Senate Budget Committee approves FY2011 Budget Resolution

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Senate Budget Committee approves FY2011 Budget Resolution

This week the Senate Budget Committee (SBC) kicked off the congressional review of the of the FY2011 budget by approving the Senate version of the budget resolution.  The annual budget resolution, often referred to as a “congressional budget blueprint,” sets revenue and appropriations targets for the tax writing and appropriations committees so they can begin work on the president's budget request.  The Committee’s proposal assumes no change to the funding levels in the FY2011-15 defense baseline budget plan.  The SBC resolution also allows for additional war cost funding ($33 billion) in FY2010 and in FY2011 ($159 billion), and a placeholder ($50 billion per year) for additional war costs for FY2012-15.  The SBC proposal urges support for the FY2011 military pay raise and increases to housing and subsistence allowances and includes a number of nonbinding recommendations for the defense authorizing committees.  It recommends establishing a ”deficit neutral” reserve account to pay for expanding  “concurrent receipt” of military retired pay and veterans’ disability compensation for medical retirees, to be achieved by 2015.  This would allow Congress to set aside funds cut from other programs to be used to pay for this benefit.  The SBC also proposes a reserve account to pay the costs of repealing the law requiring a dollar-for-dollar reduction to payments under DoD’s Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) for benefits received under the VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) program.  For other federal agencies’ programs, the resolution proposes a $4 billion cut to international affairs in FY2011 and a freeze in total non-security domestic spending for FY2011-13.  The resolution will now go to the Senate floor, presumably after they complete the financial overhaul bill.  The House Budget Committee (HBC) has not yet marked up its version of the resolution.

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