Issue Date: July 30, 2012
Bill Requiring Details Of Budget Cuts Clears Congress
The Senate unanimously passed a measure (H.R. 5872) last week to require the Obama Administration to provide details of how the $109 billion in across-the-board budget cuts set to happen on Jan. 2, 2013, will be implemented. The bill calls for a report, which would be due 30 days after the bill is signed into law, that includes information at the “program, project, and activity level.” Passed by the House of Representatives earlier this month, the bill is intended to force the Administration to plan for the cuts, which are known as sequestration. The bill now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature. Members of Congress want to avoid the cuts that are required under the debt limit act, but the parties remain at odds over possible alternatives. On the same day as the vote, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) released a report detailing the national, state-by-state impacts of the sequestration on education, health, and labor programs. According to Harkin’s report, which assumes a 7.8% cut in 2013 funds for all discretionary programs, the sequestration would mean NIH would give out 700 fewer research grants next year compared with 2012.
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