Congress Passes CR Funding Government through December 22; Final Appropriations for FY18 Still Up in the Air
This week, Congress passed its second Continuing Resolution (CR) of the FY18 appropriations cycle, funding the government through December 22. With most of the attention for the past month being taken up by tax reform, leaders on the Hill still need to negotiate a budget deal that raises the caps set by the Budget Control Act of 2011. This CR buys lawmakers two weeks to reach an agreement on the topline funding levels that guide federal appropriations. Congress will likely then pass another short-term CR before the end of the year, giving appropriators some time to negotiate a final FY18 spending bill if and when a budget deal is reached.
While appropriators and stakeholders alike wait to see what spending levels will look like in the new year, some clues to where final numbers will end up can be found in the already drafted House and Senate FY18 appropriations legislation, which lawmakers drafted earlier this year without official budget guidance. Both chambers included some significant cuts to housing and community development programs, but they were smaller than originally expected when the President’s budget request was released last May. Enterprise’s budget chart provides a quick recap of where House and Senate funding levels lie for key affordable housing and community development programs in 2018.
Even though the House and Senate spending bills rejected the massive cuts proposed by the Trump Administration, Congress will be unable to fund many programs at even FY 17 levels if the caps are not raised. As always, it is critical to be in touch with your Member of Congress, urging them to raise the spending caps, (and simultaneously advocating for the higher funding levels generally found in the Senate bills) so that we can make necessary investments in affordable housing and community development programs that lift up neighborhoods and allow families and individuals to thrive.
For more information on FY18 appropriations, sign up for Community Developments, Enterprise’s daily email providing a quick overview of affordable housing and community development news, and Capitol Express, our more in-depth biweekly newsletter.