Congressional Budget Plan Contains Serious Flaws

Senate Passes Concurrent Budget Resolution

Congressional Budget Plan Contains Serious FlawsOn May 5, 2015, the Senate voted 51-48 to approve the Concurrent Budget Resolution on the FY16 Budget. The vote was on straight party lines, with no Democrat voting yes.

The concurrent budget resolution is the outcome of negotiations between the Senate and House on their respective budget resolutions. The House passed the concurrent budget resolution on April 30, 2015.

A new Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) report, “Ten Serious Flaws in the Congressional Budget Plan” explains that the budget resolution includes at least ten very serious shortcomings, including:

  1. Deficit reduction entirely through massive spending cuts, with no revenue contribution;
  2. Disproportionate cuts in programs for Americans with low and moderate incomes;
  3. More Americans uninsured and under-insured, and more living in poverty;
  4. No sequestration relief for domestic priorities in 2016, but a gimmick to boost defense funding:
  5. Dramatic reductions to important domestic investments after 2016;
  6. Deep cuts in transportation infrastructure;
  7. Federal spending reduced to a strikingly low level as a share of the economy;
  8. Omission of funding to combat fraud and abuse.
  9. Tax cuts but no explanation of how to pay for them.
  10. Misguided focus on balancing the budget by 2025.

The concurrent budget resolution retains the 2011 Budget Control Act’s sequester spending caps for FY16 but circumvents sequester caps on defense spending by putting nearly $40 billion in off-budget funds in the Pentagon’s Overseas Contingency Operations account.

The concurrent budget resolution does not include the House budget resolution’s reconciliation instructions to the House Committee on Financial Services to identify at least $100 million in mandatory savings. It does include reconciliation instructions to the appropriate committees to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Disproportionate cuts in programs for Americans with low and moderate incomes could place even more individuals and families at risk of homelessness and push back on the great strides being made across the country to end homelessness.

Many households are just one health crisis away from losing employment and potentially their homes. Without insurance, they may soon become homeless.

Click here for more on the CBPP report.