Congress and Administration Negotiate FY18 Bipartisan Spending Deal

Discussions are underway between members of Congress and the administration to formulate a bipartisan spending deal that would raise the Budget Control Act limits on discretionary spending by more than $180 billion over two years. Negotiations are fluid, but reports indicate that congressional Republicans are proposing to increase defense spending by $54 billion and non-defense discretionary spending by $37 billion above the FY18 limits. Democrats continue to insist on parity between defense and non-defense spending increases. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) indicated that a budget deal could be finalized by the end November, but a number of hurdles remain. Some Republican law makers want to offset spending limit increases with cuts to entitlements, which Democrats say is a non-starter. Other Republican members want more resources for defense spending. A defense authorization bill passed by the Senate on November 16 authorizes $626 billion for defense, $23 billion more than the amount Republicans floated for bipartisan agreement.

Democrats want a legislative solution for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigrants who arrived in the U.S. illegally as children, but it appears increasingly unlikely that a DACA fix or funding for President Trump’s border wall will be included in a final appropriations deal.

NLIHC and the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding, a coalition of more than 70 national organizations, call on Congress to pass an FY18 appropriation that increases defense and non-defense spending equally and that fully funds affordable housing programs at HUD and USDA.