FY 2019 Appropriations Debate

The federal fiscal year (FY) ends on September 30, leaving Congress a short window to pass its remaining FY 2019 appropriations bills. In order to meet the deadline and keep government programs funded, Congress is working on a series of appropriations packages (“minibuses”). One of the minibuses, H.R. 6157, passed the Senate on September 18 and is expected to pass in the House the week of September 24. The package consists of FY 2019 funding for Defense and Labor/HHS/Education, plus a continuing resolution (CR) for all agencies that do not have a FY 2019 budget passed by October 1—potentially including agriculture. The CR would carry these programs through December 7. For more information, and a summary of the FY 2019 agriculture appropriations bills, see below.

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  • FY 2019 Appropriations
    Annual funding for federal nutrition programs is provided through the agriculture appropriations bill. The agriculture appropriations bill is one of 12 appropriations (spending) bills that the House and Senate pass each year to keep government programs funded. The FY 2019 appropriations bills must pass the House and Senate by September 30. Track the FY 2019 appropriations process.

    Both the House and Senate will be in session the week of September 24  – which is the last opportunity to pass spending bills before the September 30 fiscal year (FY) deadline. After sending the first appropriations package (“minibus”) H.R. 5895 to the President for his signature on September 13, Congress is in conference negotiations on two additional FY 2019 appropriations minibuses to keep government programs funded and avoid a government shutdown. H.R. 6157, which cleared the Senate on September 18 by a vote of 93-7 and is expected to clear the House next week, consists of FY 2019 funding for Defense and Labor/HHS/Education, plus a continuing resolution (CR) for all agencies that do not have a FY 2019 budget passed by October 1. The CR would carry these programs through December 7. H.R. 6147, which consists of four FY 2019 appropriations bills (including agriculture), is still in conference and could potentially pass by the deadline, but if not, funding for these agencies will be extended in the CR.

    Check out FRAC’s summary of the FY 2019 House and Senate agriculture appropriations bills.

  • FY 2019 Budget
    On Monday, February 12, President Trump released his FY 2019 budget proposal. One key component: devastating proposed cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that reflect a total disregard of the critical role SNAP plays as a first line of defense against hunger and poverty for tens of millions of Americans. Check out a statement from FRAC President Jim Weill. For a summary of proposed reductions to SNAP and an overview of how other critical nutrition and social safety net programs fare in the president’s budget, check out FRAC’s newly released analysis (pdf).
  • FY 2018 Appropriations
    Annual funding for federal nutrition programs is provided through the agriculture appropriations bill. The agriculture appropriations bill is one of 12 appropriations (spending) bills that the House and Senate pass each year to keep government programs funded.

    On March 22 and 23, the House and Senate passed the FY 2018 omnibus spending bill, H.R.1625 – Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, that funds the government through the remainder of FY 2018 (September 30, 2018). The President signed it into law on March 23. For a summary of the bill, visit the House Appropriations Committee’s website, as well as the Committee on Appropriations Democrats’ page (pdf).

    Track the FY 2018 appropriations process, from subcommittee approval to final passage and public law.

  • FY 2018 Budget
    On Thursday, October 26, the House passed the Senate version of the FY2018 budget, 216-212. This set up a fast-track process (“reconciliation”) for the House and Senate to take up a tax cut bill.

    On Wednesday, December 20, Congress passed its tax cut bill, 224-201. The bill gives huge tax cuts to wealthy individuals and large corporations, while giving tiny tax cuts – or tax increases – to millions of low- and moderate-income households, adding $1.5 trillion to the overall U.S. deficit. GOP leadership has made it clear that in order to pay for that deficit, they will consider deep cuts to critical human needs programs, like SNAP. Check out FRAC’s statement on the passage of the GOP tax cut bill.

    Background:

  • Refundable Tax Credits
    The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) are two of the federal government’s more effective methods in which to lift individuals and families out of poverty. Both of these tax credits are refundable, meaning that they can reduce a filer’s tax burden to zero and any remaining amount is treated as a direct refund to the filer.

    Income thresholds for the EITC are dictated by marital status and number of children. Single childless workers can qualify for the EITC if their income is below $14,900 in the 2015 tax year.

    The CTC is worth up to a maximum of $1,000 per child under the age of 17. Unlike the EITC, a family’s CTC grows as their income grows.

Did You Know?

Every year, Congress is supposed to follow a similar schedule of events throughout the budget and appropriations process. However, in recent years, this process has not always been followed — but the general schedule remains the same.