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In Series of Political Votes, Senate Rejects FFY 2013 Budget Frameworks

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In a series of votes on Wednesday, the U.S. Senate rejected five budget frameworks, including the House Republican budget framework and the President’s proposal for federal fiscal year (FFY) 2013. The votes were purely political in nature and never expected to pass.  Congress does not need to pass a unified budget resolution to approve spending to allow the federal government to operate next fiscal year.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has repeatedly stated that spending levels for FFY 2013 were established in last year’s Budget Control Act (BCA), eliminating the need for a budget resolution this year.  Congress will likely rely on continuing resolutions to fund the operations of the federal government once FFY 2013 begins on October 1.

After the November elections, spending showdowns are expected; despite suggestions this week by some political leaders that work may begin soon on addressing key expiring provisions, like the Medicare “doc fix,” Social Security payroll tax holiday and expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts, a pre-election agreement is unlikely.  Post-election wrangling will also take place over the January 1, 2013 implementation of sequestration cuts, with many in the Republican caucus fighting to protect defense from reductions at the expense of other sectors.  The federal debt ceiling may need to be increased again at the end of the year.

Throughout the debates and negotiations over these issues, HANYS will continue to call on all members of the New York State Congressional Delegation to spare hospitals, health systems, and the communities they serve from further reductions—because patient access to care is on the line.  Contact:  Susan Van Meter

Published May 18, 2012