A recent report on Morning Edition, suggests in the end the sequester may be sealed in place by a continuing resolution. We found the following dialogue of interest.
Tamara Keith from NPR said:
And part of that means that we have the House working on its own appropriations bills, the Senate working on its own appropriations bills, and these are the bills that would actually spend the money. It’s pretty clear they’re never going to come together and make those bills a reality.
So we’re in a little bit of a fantasy world. And in this fantasy world, the House is taking money and restoring it to defense and cutting it from other parts of the budget but keeping the sequester levels the same. And on the Senate side, they’re just ignoring the sequester. What’s most likely to actually happen, is what’s called a continuing resolution.
Basically pushing the funding levels from before, forward for another six months or another year. And that would lock in the sequester and truly make it the new normal.
David Grrene asked:
Brian Naylor, let me come back to you. Just listening to Tam there it sounds like a lot of what she’s saying might be imaginary – talk about increasing budgets for agencies and programs but then we might just see continuing resolution that will just lock sequestration in place. Are agencies ready for that? Are they ready for more cuts?
Brian Naylor said
I think there is a concern on the part of many of these agencies, that is, as Tam says, this is the new normal, that this is the new baseline. These reduced funding levels are going to be written into permanent law, not just a temporary budget cut. And so, you know, I don’t think anybody really wants to face that right now, but I think there is a realization that this is probably the reality that they’re going to face for the next several years.