Before adjourning for its spring recess, the U.S. Senate last weekend passed a budget resolution that includes a call for a “deficit-neutral reserve fund” to increase funding for the Byrne JAG program that funds state and local anticrime programs. The measure was sponsored by Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), who said, “Funding these law enforcement programs will put more cops on the beat and ensure that our officers have the equipment they need.”
Budget resolutions don’t appropriate federal funds, but the National Criminal Justice Association says the Casey amendment “will serve to telegraph the support of the Senate to the appropriations committee when it begins work on its annual funding bill later in the spring.” Both houses of Congress passed budget resolutions with sharply differing approaches. The House would reduce federal spending by $5.7 trillion through fiscal year 2023. The Senate would cut the deficit by $1.8 trillion over 10 years. President Obama is expected to send his budget request to Congress in mid-April.