House Passes Ryan Budget

House Passes Ryan Budget

The House of Representatives passed the budget plan sponsored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) yesterday, which would impose deeper cuts to the federal budget in FY2013 and future years than agreed to last year in the Budget Control Act (BCA). 

President Obama’s FY2013 budget request was premised on the top-line number that was adopted in the BCA — $1.047 trillion.  The Ryan plan reduces that to $1.028 trillion and protects funding for the Department of Defense (DOD).

The BCA was passed after long and difficult negotiations between Republicans and Democrats, the House and Senate, and Congress and the President.   Democrats contend that the BCA settled the issue of how much money could be spent in FY2013, but House Republicans decided to fight for less spending.

The funding figures in the Ryan plan are likely to mean less funding for NASA and NOAA, which are part of “non-defense discretionary” spending.

The Senate has not passed a budget resolution yet.

Politico has an interesting analysis of the impact the Ryan budget will have on many government programs.  It does not discuss space activities specifically, but provides a useful perspective, including the following:

“For Obama, the cuts demanded from nondefense appropriations are at least $27 billion more than he would have assumed after the summer talks. And by the end of 2014, the plan anticipates that nondefense discretionary spending would fall to $406 billion, a reduction of $100 billion, or nearly 20 percent.

“When adjusted for inflation, that would leave most agencies with less money than they received at any time under President George W. Bush. And the cut is proportionally larger than any reduction Ronald Reagan or Newt Gingrich achieved at the height of their powers in the ’80s and ’90s.”

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