The U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations, led by Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) and Ranking Member Susan Collins (R-ME), held its first full committee meeting on March 2 to begin planning a path towards a fiscal year (FY) 2024 budget agreement. Appropriations season will officially kick off after President Joe Biden releases a topline summary of his FY24 budget request on March 9.
Committee members reasserted their determination to reach a bipartisan agreement on topline funding numbers and move the 12 appropriations bills through markup and, eventually, to the Senate floor. Both Chair Murray and Ranking Member Collins have also voiced their opposition to combining the 12 bills into one omnibus spending package, insisting instead on moving the bills through regular order.
This reassurance comes as House Republicans continue to threaten steep budget cuts in the FY24 budget in exchange for raising the nation’s debt ceiling, including a proposal to cap FY24 spending at FY22 levels, which would result in an estimated $130 billion in cuts from non-defense discretionary spending. According to a report from the Senate Democratic Policy and Communications Committee (DPCC), such a proposal would result in an across-the-board funding decrease of between 12% and 30%, depending on how cuts are distributed. A recent analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) estimates that capping spending at FY22 levels could result in an average cut of 24% across non-defense programs, depending on which programs are prioritized.
In April, following the release of the President’s budget request, U.S. House Committee on the Budget Chair Jodey Arrington (R-TX) is expected to release a budget resolution outlining House Republicans’ proposed topline spending cuts. U.S. Senate Committee on the Budget Chair Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) has yet to determine whether the Senate will release a budget resolution, or whether the Senate will charge ahead with its appropriations work without one.
It is unacceptable to balance the federal budget by demanding cuts to programs that help the lowest-income households survive. There is a national shortage of approximately 7 million affordable, available homes for people with the lowest incomes, and only one in four households who qualify for federal housing assistance receives the help it needs. Without adequate funding for vital federal affordable housing and homeless assistance programs, households with the lowest incomes will continue to live precariously, only one missed paycheck or unexpected emergency away from housing instability, eviction, and, in the worst cases, homelessness.
- Sign your organization on to the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding’s (CHCDF) annual budget letter, calling on Congress to reject spending cuts and instead provide the highest possible allocation for HUD’s and USDA’s affordable housing, homelessness, and community development programs in FY24.
- Email your members of Congress today and urge them to increase – not cut – resources for affordable housing and homelessness in FY24 and to support NLIHC’s top appropriations priorities:
- Full funding for the TBRA program to renew existing vouchers and to expand the program to an additional 200,000 households.
- Full funding for public housing operations and repairs.
- Full funding for HUD’s Homeless Assistance Grants program.
- $100 million for legal assistance to prevent evictions.
- $3 billion for a permanent Emergency Rental Assistance program.
- Increased funding for the competitive tribal housing grants, targeted to tribes with the greatest needs.
- Check out NLIHC’s advocacy toolkit, “Oppose Dramatic Cuts to Federal Investments in Affordable Housing,” for talking points, sample social media messages, and more!
Visit our Take Action page to learn about more ways you can get involved!