House and Senate Committee Vote on Budget Resolutions

The House of Representatives passed by a vote of 219-206 a budget resolution on October 5 that proposes massive cuts to crucial safety net programs to pay for increases in defense spending and tax cuts that would largely benefit wealthy Americans. The Senate Budget Committee passed their version of the budget resolution on the same day by a 12-11 party-line vote. Budget resolutions set the overall guidelines for federal spending and revenue. They are nonbinding and are not signed by the president.

The House budget resolution would block-grant funding for HUD programs and would increase defense spending by nearly $1 trillion, while reducing investments in domestic programs by $1.3 trillion—to its lowest level since before the Great Depression. The resolution also calls for more than $4.4 trillion in cuts to mandatory programs, like Medicaid and food stamps, that ensure basic living standards for low income families.

In addition to setting spending levels for FY18, the Senate budget resolution establishes rules that will allow Republicans to pass tax cuts costing $1.5 trillion over ten years with a simple majority vote. The resolution sets topline spending levels at $549 billion for defense and $516 billion for nondefense discretionary programs, adhering to the spending caps required under the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011. These spending levels may be increased, however, if Congress can reach a bipartisan deal to lift the BCA spending caps. The Senate budget resolution slashes non-defense spending by $632 billion between FY17 and FY18 but does not propose similar cuts to defense spending. The resolution also proposes unspecified cuts to safety net programs, but unlike the House resolution, it does not provide reconciliation instructions to require these cuts.

The full Senate will now have to pass their version of the resolution when they return from recess on October 16. The two chambers will then conference to resolve differences between the two resolutions.

Learn more about the Senate budget resolution at:

Learn more about the House Budget resolution at: