CHN: Looking Ahead to FY18 Budgets
With FY17 appropriations wrapped up, advocates and Congress are looking ahead to Fiscal Year 2018, which begins October 1. The House Budget Committee was previously expected to take up its FY18 budget resolution as early as the week of May 15, but recent reports are that they will wait until after the Memorial Day break, with the Senate Budget Committee waiting until June. President Trump is expected to release his full FY18 budget the week of May 22; this budget is expected to include proposals for revenues and for mandatory spending areas such as Medicaid, Medicare, and SNAP, as well as details left out of his preliminary FY18 budget request released in March. For information on President Trump’s preliminary FY18 budget request (also called a “skinny budget”), which included $54 billion cuts to nondefense programs to pay for an equal increase in Pentagon spending, see the April 3 Human Needs Report. You can also view a recording of CHN’s webinar on the Trump budget here. For more information on all things related to the FY18 budget, see CHN’s FY18 budget resource page.
Advocates are concerned that the House GOP budget will contain massive cuts that would be devastating to human needs programs. Any additional cuts would be on top of sequestration-level funding, which is scheduled to go back into effect for FY18 unless a bipartisan budget deal is reached to lift the spending caps.
Republicans in Congress hope to use a special process known as reconciliation with the FY18 budget resolution that would allow them to pass tax reform, and possibly reforms to entitlement programs, with only a simple majority in the Senate. If Congress wants to make use of this year’s reconciliation bill, they must complete it before they pass an FY18 budget resolution. A budget resolution is a plan through which Congress sets certain spending/taxation rules for itself; it does not go to the President for his signature and does not become law. Failure to pass a FY18 budget does not stop Congress from working on and passing FY18 appropriations bills.