The budget's path

October 02, 1990|By Washington Bureau of The Sun

To avoid across-the-board spending cuts of $105.7 billion, as required under the Gramm-Rudman deficit-reduction law, Congress and the president must do the following:

By Oct. 5

Congress must pass a new budget that reflects the spending cuts and tax increases agreed to Sunday by congressional leaders and President Bush. Meanwhile, a stopgap money bill -- called a continuing resolution -- was passed Sunday night and will provide the government with funds to continue its operations and halt the Gramm-Rudman cuts through Oct. 19.

By Oct. 12

The House and Senate appropriations committees must complete work on the 13 bills that tell every federal department and agency how much money to spend in fiscal 1991. Those bills are:

1. The Agriculture, Rural Development and Related Agencies Bill -- passed by the House and Senate; awaiting action in House-Senate conference.

2. The Commerce, Justice, State, Judiciary Bill -- passed by the House and endorsed by a Senate appropriations subcommittee last month.

3. The Defense Appropriations Bill -- approved by a House appropriations subcommittee last month and awaiting action in the Senate.

4. The District of Columbia Appropriations Bill -- passed by House and Senate; awaiting action in House-Senate conference.

5. The Energy and Water Development Bill -- passed by House and Senate; awaiting action in House-Senate conference.

6. The Foreign Operations Bill (which provides money for foreign aid) -- passed by the House in June and awaiting action in the Senate.

7. The Interior and Related Agencies Bill -- approved by the House appropriations subcommittee in July and awaiting action in the Senate.

8. The Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Bill -- passed by the House and approved by a Senate appropriations subcommittee last month.

9. The Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill (which provides funds for Congress and its operations) -- approved by the House appropriations committee in July and awaiting action in the Senate.

10. The Military Construction Appropriations Bill (which provides money for the construction of military bases and defense-related infrastructure) -- passed by the House and approved by the Senate appropriations committee in August.

11. The Transportation and Related Agencies Bill -- passed by House and Senate; awaiting action in House-Senate conference.

12. The Treasury, Postal Service, General Government Bill -- passed by House and Senate; awaiting action in House-Senate conference.

13. The Veterans Administration, Housing and Urban Development, Independent Agencies Bill -- passed by the House and approved by the Senate appropriations committee last month.

By Oct. 12

The tax-writing Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee must assemble a so-called reconciliation bill, which makes the changes to the tax code called for in the budget agreement. The reconciliation bill is to include an overhaul of the Gramm-Rudman law, moving the projected year by which the federal government is to have a balanced budget from fiscal year 1993 to fiscal 1996.

By Oct. 19

Congress must pass and the president must sign the 13 appropriations bills and the reconciliation bill.

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