After the end of a session of Congress, CBO is required by law to issue a report that provides estimates of the caps on discretionary budget authority in effect for each fiscal year through 2021. CBO is also required to report whether, according to its estimates, enacted legislation has exceeded those caps; if the caps were exceeded, a sequestration (a cancellation of budgetary resources) would be required. In CBO’s estimation, such a sequestration will not be required for 2014. However, the Administration’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has sole authority to determine whether such a sequestration is required and, if so, exactly how the proportional cuts are to be made. Those determinations are based on OMB’s own estimates of federal spending.
Normally, CBO’s final sequestration report would be issued 10 days after the end of the session; however, because enactment of final appropriations for fiscal year 2014 was imminent in January 13, the end of that 10-day window for the most recent session, CBO wrote to the budget committees on January 13 stating that no sequestration would be required under the continuing resolution in place at that time and that a final report would be issued after 2014 appropriations were enacted. This is that final report.