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Senate Passes Budget Resolution

The Senate passed a budget resolution, bringing Republicans in Congress one step closer to enacting tax reform legislation and final appropriations bills. While a budget resolution is nonbinding and is not signed by the president, it is a necessary step that Republicans must take if they hope to enact tax reform legislation with a simple majority.

The Senate budget resolution included an amendment – offered by Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) and approved by House leaders – to allow Congressional leaders to avoid the time-consuming process of reconciling the House and Senate versions. The House is expected to vote on the Senate version soon.

While the House budget resolution had called for deficit-neutral tax reform legislation, the Senate version allows for tax cuts that would increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion. Moreover, the Senate version does not include the House proposal to cut mandatory spending for safety net programs that provide families with basic living standards. Democrats warn that increasing the deficit in this way will lead to deep spending cuts to important domestic programs, including affordable housing and community development programs.

The budget resolution also sets spending limits for FY18, but these figures carry little political weight because the budget resolution is non-binding and because any final appropriations bill needs 60 votes to be enacted. Congress must pass another Continuing Resolution (CR) or enact its final spending bills when the current CR expires in early December. NLIHC and other national leaders have called on Congress to lift the spending caps for defense and domestic programs equally.

Learn more about the Senate budget resolution at:

Learn more about the House budget resolution at: