Sequestration Update Report: August 2013

August 6, 2013

By law, CBO is required to issue a report by August 15 of each year that provides estimates of the caps on discretionary budget authority in effect for each fiscal year through 2021. No additional appropriations or substantive changes to the caps have occurred since CBO’s previous report on the topic, which was published in March 2013. Consequently, CBO continues to estimate that the discretionary appropriations provided for 2013 do not exceed the caps and thus that, through the end of July, a further sequestration (or cancellation of budgetary resources) will not be required as a result of appropriation actions this year. (The sequestration that was triggered by the automatic enforcement procedures of the Budget Control Act of 2011 remains in effect, however.) The Administration’s Office of Management and Budget has sole authority to determine whether a further sequestration is required; its sequestration report issued in April 2013 also found that appropriations for 2013 were at or below the caps.

With the automatic reductions in the caps mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (and modified by the American Taxpayer Relief Act), the overall limit on discretionary budget authority will be $967 billion in 2014 and will rise to $1,147 billion in 2021, for an average annual increase of 2.5 percent over that period, by CBO’s estimate.