On August 2, President Trump signed into law a two-year bipartisan budget agreement. This legislation raises spending limits by $320 billion over current levels and suspends the federal debt ceiling until July 31, 2021. The deal passed the two chambers of Congress after being negotiated by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12) and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin.
Now that President Trump has signed the bill, Congress will need to pass FY20 appropriations legislation to keep the government open after September 30. The Senate’s first step will be to assign 302(b) allocations to appropriations subcommittees, which provides each of the 12 subcommittees with top-level funding numbers for their individual bills. Appropriators will then need to work quickly to mark up those measures, so they can start negotiations on final bills with House lawmakers, who already marked up all their FY20 measures and passed 10 on the House floor. Negotiations will need to address the fact that the top-line numbers used by the House are slightly higher than the budget deal allows for, as the new agreement provides about $15 billion less for non-defense programs. According to Representative David Price (D-NC), who chairs the Transportation-HUD Subcommittee, Senate and House appropriators have already begun these discussions. Enterprise encourages Congress to quickly pass FY20 spending bills and provide strong funding levels for affordable housing and community development programs in 2020.
For more information, read Enterprise’s blog post on the budget deal.