Congressional leaders and the White House are nearing a two year budget agreement that would increase military and domestic spending. FY 2016 Nondefense discretionary (NDD) programs and defense caps are increasing by $25 billion each. In addition, the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), also known as a “slush fund”, levels are increased by $8 billion each for both defense and nondefense OCO. In effect, each receives a $33 billion increase. For FY 2017, the caps are increased by $15 billion each plus the OCO increases, which are again $8 billion each, for a total of $23 billion each in FY 2017.
The increase is great news for the counseling profession because legislation such as the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Program (ESSCP) and the Career and Technical Education Act, which supports career counselors, fall under NDD funding. NDD programs include programs such as veteran’s affairs, medical and scientific research; education and job training; public safety and law enforcement; public health; housing and social services. Each day these programs support economic growth and strengthen the safety and security of our community.
The Obama administration has long called for bipartisan defense/ non-defense parity to stop devastating sequester cuts from hitting our nation’s military and the middle class. If all procedural tactics are deployed, the budget deal will pass by November 3rd, before the debt ceiling expires. For more information on the budget deal, please click here.