After two days of debate, the Senate Budget Committee approved, 12-10, the FY2005 budget resolution (S. Con. Res. 95) on March 4. Under the 1974 Budget Act (P.L. 93-344), Congress is required to approve a budget resolution by April 15; however, Congress has met that deadline only six times since 1974.
Under the resolution, $814 billion would be provided for discretionary spending in FY2005, $9 billion below the administration’s request.
The resolution proposes to extend through 2010 several tax provisions included in the 2003 tax law (P.L. 108-27) that are set to expire on December 31, 2004. These include: the accelerated increase in the child tax credit, the expansion of the 10 percent income tax bracket, and the expansions of the standard deduction and 15 percent income tax bracket for married taxpayers filing jointly.
The resolution would establish a reserve for FY2005 through FY2009 for legislation that addresses access to health care services and health insurance for the uninsured. In addition, the resolution would provide $1 billion for FY2005 and $5 billion for FY2005 through FY2009 for reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1965.
The resolution would provide $30.5 billion for international programs in FY2005. Of that amount, $1.45 billion would be provided for the Global HIV/AIDS Initiative, $1.42 billion for child survival and disease programs, and $1.5 billion for the Millennium Challenge Account.
The resolution would provide $81.1 billion for education, training, employment, and social services in FY2005. Of that amount, $13.3 billion would be provided for grants to local educational agencies under the No Child Left Behind Act (P.L. 107-110). In addition, the resolution would provide a $1 billion increase over the next two years for special education. The resolution also would provide $12.8 billion for Pell Grants in order to fully fund a $4,050 maximum award.
In FY2005, health programs would receive $53.4 billion. Of that amount, $28.7 billion would be provided for the National Institutes of Health. In addition, the Medicare program would receive $3.7 billion in FY2005.
The resolution would provide $4.8 billion in FY2005 for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. In addition, $2.1 billion would be provided for the Child Care Development Block Grant, $11.7 billion for child nutrition programs, and $28.3 billion for the Food Stamp Program.
Within the Department of Justice, the resolution would provide $1.7 billion for a new Justice Assistance account. Of that amount, $176 million would be provided for the DNA Initiative.
To address the ongoing costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the resolution would include a $30 billion reserve for supplemental appropriations.
During consideration of the resolution, the committee approved the following amendments:
The committee rejected the following amendments:
The Senate will consider the FY2005 budget resolution next week.