Appropriations Negotiations Stall as December 3 Deadline Draws Near

Congress passed on September 30 a continuing resolution (CR) extending current funding levels for the federal government until December 3, 2021 (see Memo, 10/4), but since the CR was enacted, little headway has been made in finalizing federal appropriations for fiscal year (FY) 2022, and an additional CR will be needed. How long that CR will last is being debated.

The Senate Appropriations Committee released the text of several FY22 spending bills in October, including a Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) bill that would increase HUD funding by $5.7 billion over FY21 enacted levels. However, Senate appropriators have yet to reach an agreement on topline funding numbers for the FY22 omnibus spending package. House Appropriations Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Senate Appropriations Chair Patrick Leahy (D-VT) are considering enacting another short-term CR after the Thanksgiving recess that would extend funding further into December, with the goal of enacting a final FY22 spending package before the end of the year.

Republicans on the Appropriations Committee have expressed skepticism of moving an appropriations package before the end of the year, particularly with the Senate slated to begin work on the “Build Back Better Act” after the Thanksgiving recess. Senate Appropriations Vice Chair Richard Shelby (R-AL) anticipates enacting another CR that would push appropriations into February or March of 2022, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has threatened a year-long CR that would maintain FY21 funding levels for the entirety of FY22.

Long-term CRs have devastating consequences for affordable housing and community development programs and the people they serve. Because the cost of housing and development programs are tied to market rates, which generally rise every year, flat funding to these vital programs acts as a cut and reduces the number of people served.