February 13, 2012

FY13 President’s Budget Request

By Christy Gullion

The President is scheduled to deliver his FY13 budget request to Congress later this morning, kicking off the annual budget and appropriations season. While the details of the budget have remained under wraps until today, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released a 2013 “Fact Sheet” on Friday revealing that the budget will include strong support for research and development, including “$140.8 billion for R&D overall; increase the level of investment in non-defense R&D by 5 percent from the 2012 level, even as overall budgets decline; maintains the President’s commitment to double the budgets of three key basic research agencies (National Science Foundation, Department of Energy’s Office of Science, and National Institute of Standards and Technology Laboratories); expands and makes permanent the R&D tax credit. [Includes] Level funding for biomedical research at NIHNational Institutes of Health ($30.7 billion); and to get more out of the money, proposes new grant management policies to increase the number of new research grants by 7 percent.”

The President will also request $4 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade in his FY13 budget, but his proposal to pay for it with revenue increases and spending cuts — already rejected by the special deficit reduction panel last fall — will make it tough to sell to Congress. Half of the deficit reduction would come by increasing revenues, including raising $1 trillion over 10 years by increasing taxes on families earning more than $250,000. Obama’s proposal would cut the deficit to $901 billion by the end of FY13, or about 5.5 percent of the gross domestic product. All told, his proposal would reduce accumulated debt by $3 trillion in addition to the $1 trillion in savings over 10 years already put in place by the BCA. If approved, Obama’s plan would void the automatic across-the-board cuts— known as a sequester— due to kick in January 2013.

Once the budget request is delivered to the Hill, both the House and Senate canCures Acceleration Network begin the annual appropriations process. The usual first step in that process is for both chambers to approve a budget resolution, which gives appropriations committees their top-line numbers on how much to appropriate. This year, however, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has announced that he won’t move a budget resolution to the floor, even if the Senate Budget Committee approves one, since the Budget Control Act (BCA) approved last August already specified the top-line number for FY13. In the House, Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) will move a budget resolution through his committee, which will likely specify a top-line number even less than what was agreed to in the BCA.

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