FY 2019 Appropriations Debate
On Thursday, December 6, the House and Senate passed a two-week continuing resolution (H.J.Res. 143) that would carry agencies without an approved FY 2019 budget, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, through December 21. President Trump is expected to sign the stopgap funding bill before current funding runs out at midnight on December 7. For more information, and a summary of the FY 2019 agriculture appropriations bills, see below.
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- FY 2019 AppropriationsAnnual 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.
In September, Congress worked on a series of appropriations packages (“minibuses”) to meet the September 30 FY deadline and avoid a government shutdown. On September 13, Congress sent the first minibus, H.R. 5895, to the President for his signature. On September 18, the Senate passed (93-7) another minibus, H.R. 6157, and sent it to the House, where it was passed on September 26 (361-61) and sent to the President for signature.
H.R. 6157 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—including the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The CR will fund these programs at FY 2018 levels through December 7.
On Thursday, December 6, the House and Senate passed a two-week CR (H.J.Res. 143) that would carry agencies without an approved FY 2019 budget, including USDA, through December 21. President Trump is expected to sign the stopgap funding bill before current funding runs out at midnight on December 7.
- FY 2019 BudgetOn 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 AppropriationsAnnual 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 BudgetOn 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.
- Refundable Tax CreditsThe 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.