The House Budget Committee approved on April 3, by a vote of 19-17, legislation that would raise the discretionary spending caps for fiscal years (FY) 2020 and 2021. The “Investing for the People Act of 2019” (H.R. 2021) marks an important first step in negotiations to raise the 2011 Budget Control Act’s austere federal spending caps that threaten to cut funding for important basic-needs programs, including affordable housing. The plan would raise the FY20 cap for non-defense discretionary (NDD) funding to $631 billion, a $34 billion (5.7%) increase over FY19, while raising the cap on defense discretionary spending to $664 billion, $17 billion above FY19. In FY21, the NDD cap would rise to $646 billion and the defense cap to $680 billion. The full House is likely to vote on the bill on Wednesday, April 10. NLIHC urges you to call your representative to support the bill.
NLIHC joined NDD United and more than 800 organizations to urge lawmakers to work together to end the Budget Control Act’s spending caps. The letter emphasizes: (1) the importance of nondefense discretionary (NDD) programs, including essential housing programs, (2) the harmful effects of budget cuts to-date that impact people who are homeless, unstably housed, and low-income, and (3) the equal importance of both defense and nondefense programs in America’s security at home and abroad, and thus the need for equal cap-relief. (NDD United is a broad group of stakeholders interested in protecting federal nondefense discretionary funding; NLIHC represents housing, homeless, and community development organizations on the steering committee of NDD United.)