July 26, 2013
Republicans on the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (Labor-HHS) have indefinitely postponed the markup of the bill that was supposed to occur on Thursday. Representative Jack Kingston (R-GA), Chair of the subcommittee, released a statement that the committee was "waiting for the calendar to give [them] the breathing room" to ensure adequate time for a markup. The bill as proposed by the House Republicans would cut funding to crucial health, education, and labor programs by keeping sequestration, the series of automatic, across-the-board budget cuts that went into effect on March 1, 2013, in place and would increase Defense appropriations. The funding level proposed in the House Labor-HHS bill for Fiscal Year 2014 is 26% lower than the Senate Labor-HHS allocation and would be the lowest funding level since 2001. Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Ranking Member on the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee, released a statement on this decision, criticizing the Majority Leadership for their drastic cuts to these critical programs.
Should Republicans continue demanding even deeper spending cuts, Senior White House officials are considering a budget strategy that could result in a government shutdown. They are also currently exploring a budget strategy that would stop sequestration from continuing. Click here to read a Washington Post article about the Administration's stance towards the budget.