House Settles on Tentative Budget Agreement for FY 2018

The House Budget Committee is planning to release a budget resolution this week which calls for increased funding for defense programs while cutting domestic programs in fiscal year (FY) 2018. Reports suggest that the resolution would set domestic spending levels at $511 billion, which is $4 billion below the current allocations. If passed, the measure would also threaten funding for domestic programs beyond 2018, as it may instruct committees to cut up to $200 billion from mandatory domestic programs over the next decade.

While the House Appropriations Committee moves forward with the $511 billion topline number, the absence of a budget deal in the Senate has led appropriators in that chamber to begin drafting bills to FY 2017 levels – a slightly higher $518 billion. House and Senate spending bills will likely advance out of committee before the August congressional recess, but a busy legislative agenda calls into question whether either chamber will send appropriations bills to the floor before the end of the fiscal year on September 30. In that case, Congress will likely pass at least a short-term Continuing Resolution to fund the government in the beginning of FY 2018.

The low domestic budget numbers come on the heels of the President’s budget request, which called for a reduction of over $6 billion in the HUD budget, and could result in cuts to vital housing and community development programs. Orlando Cabrera, the former Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing under President George W. Bush, recently wrote in The Hill that these proposed cuts at HUD “will make it more expensive for the taxpayer to serve our nation’s communities” because limited funding for housing causes inefficiencies in the delivery of other services like healthcare and food. For more information on the budget and appropriations process, visit Enterprise’s blog.

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