FY17 Budget and Appropriations Update – March 18, 2016

Despite the House Freedom Caucus voting to reject the FY17 budget resolution during a meeting on Monday night, the House Budget Committee pushed forward with their scheduled markup on Wednesday. Members of the Freedom Caucus said that they would accept a budget resolution for $1.04T in discretionary spending, or $1.07T as long as there was an agreement that $30B in cuts in mandatory spending would be signed into law by the President at the same time.

While the Budget Committee did approve the budget resolution by a vote of 20 to 16 and the House often votes on it on the floor the following week, House leadership announced late this week that the budget won’t be on the House floor until after the Spring recess.

In an effort to garner conservative support for the FY17 budget resolution, the Ways and Means Committee approved three measures this week that provide about $98B in spending cuts and offsets over 10 years. The three measures are expected to move on the floor as part of a single measure carrying spending cuts and revenue-raising measures reported by several committees.

  1. HR 4722, a bill requiring inclusion of the taxpayer’s social security number to claim the refundable portion of the child tax credit. (Raises ~$19.9B over 10 years)

http://waysandmeans.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Johnson-TX03.pdf

  1. HR 4723, a bill providing for the recovery of improper overpayments resulting from certain Federally subsidized health insurance (“Obamacare”). (Raises ~$16.6B over 10 years)

http://waysandmeans.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Jenkins-KS02.pdf

  1. HR 4724, a bill repealing the program of block grants to States for social services. (Raises ~$16.5B over 10 years)

http://waysandmeans.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Brady-TX08.pdf

And the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved on a party-line 28 to19 vote legislation that would cut spending by $25 billion over 10 years. HR 4725 would repeal the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which was created under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act; reduce Medicaid reimbursements to states for prisoners; and scale back the federal match for the Children’s Health Insurance Fund.

HR 4725:

https://www.congress.gov/114/bills/hr4725/BILLS-114hr4725ih.pdf

Despite the questionable outcome of the FY17 budget resolution, appropriators on both sides are moving forward with their spending bills. The House Military Construction-Veterans Affairs (MilCon-VA) Appropriations Subcommittee is scheduled to mark up its FY17 spending bill in subcommittee next Wednesday morning (9 AM). Since 302(b)s have not been issued to subcommittees yet, MilCon-VA Subcommittee Chairman Charlie Dent (R-PA) has been given a “notional” discretionary spending figure. The Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to kick off marking up its spending bills with the FY17 MilCon-VA on April 14. However, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran (R-MS) said that his committee won’t necessarily follow the same order as House Appropriators for following bills.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and other Democratic leaders reiterated a call for passage of an emergency supplemental appropriations bill to address the Zika virus, opioid abuse, and the Flint, MI water crisis before the House adjourns for the Spring recess. The letter addressed to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) can be found at:

http://www.vantagepointstrat.com/govdoc20160318-171893/

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