On October 2, 2015, two days after signing the Continuing Resolution (CR) keeping federal programs funded until December 11, 2015, President Barack Obama said he would not sign another “shortsighted spending bill.”
“We purchased ourselves 10 additional weeks and we need to use them effectively,” President Obama said.
Meanwhile, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the federal deficit in FY15 was the lowest it has been since 2007.
Reports from the discussions indicate the possibility of a two-year deal for FY16 and FY17, akin to the “Murray-Ryan” deal that provided a reprieve from the sequester spending caps for FY14 and FY15.
The budget talks could be influenced by the Department of the Treasury’s recent announcement that the extraordinary measures to lift the nation’s debt limit will likely expire on November 5, 2015. The debt-limit deadline could compel action on a bipartisan budget agreement.
Reaching a spending deal by this date could pave the way for FY16 appropriations bills to be enacted into law before the December 11, 2015 deadline. Appropriators have made clear that if they receive a new top line spending limit, they will need at least four weeks to finalize new appropriations bills.
NDD United, a broad coalition of organizations representing non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs, hosted a rally at the Capital on October 7, 2015. The event brought attention to the negative impacts of sequestration. The rally was attended by House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and other members of Congress, who called for a bipartisan budget deal that would bring an end to the sequester cuts.
“Democrats in the House and Senate and Americans across the country are here to send a strong message that the sequester harms our economy and our national security. I am proud to stand with NDD United and with my colleagues from the House and Senate to demand – not to request – to demand that we get on a rational, workable policy.”
Representative Hoyer said.
In conjunction with its event, NDD United sent a statement to the Hill urging Congress to: