For Immediate Release
Budget Conference Committee Has Limited Time and Wide Gap in Priorities Before Dec. 13 Deadline
NORTHAMPTON, Mass. - With a task of paramount importance ahead of them, the Budget Conference Committee has limited time to reach agreement on a budget and avoid another shutdown. While the conference committee's internal schedule is not public, Congress itself will be in session only 16 days between now and December 13.
"These negotiations are happening behind closed doors, which means we can't hold Congress accountable for getting its job done. There's also a real concern that the committee has given itself a very short amount of time to resolve significant differences in opinion about federal spending and revenue," National Priorities Project (NPP) Executive Director Jo Comerford.
Members of the Budget Conference Committee have a long way to go to come to an agreement. NPP's analysis of U.S. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's (R-Wisc.) and U.S. Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray's (D-Wash.) original budget plans shows the wide gap the parties must bridge to arrive at a deal to keep the government open. The analysis provides critical background for reporting on the negotiations and is available online at: http://nationalpriorities.org/en/analysis/2013/budget-proposals-2014/
Also included in NPP's analysis are the preferences of the American people for federal spending levels on a wide array of issue areas, and how Ryan and Murray's budget proposals stack up against those priorities.
"Ryan and Murray have led these debates in the past and not been able to find solutions. That's why we ended up with a government shutdown on October 1. We need Congress to take its appropriations responsibility seriously and support a smart blueprint for 2014 spending that reflects the priorities of the American people," Comerford said.
The National Priorities Project (NPP) is a 501(c)(3) research organization that analyzes and clarifies federal data so that people can understand and influence how their tax dollars are spent. Located in Northampton, MA, since 1983, NPP focuses on the impact of federal spending and other policies at the national, state, congressional district and local levels. For more information, go to http://nationalpriorities.org.