Congress needs to reach a FY 2018 budget deal by February 8th to avoid another government shutdown. Currently, House and Senate Democrats are still divided over whether they can agree to a budget deal without a DACA solution, while some Republicans are anxious about raising government spending caps for defense and non-defense spending by more than $100 billion. Despite this GOP leaders have left for their annual retreat in West Virginia punting further budget negotiations until next week. With a tight time-frame and internal party divides and party leaders still wagging fingers at each other, it is possible that additional short-term funding measures might be necessary before a long-term budget deal is achieved. NYHC urges Congress to reach a budget agreement next week that also lifts the automatic sequestration budget caps with parity between defense and non-defense discretionary funds.
In addition to passing the 2018 overdue budget deal, Congress also has the added pressure of raising the debt limit within the next six weeks. The Congressional Budget Office reported on Wednesday that the Treasury Department will likely run out of cash during the first half of March and be unable to pay its debt obligations fully. This is a month earlier than CBO previously projected due to anticipated effects of recent tax reform legislation.
Ideally, the budget for FY 2018 will be finalized by February 8th with the government spending caps lifted before we officially enter into the FY 2019 budget season. The White House has announced its FY 2019 Executive budget request will be released on Feb. 12th at the earliest. Housing advocates are bracing for the return of large proposed HUD budget cuts and harmful policy reforms that were in the President’s budget request last year, such as tenant rent share increases.