What was the “fiscal cliff“?
As the end of 2012 neared and we began a new year, you may have heard on the TV, in newspapers and in online conversations about a “fiscal cliff” our nation was facing. This term referenced the Budget Control Act of 2011, which was designed to try and force Congress to come up with a new solution to reducing our nation’s budget deficit. To force the solution, the Act was written in such a way that if Congress did not pass a new deficit reduction plan, then certain automatic spending cuts would go into effect on January 2, 2013.
On Tuesday, January 1, 2013, Congress approved a bill to avoid the so called “fiscal cliff”, which would have raised taxes on many Americans. However, the bill delays the sequester for two months, a series of automatic cuts in federal spending. Learn what this means for Community Health Centers:
If Congress hadn’t come up with a new solution and the automatic cuts created in the Budget Control Act of 2011 went into effect January 2, 2013, then we would have gone over the so-called “fiscal cliff”. In fact, we did go over the fiscal cliff briefly, but Congress was able to pass a bill late in the day on Tuesday, January 1, 2013. While the bill that was passed will prevent certain tax increases for many Americans, the bill did not address our nation’s deficit and instead extends the sequester for two months until March, 2013.
What is the “sequester”?
The sequester is automatic federal spending cuts created in the Budget Control Act of 2011. Sequestration would mean automatic cuts to the Health Centers Program totaling a loss of $167 million in Health Center funding this fiscal year, due to a process that would across-the-board cut discretionary federal program budgets by 2%. Read more about sequestration, what it means for health centers, and our request to Congress.