In 2014 Budgets, Republicans And Democrats Offer Competing Plans For Academe

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives unveiled on Tuesday a budget blueprint for the 2014 fiscal year that would tighten eligibility for federal student aid, freeze the maximum Pell Grant at $5,645 for the next decade, and consolidate federal job-training programs.

The plan, which aims to balance the federal budget in 10 years, is unlikely to survive in the Senate, where Democrats are poised to release a budget that would increase taxes and expand spending on education and research. Still, the dueling proposals are likely to frame the debate over government spending and revenue in the months to come.

Meanwhile, lawmakers in both chambers are scrambling to meet a March 27 deadline to enact a spending measure for the remainder of the 2013 fiscal year, which ends on September 30. Last week House Republicans approved a bill that would extend spending at the current year's levels, subject to across-the-board cuts that took effect on March 1. Their measure would give the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs some flexibility in allocating those cuts, known as the sequester.

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