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Senate Approves Spending Allocations, Sequester Rollback

Last week the Senate Appropriations Committee approved spending allocations, known as "302(b) allocations," for the 12 spending bills that Congress must pass to fund the government. Like the President's request (PDF), the Senate proposes returning discretionary spending to pre-sequester levels. The total spending limit under the Senate plan is $1.058 trillion, compared to the $967 billion limit adopted by the House (see below). The allocations were adopted via a 15-14 vote, and make generally marginal changes to the President's request.

The allocations do, however, contrast sharply with the House plan (PDF), perhaps unsurprisingly, given the markedly different overall spending limits adopted. Cumulatively, the five spending bills with the largest sums for nondefense R&D would be reduced by 19.6 percent in the House plan relative to the President's request. Most individual bills would receive a double-digit percentage cut from the President's requested spending levels, with the largest relative reductions reserved for the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (Labor/HHS) bill and the Interior and Environment bill. Most of these cuts, illustrated below, would leave nondefense spending below even sequester levels. Conversely, the Senate would actually marginally increase appropriations for every bill except for Labor/HHS, which would receive a small reduction.

See this short AAAS overview of the budget process (PDF) for more on how 302(b) allocations fit in.

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