No Sequester Cuts Are Needed in 2014, OMB Says

Enacted appropriations fall within spending limits for the fiscal year.

Congress’s last-minute adjustments to the fiscal 2014 spending levels in January will mean sequestration will not be a major factor for defense or non-defense agencies this year, the Office of Management and Budget has confirmed.

In a mandatory final sequestration report for fiscal year 2014 dated Feb. 7, Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell wrote that “enacted appropriations are within the discretionary spending limits for 2014 and a sequestration of discretionary budget authority” will not be necessary.

The letter to President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, came just days before both the House and Senate voted to extend the sequester on Medicaid spending in the out-years to pay for repealing cuts to veterans’ pensions included in the fiscal 2014 omnibus spending bill that Obama signed Jan. 17.

OMB had issued a letter Jan. 17 saying its required certification would be delayed while it analyzed the new legislation’s impact on annual spending.

The final 2014 spending bill eased some pressure of sequestration at the Defense department by $22.4 billion, and by another $22.4 billion for nondefense agencies. Under the original 2011 Budget Control Act, sequestration’s annual across-the-board cuts would have been roughly $85 billion over the next decade. 

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