A2: BBA 2019 marks the fifth budget agreement to adjust the budget caps imposed by the BCA, starting with the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) of 2012. As a two-year contract that increases spending limits on defence and non-defence, bbA 2019 follows the model established by three previous agreements: the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 (BBA 2013), the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (BBA 2015) and the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (BBA 2018). The European Parliament as a whole has yet to approve the seven-year budget and the Council must sign the budget unanimously. The Council will also have to approve unanimously – and national parliaments must ratify the so-called own resources decision – a legal measure that is a precondition for the bloc to start borrowing money for the new collection fund. This week`s agreement not only avoids a debt default – perhaps its most important function – but is also an important first step towards preventing a possible government ceasefire at the end of September, when the current funding measures for discretionary federal programs expire, an important first step. But that doesn`t guarantee that we won`t see any drama later in the year. The House of Representatives completed the first work on nine out of 12 expense accounts, and the Senate Budgets Committee announced plans to process its versions of the measures in September. Three spending laws – funding for energy and water projects, the Department of Defence and the Departments of Labour, Health, Human Services and Education – could be finalized before the October 1 deadline, but even in this optimistic projection, one or more temporary shutdowns are very likely for all or part of the discretionary budget. This week`s agreement was important, but much remains to be done.
Under previous laws in 2013, 2015 and 2018, the budget agreement is the fourth time Congress has relaxed the discretionary limits imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA) on defense and non-defense spending. What is remarkable is that this is the first time that such an agreement has been reached before the start of the government`s fiscal year on October 1, however open the possibility – however small – that one or more of the 12 individual expense accounts on which Congress relies to effectively fund discretionary programs can be closed on time. 3. The driver agreement is unlikely to make as much difference. One of Parliament`s main requirements was a legally binding timetable for the introduction of new sources of revenue for the bloc`s coffers to ensure that the cost of borrowing for the stimulus fund does not enter into budgetary programmes. BBA 2019 also shows the amount of financing for the overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account for fiscal year 2020 and GJ 2021. The original objective of the OCO was to finance the additional costs associated with operations in Iraq and Afghanistan; However, because of its exemption from budget ceilings under the BCA, the account was used as a loophole to supplement funding for normal core budget defence activities and, to a lesser extent, for the activities of the defenceless U.S. State Department. The bill provides $71.5 billion in OCO for the GJ 2020 and $69 billion for the GJ 2021, representing total national defence spending (050) of $738 billion and $740.5 billion, respectively.
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