The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 933, the Department of Defense, Military Construction, and Veterans Affairs, and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act. This bill would provide discretionary funding to all federal programs through September 2013, the end of the current federal fiscal year (FY). The government has been operating under a similar short-term funding resolution or continuing resolutions since the beginning of the federal FY on October 1, 2012, which will expire on March 27, 2013, unless new funding is provided.
H.R. 933 was written to provide total discretionary spending of $1.043 trillion, the Budget Control Act cap for FY2013, but it provides that the across-the-board cuts required by the March 1 sequester will be made, which would effectively reduce that spending to $984 billion. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the March 1 sequestration will reduce the bill's $1.043 trillion in discretionary spending by $59 billion to $984 billion. The sequester also will cut $6 billion from Overseas Contingency Operations, $2 million from emergency funding, such as provided for "Superstorm Sandy," and $1 million from disaster relief funding-for a total discretionary sequester of $68 billion. Another $17 billion would be cut from mandatory programs, raising the total sequestration to $85 billion for FY2013 funding. H.R.933 now goes to the Senate for further consideration. The Senate is expected to amend the House bill, add its changes, and then send it back to the House for final consideration before going to the President for his signature in to law. If Congress fails to get a bill to the President before March 27, 2013, there will be a federal shutdown of programs.
For programs such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part B grants to states will remain the same as provided in Fiscal Year 2013 at $11.5 billion, but will be cut by 5% as per the sequester, bringing total FY2013 funding down to $10.9 billion. To see a state-by-state breakdown in funding for education programs, go to the U.S. Department of Education's budget news webpage. Medicare providers will see a 2% reduction in payment on services provided after April 1 as the Medicare reduction is scheduled to be implemented the first of the month following the sequester. CMS will notify providers in advance of the payment cut.
For questions about the federal budget and appropriations please contact Neil Snyder, ASHA's director of federal advocacy, at [email protected] or by phone at 800-498-2071, ext. 5614. Questions related to Medicare reimbursement should be directed to [email protected].