Early this morning, the Senate and then the House hurriedly voted to pass a final short-term FY 2018 budget bill as the last short-term agreement expired at midnight. The approved legislation included a bi-partisan agreement to raise the debt ceiling and to lift top-line spending cap levels on defense and domestic priorities by a total of $300 billion for FYs 2018 and 2019. The short-term funding deal will keep the government running until March 23rd, which gives Congress more than enough time to work on and finalize its FY18 appropriation funding bills with the new spending caps.
This budget agreement provides a significant increase for defense and domestic spending over the levels set by the 2011 Budget Control Act. Non-Defense Domestic (NDD) spending would increase by $63 billion in FY18 and $68 billion in FY19. Defense spending would be increased by $80 billion in FY18 and $85 billion in FY19. The raising of NDD budget cap levels is important because over the last several years, the low spending caps made it difficult for Congress to fully fund HUD programs. As a result, now housing advocates have a better chance to not only protect HUD programs from cuts, but ask that HUD programs be funded at the highest possible levels allowed by the new caps for FY18 and FY19.
The bill also raised the debt ceiling and included $90 billion in disaster recovery funding for communities impacted by the 2017 hurricanes and wildfires, including $28 billion in Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery funding.
This signed FY18 budget bill comes one business day before President Trump is expected to unveil his FY19 budget request to Congress on Monday. Last week, a draft legislative proposal, which may be included in the President’s budget proposal on Monday, was leaked to the media. It proposes harmful rent hikes and work requirements on low-income HUD-subsidized families. As a result of the leaked draft proposals, the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities projects rents for HUD-subsidized tenants will go up by 20% or $780 annually on average nationally. In New York alone, rents would go up by 17% for over half a million residents.
Once the President’s budget is released, please stay tuned for our NY impact analysis.