On August 2, President Trump signed into law a two-year bipartisan budget agreement . This legislation raises spending limits by $320 billion over sequestration levels and suspends the federal debt ceiling until July 31, 2021.
Prolonged negotiations around fiscal year (FY) 2019 spending levels have finally come to a close, with Congress and the Administration approving a spending package that modestly increases spending levels on housing and community development programs. Lawmakers now need to raise the spending caps for FY 2020 to avoid budget sequestration.
Earlier this year, an uncharacteristically smooth appropriations process allowed lawmakers to pass FY19 spending legislation funding nearly 75 percent of the government. The remaining federal agencies were bundled together in a continuing resolution (CR), which expires at midnight tonight.
Enterprise offers an insight on the legislative outlook and advocacy strategy in the lame duck session and the 116th Congress, including the current frontrunners for leadership positions on key appropriations and tax committees in both chambers.
On Wednesday, the Senate passed its bipartisan “minibus” spending package, H.R. 6147, with a 92-6 vote. The $154.2 billion package combined four separate spending bills for Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19), appropriating funding for the Departments of Agriculture, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Treasury, and the Interior.
This morning the administration released the president’s fiscal year (FY) 2019 budget request, which proposes dramatic cuts to housing and community development programs across agencies, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the USDA Rural Housing Service, and the Department of Treasury.
With the fate of health care reform uncertain, Republican leaders in Congress have turned their attention towards comprehensive tax reform in hopes of achieving a legislative victory before the year’s end. While major differences within Congress are sure to complicate the tax reform process moving forward, a series of hearings over the last week in both chambers of Congress have focused on common themes, including how tax reform will help small businesses, middle class families and working individuals.
On June 29, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs held a hearing on “Principles of Housing Finance Reform,” marking the Senate’s first formal step this year to discuss the mortgage finance system, including the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage companies that were placed into government conservatorship more than eight years ago.