Debt Deal No Help To Congress Budget Work

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WASHINGTON, Aug. 22 (UPI) — Congress may be late in funding the U.S. government despite the debt ceiling deal that provides appropriators with an overall 2012 spending level, aides said.

Part of issue is the “supercommittee” established by the debt ceiling-deficit reduction deal, The Hill reported. Congressional leaders may opt to wait until after Congress gets the committee’s recommendations in December before considering spending bills.

For several years, Congress has failed to pass 12 separate appropriations bills by Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year. Because of the delay, federal departments can’t plan effectively or undertake new initiatives when funding is provided under temporary bills.

Congressional aides say decisions haven’t been on how to proceed, adding that at least one continuing resolution to keep government operational is inevitable, The Hill reported.

“We would like to see as much progress as possible on the [fiscal year 2012] bills before tripping into [continuing resolution] mode,” an aide said.

The supercommittee is tasked with finding $1.2 trillion in deficit cuts or automatic cuts to discretionary spending are triggered in 2013.

Most appropriators want to see the committee succeed in tackling entitlement and tax reform because this will take pressure off agency budgets, aides told The Hill.

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