White House delays 2014 budget after 'fiscal cliff' standoff

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The White House will delay submission of its budget proposal to Congress for fiscal year 2014 because of the protracted fight over the "fiscal cliff,"according to an official in President Barack Obama's budget office.

Mr Jeffrey Zients, deputy director for management at the White House Office of Management and Budget, told Congressman Paul Ryan in a letter dated Jan. 11 that the long period it took to resolve tax issues in the "fiscal cliff" deal led to delays in the administration's budget process.

"Because these issues were not resolved until the American Taxpayer Relief Act was enacted on Jan 2, 2013, the administration was forced to delay some of its FY 2014 Budget preparations, which in turn will delay the budget's submission to Congress," Mr Zients wrote in the letter.

"The administration is working diligently on our budget request. We will submit it to Congress as soon as possible." The deal over the so-called fiscal cliff made Bush-era tax cuts for middle class earners permanent while raising rates for individuals making US$400,000 (S$490,150) or more a year and households making US$450,000 or more a year.

Mr Ryan, the 2012 Republican vice-presidential nominee, is chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on the Budget.

Last year the White House submitted its budget proposal in early February. Mr Zients did not identify a delivery date for the fiscal 2014 budget proposal in his letter.

The 2014 fiscal year starts on Oct 1, 2013 and ends on Sept 30, 2014 .

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