Letter to the Honorable Paul Ryan About the Budget Authority That Would Be Provided By the Continuing Resolution for Fiscal Year 2014 and How That Authority Would Compare With the Statutory Caps in Place for Next Year

September 12, 2013

Continuing resolution for fiscal year 2014, as introduced in the House on September 10

H. J. Res. 59, the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014, would provide funding through December 15, 2013. Nevertheless, CBO’s estimates for such short-term funding bills routinely show the full-year, or annualized, amount for the authority that would be provided. If H. J. Res. 59 was enacted, the appropriations for 2014 would total—on an annualized basis—$1,087.7 billion, by CBO’s estimate.

That total includes funding for certain activities that are not constrained by the caps on discretionary budget authority—overseas contingency operations, disaster relief, and program integrity initiatives; such funding would total $101.4 billion. As a result, funding for programs limited by the statutory caps would total $986.3 billion on an annualized basis, CBO estimates.

The caps for 2014 total $967.5 billion—$498.1 billion for defense budget authority and $469.4 billion for nondefense budget authority. Therefore, if the appropriations provided by H. J. Res. 59 were in effect for the full fiscal year, total funding constrained by the caps would exceed the sum of the two caps by nearly $19 billion (see the attached table). Annualized defense funding would exceed its cap by about $20 billion; annualized nondefense funding would be about $1 billion below its cap.

If appropriations in place at the end of this session of the Congress were to exceed one or both of the caps on budget authority for 2014, the Office of Management and Budget would be required to issue a sequestration order 15 days after adjournment that reduced appropriations to the capped amounts.