Yesterday, the Congress introduced a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill to fund government operations across all agencies in fiscal year (FY) 2014. This omnibus is expected to be the first actual appropriations bill to pass both chambers since 2009, as opposed to continuing resolutions that maintain existing spending levels. As such, it will be the first time in four years that the Congress adjusts government spending priorities among programs and agencies.
The bill was crafted within the contours of the bipartisan budget deal that was reached last month. That deal did away with the sequester and instead allowed for an additional $25 billion in spending in FY 2014, $23 billion of which would go to domestic agencies.
Over the weekend, House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) and Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) were able to reach agreement on the last of the twelve annual appropriations bills, allowing the omnibus to be introduced yesterday. The agreement addresses several priorities for both Democrats and Republicans. Head Start funding is fully restored and funding for politically-popular medical research is partially restored. Meanwhile, additional funding to support the implementation of the Affordable Care Act as well as new funding for the nation’s financial regulators was frozen, both Republican priorities.
What does this mean for Job Corps?
Job Corps was appropriated a total of $1.658 billion for FY 2014, with $1.578 for Job Corps operations and $80 million for construction, rehabilitation, and acquisition (CRA) projects. According to the Department of Labor, after taking into account the 2013 sequester, actual FY 2013 funding was $1.487 billion for operations and $99 million for CRA. As such, the FY 2014 appropriation represents a $91 million, or 6.1 percent, increase over current Job Corps operations spending levels. Meanwhile, CRA funding will be cut by $19 million (about 19 percent) in program year 2014.
The government’s current funding is set to expire on Wednesday, so the Congress will pass a short-term measure keeping the government funded through Saturday in order to allow for time to debate and pass the omnibus.