HJ Res 59: Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014

In December 2013, Congress passed a bicameral deal to raise discretionary spending by $63 billion over the next two years. The measure provides less funding than pre-sequester levels, but will increase federal spending from $967 billion to $1.012 trillion this year. The increase will be equally split between defense and non-defense programs. Unlike the across-the-board spending cuts imposed by sequestration, the new agreement allows congressional appropriators to choose specific programs to trim.

The budget agreement was negotiated by Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA) and House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI). In addition to increasing funding for programs that have been squeezed by budget sequestration, the deal saves $28 billion over ten years by requiring the President to sequester the same percentage of mandatory funding in the years 2022 and 2023 as will be sequestered in 2021 under current law. Federal employees hired after 31 December 2013 will also have to contribute 1.3 percent more to their retirement programs than current employees.

Despite objections from conservative interest groups, the House passed the budget deal in a bipartisan vote of 332 to 94. The measure had the support of three-quarters of Republican Representatives and more than 80 percent of Democrats. Senators voted 64-36 to approved the legislation; all Senate Democrats, two independents, and nine Republicans voted in favor of the bill.

HJ Res become law on December 26, 2013.