Senate Deems FY2019 Budget Levels, House to Follow

While federal budget resolutions are supposed to be filed by April 15 and the budget is used to start the annual appropriations process, the House and Senate can instead pass deeming resolutions, which are simple resolutions that set the 302a allocations without advancing a budget.

House and Senate Republicans indicated their intention this week to forgo adopting a budget resolution for FY2019 and instead proceed with deeming resolutions. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Michael Enzi (R-WY) filed the overall spending limits for defense ($647B) and nondefense ($597B) discretionary programs. Those limits, which were set by the budget deal in February and now are considered approved once filed, allows the Senate to proceed with the FY19 appropriations bills. Publication of the levels allows the Senate to consider the FY19 appropriations bills on the Senate floor with the ability to enforce the levels through points of order. The filing also allows Chairman Enzi to enforce other budget rules. This doesn’t preclude the Senate from adopting a budget resolution at a later time. On the House side, House Budget Committee Chairman Steve Womack (R-AR) said that he also intends to deem the overall spending limits for FY19 in time to meet the House’s May 16 deadline. Womack said his committee still plans to draft a budget resolution that would show a path to a balanced budget in 10 years.

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