Washington Update: Sequestration in effect, FY13 funding update

Sequester was triggered on March 1st, 2013 and with it brings $85 billion in automatic, across-the-board spending cuts. As a result of sequester, federal agencies must makes cuts of about 9 percent for non-defense programs and about 13 percent for defense programs. These cuts must be achieved over the remaining seven months of the fiscal year. Agencies have not yet announced the specific cuts to programs they will make as a result of sequestration.

On March 27th, the continuing resolution (CR), that Congress passed last September to fund the federal government for the first six months of the fiscal year, expires. Both chambers are now working on spending packages to carry the federal government through the rest of FY 2013.

The House of Representatives has proposed a spending package that would cap federal operating expenses at $982 billion, leaving most agencies to continue to operate under FY 2012 funding levels, while giving military and veterans programs flexibility in dealing with the cuts of the sequester. The Senate will consider their own proposal to deal with the expiration of the current funding measure in the coming weeks, with some pushing for new spending bills instead of another CR.

Stay tuned for what this means on funding negotiations for the Partnership for Sustainable Communities and other federal smart growth initatives.