House Passes Budget Deal; Senate to Vote this Week

The House passed a two-year FY20-21 budget deal (H.R. 3877) on July 25 by a vote of 284-149. Congressional leadership and the White House announced on July 23 that they had reached an agreement to lift the low federal spending caps on defense and domestic programs by $321 billion for the next two fiscal years. The Senate will vote on the deal this week before leaving for a five-week recess.

The proposed deal provides a significant increase for defense and domestic spending over the levels set by the Budget Control Act of 2011. The proposal will increase domestic spending above current levels by $27 billion for FY20 and $29.5 billion for FY21. Under the agreement, domestic programs will receive a 4.5% increase in funding over FY19 levels, which is $15 billion less than the amount included in the previous House-approved spending bills. Although the dollar amounts for defense spending are higher than nondefense, the percentage increase is more modest, with defense spending growing by 3.1% for FY20 under the bill. The legislation also raises the federal debt ceiling until July 31, 2021.

Now that congressional leadership has reached an agreement, the Senate will begin working on its spending bills. The robust spending package passed by the House earlier this year is likely the high-water mark for housing and community development programs – advocates should urge their members of Congress to fund those programs at the House-approved levels. For more details on the House bill, see NLIHC’s analysis and budget chart.