2015-05-05 15:32:31 UTC

Congress Approves Joint Budget Agreement

May 6, 2015

A budget resolution passed by Congress would balance the budget and cut $5 trillion in spending, some from mandatory spending programs.

Congress has passed a fiscal year 2016 conference budget resolution, which would cut $5 trillion in spending and balance the budget within the decade without raising taxes. The legislation represents a reconciled agreement between the House and Senate.

Of concern to the medical community, 80 percent of the spending cuts come from mandatory spending programs, including $430 billion in cuts to the Medicare program. While the budget resolution is not a binding resolution, it provides guidance to the appropriators for setting spending priorities and limits during that process. Given the caps on discretionary spending, programs such as NIH, FDA, CDC and other public health programs will likely see little or no increase. Additionally, the agreement gives Congress the authority to repeal the Affordable Care Act under the process of reconciliation, which allows Congress to pass legislation without the necessary 60 votes in the Senate, but with a simple majority.Read more on AGA Washington Insider.

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