The House and Senate both moved forward this week with their FY2018 budget resolutions. The House adopted its plan by a vote of 219 to 206. All Democrats and 18 Republicans voted against the measure. The Senate Budget Committee approved its FY18 budget resolution on a party-line vote of 12 to 11. The Senate is expected to take up the measure on the Senate floor the week of October 16 where its prospects in the full Senate aren’t certain. Senate Republicans can only lose two votes in order for it to pass the full Senate.
Both budget resolutions included reconciliation instructions for their respective tax writing committees to produce tax overhaul legislation. Republican leaders hope to conference their two budget resolutions quickly as House leaders want to unveil their tax reform legislation before the end of the month.
While budget resolutions typically are considered in the month of April preceding the beginning of the new fiscal year, Congress couldn’t move forward with an FY18 budget resolution until they had completed the FY17 budget resolution process. The FY17 budget resolution included reconciliation instructions for repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”). The FY17 reconciliation instructions expired on September 30.
The Senate Budget Committee’s FY18 budget resolution provides $549B in defense spending, $516B in nondefense spending, and $77B in Overseas Contingency Operations spending for FY18. The Senate budget resolution complies with the spending caps imposed by the Budget Control Act of 2011. The defense level of spending increases to $684B in FY2027 while nondefense grows at a much slower rate to $537B in FY2027.
The budget resolution also includes two reconciliation instructions to Senate committees. The first would allow the Finance Committee to pass tax cuts that would reduce revenues and change outlays and increase the deficit by not more than $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years. The second instructs the Energy and Natural Resources Committee to save at least $1 billion over the next 10 years.
During committee markup, Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) offered an amendment to retain a rule to require there to be a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score on committee-reported legislation 28 hours before it is voted on. The Senate budget resolution proposes repealing the rule, which is enforced by a point of order that can be waived with 60 votes. The amendment was not agreed to.
Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) offered an amendment to establish a deficit neutral reserve fund to implement work requirements for certain recipients of welfare programs not including Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation. The amendment was approved.
FY18 Senate Budget Resolution
FY18 Senate Budget Resolution Tables
FY18 Senate Budget Resolution Summary
The House FY18 budget resolution provides $622B in defense spending, $511B in nondefense spending, and $87B in Overseas Contingency Operations spending for FY18. The defense level of spending increases to $740B in FY2027 while nondefense decreases to $424B in FY2027.
The defense spending level in the House budget resolution is $73B over the FY18 spending caps set by the Budget Control Act of 2011. There is widespread recognition that a new bipartisan budget deal will be required to avoid sequestration in FY2018. Democrat support will be needed for any new budget deal.
FY18 House Budget Resolution
FY18 House Budget Resolution Report
FY18 House Budget Resolution Tables
FY18 House Budget Resolution Summary