As Nation's Cities Weekly went to press, House and Senate Budget Committee members were meeting to resolve differences between the two budget resolutions passed by each chamber earlier this month.
Along with resolving issues surrounding the size of the proposed tax cut and economic stimulus package, reforming Social Security and Medicare, and creating a Medicare prescription drug benefit program, budget conferees are also trying to reach a compromise on discretionary spending. The House-passed budget resolution mirrors the Bush administration's request for $660 billion in discretionary spending. The Senate's resolution would increase the amount of discretionary spending by $28 billion to a total of $688 billion for fiscal year 2002.
The following chart, shown to the right and continued on page 8, outlines differences between the House and Senate budget resolutions, noting the National League of Cities' position on major categories of discretionary spending, affecting cities and towns.
Prospects are unclear regarding discretionary funding essential to municipal programs, as is often the case in budget negotiations where definite numbers from a final resolution are not immediately available. Although Congressional budget resolutions provide an outline for federal expenditures each year, actual spending levels are finalized during the appropriations process.
Issue House Budget Resolution Education Reform * Youth employment $1 billion (a decrease of $147 million) * Title I $9 billion ($459 …