Appropriations Portal: The 12 Annual Bills

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FY 2018 Continuing Resolutions
Understanding the Parity Issue and Spending Caps
UPDATED: Spending Caps Increased in 2013, 2015, and 2018
Appropriations Links
Recent Developments
The 12 Appropriations Bills
FY 2017 Appropriations
General Reports on Appropriations
Historical Database: Appropriations & Budget Resolutions

                 FY 2018 APPROPRIATIONS

Link to Status Chart for FY 2018 Appropriations

FY 2018 Continuing Resolutions:

What is a CR?  Congress’ annual objective is to complete action on all 12 appropriations bills by October 1 when the new fiscal year begins. However, due to escalating disagreements on fiscal policy, it is rare for Congress to complete action on all 12 bills by October 1. The last time was 1996.  Instead, Congress often passes stop-gap measures, called “continuing resolutions,” to keep agencies operating at a particular level of funding (often the previous year’s funding level, with some adjustments) while they endeavor to complete appropriations action.  Sometimes, multiple CRs are adopted before final agreement on appropriations is reached.  And occasionally, political gridlock prevents adoption of a CR and the federal government shuts down.  Lengthy government shutdowns occurred in 1995 and 2013; a brief shutdown occurred in 2018.

  • 5th CR: Jan. 22, 2018:: Bipartisan Budget Act include a continuing resolution through March 23 providing time for negotiating FY’18 appropriations consistent with the new caps.  
    • CR also includes provisions relating to the 2020 Decennial Census; the Strategic Petroleum Reserve; the Southeastern Power Administration; juror fees; the Federal Family Education Loan program; the F-35A program; the Department of Transportation credit programs; authorization of the HOPE VI program; Indian Health Service facilities; and requirements for public institutions of higher education operating in severely economically distressed communities.
    • Read the Appropriations Committee CR summary
  • 4th CR: Jan. 22, 2018:  The Senate voted 81-18 to pass a stopgap funding measure (as an amendment to HR 195) to keep the government funded through February 8, 2018.  The House passed the measure by a largely party line vote of 266-150.  Following is the bill text, explanation, and cost :  Bill Text • Section-by-Section Summary • CBO cost estimate (although bear in mind that the expiration date has changed to February 8, 2018).  The stopgap funding measure:  
    • Continues funding for federal programs and agencies through Feb. 8;
    • Reauthorizes for 6 years the expired Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) — a jointly financed Federal-State program that covers 9 million low-income children from families that have annual incomes above Medicaid eligibility levels but lack health insurance; and
    • Delays several Affordable Care Act taxes at a cost of $30 billion (suspends for 2018 and 2019 the 2.3% medical device excise tax for another two years, delays to 2022 the so-called “Cadillac tax” on high-cost employer-sponsored health plans for two years, and suspends for 2019 an annual excise tax on health insurers).
  • 3rd CR: Dec. 21, 2017:  House and Senate passed (and the President signed on Dec. 22) a third stop-gap continuing resolution (HR 1370) to keep the government funded through January 19, 2018The current stopgap CR:
  • 2d CR: Dec. 8, 2017  HJRes 123 (thru 12/22/17)
    • continues funding for all departments and agencies at FY 2017 levels
  • 1st CR: Sept. 8, 2017:  HR 601 (thru 12/08/17)

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Understanding the Parity Issue and Spending Caps:

  • The recently concluded spending negotiations were focused on “discretionary (non-entitlement) spending” which has declined from two-thirds of the budget in 1968 to less than one-third (30%) in 2018.  Total discretionary spending is split about equally between defense and non-defense discretionary (NDD).
  • Non-defense discretionary funds a multitude of government operations and programs including law enforcement, veterans healthcare, homeland security, education, prisons, NASA, disease and epidemic control, highways & bridges, food and drug inspection, disaster relief, airports, health research, housing assistance, and many other functions of government.
  • “Parity” refers to the desired policy of Democrats to increase the existing statutory caps on the defense and non-defense categories of discretionary spending by equal amounts.
  • Senate GOP Leader McConnell argued against parity pointing out that the Budget Control Act of 2011, which put the spending caps in place, took a larger bite out of defense than non-defense, but this ignores the fact that DOD receives more than 10% of its funding ($65 billion in FY ’17) from an off-budget war funding account (Overseas Contingency Operationsnot subject to the spending caps.  (Non-defense programs are also augmented by off-budget “emergency spending,” but defense off-budget spending has been more than four times larger since 2012.)
  • The rest of the budget — more than two-thirds — is spending on auto-pilot (so-called “mandatory” spending) — Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other entitlements and interest on the federal debt.  Link to CBO’s long-term budget outlook to understand the growth in mandatory spending.

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Spending Caps Increased in 2013, 2015, and 2018

Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 raised the statutory caps on discretionary spending by a total of $296 billion over FY’18 and FY’19.

  • Defense caps:
    • FY’18 increased from $549 billion to $629 billion (+$80 billion, 15%)
    • FY”19 increased from $562 billion to $647 billion (+$85 billion, 15%)
  • Non-Defense caps to increase $63 billion in FY ’18, and $68 billion in FY ’19.
    • FY’18 increased from $516 billion to $579 billion (+$63 billion, 12%)
    • FY’19 increased from $529 billion to $597 billion (+$68 billion, 13%)

The chart below displays the Statutory Spending Caps on Defense and Non-Defense Discretionary Spending as enacted by the Budget Control Act of 2011, and subsequently reduced (“sequestered”) by the inaction of the Joint Committee on Debt Reduction, and subsequently raised by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, and the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.   (Source for update numbers: CBO Sequestration Report and BBA of 2018)

Download PDF of Table Below

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Appropriations Links:

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Recent Developments:

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The 12 Appropriations Bills:

  • Homeland Security Appropriations
    7/18: House Full Committee Approved:  Summary   Report   Text
    (Incorporated into omnibus measure, passed 9/14.) 

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                  FY 2017 APPROPRIATIONS

  • ’17 REPORT LANGUAGE:   Following is “report language” on each of the annual appropriations bills included in the FY 2017 Consolidated Appropriations Act.  Report language states the “intent of Congress” underlying the appropriated amounts.  With respect to FY 2017 Appropriations, there are three types of report language linked to below: (1) explanatory statements released along with the final legislative language in May 2017; (2) House Appropriations Committee language; and (3) Senate Appropriations Committee language.

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General Reports on Appropriations:

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Historical Database:  Appropriations & Budget Resolutions

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