After an Obamacare showdown, a 16-day government shutdown, some stopgap funding along the way, and a bipartisan Christmas budget deal miracle, legislation was finally signed this weekend to fund the government through September 30, 2014.
In total, the final FY 2014 appropriations bill funds the government at $1.1 trillion. This amount is within the constraints set by the December budget deal, which means that it averts approximately $20 billion in government-wide, across-the-board sequester cuts. Of course, while these total funding levels remain higher than the grimmest scenario, total funding in FY 2014 is still lower that last year’s spending amounts – even after the sequester. So, while last year was a bad year for government programs, 2014 is still worse. In fact, nearly all programs within the Department of Health and Human Services are getting slashed well below historic levels. One notable exception is a $1 billion increase over 2013 for NIH.
Don’t get too comfortable with the newfound bipartisanship in Washington, though. The debt ceiling is up for re-debate as early as next month, and FY 2015 is just eight short months away.