Congress Begins Deliberations on Next Year’s Budget

Written by: Bill Jaeger
Date Posted: July 5, 2013

Congress is currently working to determine the budget for Fiscal Year 2014, which begins October 1. Each year Congress must determine annual funding for a wide range of federal programs, including Head Start, early intervention and special education, child care and K-12 spending. Lawmakers face a unique challenge because unless a solution is agreed upon by national leaders, sequestration is slated to continue next year.

However, the House and Senate have advanced very different plans. They are based on contrasting objectives and assumptions about the viability of potential longer term budget policies that would ultimately delay, if not supplant, the need for the deeper and more immediate cuts required by sequestration. Unfortunately, with the chambers so far apart, it is unlikely that Congress will pass a budget, forcing it to again rely on extensions of current policies and spending levels via continuing resolutions, and preventing its ability to avoid the next round of sequestration.

Sequestration includes $1.2 trillion in across-the-board cuts over the next nine years and began in March of 2013. It has already affected many Colorado children and families this year with painful cuts to services including Head Start and the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) food assistance program. We will continue to follow the efforts of Congress to address these issues, and will monitor the impact of the pending, next round of sequestration.  For more information on sequestration and how it has affected families in Colorado and across the nation, check out the resources provided by the Coalition on Human Needs.

Bill Jaeger

About Bill Jaeger

Bill Jaeger, Vice President of Early Childhood Initiatives at the Children's Campaign, has spent the past decade teaching, studying, and working on issues in public education and public policy. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and a master’s in education from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education before working as a public school teacher and administrator in the greater Hartford, Connecticut area for several years. Bill also holds master’s degrees in public policy and political science and worked in several positions in the non-profit sector prior to joining the Colorado Children’s Campaign as Vice President of Early Childhood Initiatives. Bill is a graduate of Cheyenne Mountain High School in Colorado Springs and enjoys spending time in the mountains with his wife, son, daughter, and golden retriever.