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November 22
​Budget Deal Still Uncertain; NACo Holds Hill Briefing on County Priorities at Stake in Negotiations

While private talks between House Budget Chair Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Budget Chair Patty Murray (D-Wash.) continue, no agreement on FY2014 funding levels have been announced by the 29 budget conferees tasked with reaching an agreement by December 13. The current Continuing Resolution (CR) (H.R. 2775) funding the federal government expires on January 15, at which point there could be another government shutdown, as well as another round of sequester cuts that would greatly impact defense spending. 

House and Senate appropriators are growing concerned at the slow pace of negotiations. On November 18, House Appropriations Committee Chair Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) and all 12 appropriations subcommittee chairs sent a letter to budget conferees, asking them to decide on FY2014 spending levels as soon as possible. The letter warns that if an agreement on the budget is not reached in the first few days of December, appropriators may not have sufficient time to conduct the appropriations process before the January 15 deadline, when the current CR expires.

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Supervisor Michael May of Prince William County, Va. speaks to congressional staff during NACo's "Why Counties Matter" briefing on November 19. NACo Executive Director Matt Chase and Commissioner George Hartwick of Dauphin County, Pa. also spoke at the briefing. 

NACo has held numerous meetings with budget conferees to stress the importance of county priorities in budget talks, including the tax-exempt status of municipal bonds and potential changes to Medicaid. Additionally, NACo held the first of a series of “Why Counties Matter” briefings on Capitol Hill on November 19. The briefing focused on “Local Priorities at Stake in Federal Budget Negotiations” and featured NACo Executive Director Matthew Chase, Commissioner George Hartwick of Dauphin County, Pa. and Supervisor Michael May of Prince William County, Va.

Commissioner Hartwick focused on the role of counties in health and human services, particularly the trickle-down effect to counties of cuts to programs such as Medicaid and the Social Services Block Grant.  Supervisor May focused on the role of counties in transportation and infrastructure and the impact that proposals to change the tax exempt status of municipal bonds on counties’ ability to finance projects.

Contact:  Marilina Sanz at msanz@naco.org or 202.942.4260

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