Last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12) announced that they will begin negotiations to reach a bipartisan, two-year deal to raise budget caps and avoid drastic cuts to discretionary spending. Democratic leadership in the House had hoped to consider a “parity” budget last week, which would have increased both defense and domestic spending. The House legislation would have allocated $733 billion for defense and $631 billion for domestic programs in fiscal year (FY) 2020, but was not brought to the floor for a vote after House progressives withheld their support and called for larger increases to domestic spending. The House instead passed a resolution that set a $1.3 trillion ceiling for the FY20 budget, providing appropriators in the chamber with a topline number for FY20 spending bills.
As negotiations continue and Congress heads into recess, Enterprise calls on lawmakers to reach a bipartisan deal to increase the budget caps and allow for much-needed increases to domestic discretionary spending, including affordable housing and community development programs. After a lengthy shutdown at the beginning of the year, returning to regular order will provide stakeholders, federal employees, and constituents with stability and certainty going into FY20.