In a report dated August 20, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) predicts that funding provided by House FY16 appropriations bills would exceed the sequester spending caps imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act for nondefense discretionary (NDD) programs by $1.8 million, while the Senate appropriations bills would not exceed the sequester-level spending caps. This means that if Congress were to enact appropriations bills at the House bills’ levels, Congress would be compelled to identify another $1.8 billion in cuts within the 12 spending bills.
However, it is highly unlikely any of the House’s FY16 bills will be enacted into law as is. It is equally unlikely that any FY16 appropriations bills will be enacted before the start of FY16 on October 1.
When House and Senate members return to the Capitol on September 8, they are expected to focus on the details of a short-term Continuing Resolution (CR). The CR would keep federal government programs funded at FY15 levels for the duration of the CR, which could be anywhere from four weeks to three months.
President Barack Obama has pledged to veto any appropriations bill that is based on the existing sequester caps. A CR will allow more time for Congress to work out a new budget plan that lifts the sequester caps.
NLIHC and numerous other housing and community development organizations are urging Congress to lift the sequester spending caps so housing and community development programs can be adequately funded in FY16. A broad array of nondefense discretionary organizations, through NonDefense Discretionary United, is circulating a sign-on letter to Congress urging the caps be raised. NLIHC encourages organizations to join it in signing this letter. The deadline to sign the letter has been extended to September 1.
Sign onto the NDD letter at http://nlihc.org/article/take-action-sign-letter-urging-congress-replace-unfair-sequestration-balanced-approach