Science University President Joe Robertson in asking Oregon Senators Ron Wyden (D) and Jeff Merkley (D), both budget conferees, to support an FY2014 budget package that eliminates the federal budget sequester and economic activity. They also contributed an op-ed to the Oregonian.