Federal Budget FY18 Tracker: State of Play for Cities

Congress
Congress

Federal Investment in Our Cities

Last Updated 9/12/17

Your one stop as a local elected to stay up-to-date on the Fiscal Year 2018 federal budget appropriations process. We’ve compiled everything you need to know about the status of the important federal investments in your city.

NLC's Budget Tracker:

Follow the Numbers

This spring, the White House proposed an unprecedented $54 billion in cuts to federal funding for domestic programs important to cities and towns in the Trump Administration’s first budget. Since then, members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committee have met to debate funding levels for agencies and specific programs, with some important changes. Learn more about the appropriations process, learn key terms you may be hearing in the news, track the status of key funding for cities below and learn how your city can #FightTheCuts.

The Appropriations Process

Although the federal government has not passed a budget on time since 1996, this year’s appropriation process has been particularly unusual in the magnitude of cuts proposed from the start and the delayed timeframe that we are progressing through. Below is a timeline of a healthy appropriations process (left) compared to the current delayed timeframe for FY18 (right).

Appropriations Graphic

 

The President’s FY18 Budget

On March 16, the White House released its “skinny” budget proposal, which loosely outlined the president’s plan to cut $52 billion in federal spending on domestic programs. The president's full budget was release on May 23. NLC activated immediately to begin formulating plans to protect key sources of city investment that were slated for elimination, including the Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), TIGER grants and support for affordable housing. Subsequent appropriations bills coming out of Congress suggest the administration’s proposal has been largely rejected, but key city funding still faces potentially severe cuts.

The House of Representatives Appropriations Process

The House Appropriations Committee has now finished work on the twelve appropriations bills needed to fully fund the federal government: Agriculture and Rural Development, Commerce, Science, and Justice, Defense, Energy and Water, Financial Services, Homeland Security, Interior and Environment, Labor, Health and Human Services, Legislative Branch, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs,  State, and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development.

The Senate Appropriations Committee Process

In the Senate, six appropriations bills have been approved by the full Appropriations Committee: the Agriculture and Rural Development bill; the Energy and Water bill; the Commerce, Justice and Science bill; the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development bill; the Military Construction and Veterans’ Affairs bill; and the Legislative Branch bill.

Where We Are Now

Congress listened to America’s cities and has rejected most of the devastating cuts proposed in the administration’s budget. The House and Senate must now vote on their 12 appropriations bills; either individually, in small clusters known as minibuses or all at once through an omnibus spending package. In addition, the House Budget Committee must set top-level spending numbers for each of these appropriations bills. The House and Senate must then reconcile the differences between each other’s versions of appropriations bills, through a process known as reconciliation. Both chambers have to pass identical appropriations bills (or spending packages), at which point, the bill lands on the President’s desk for his signature by October 1, or else we risk a federal government shutdown.

Possible Outcomes

Budget Passes on or Before October 1: The President signs all appropriations bills or an omnibus bill that continues to fund the federal government through Fiscal Year 2018. Business continues as normal, assuming major cuts to city investment are averted. Although this is the intended outcome of the appropriations process, it is unlikely that a full budget will pass before October 1, a feat that has not occurred since 1996.

Continuing Resolution: If members of Congress are unable to pass a spending bill before October 1, they can pass a continuing resolution (CR) that maintains current Fiscal Year 2017 spending levels for a defined period of time. This is a likely outcome, but would only prolong the budget and funding cuts discussions throughout the year. CR’s can last anywhere from multiple months to as little as a few days.

Government Shutdown: For whatever reason, a budget or CR is not signed by the President on or before October 1, and the federal government begins to “shut down.” Full government shutdowns are relatively uncommon, but during such an event, non-essential federal employees are furloughed and government agencies begin cutting back on services. The shutdown continues until a spending package or a continuing resolution is passed.

Learn How to #FightTheCuts

As a city leader, your voice is critical to protecting your cities federal funding in the FY18 budget. Visit NLC’s Fight the Cuts toolkit for resources and information on how your city can advocate for a federal budget that supports cities.

Learn More

Budget Tracker: Where the Numbers Stand

Below is a quick rundown of the House numbers for FY18 as they currently stand, as well as NLC's correspondence to House Appropriations subcommittees. Search through the drop-down menus, organized by topic below, to find where the numbers currently stand for federal dollars to the programs that matter most to your city.

Print version of NLC's budget tracker available here.

Agriculture

A spending bill to fund the U.S. Department of Agriculture has passed both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. The bills reject most of the Trump administration’s budget request for deep cuts or elimination of programs, including for rural development programs. The timeline to bring either bill to the floor of their respective chamber is unclear.

NLC response to House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development and Related Agencies.

NLC response to Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development and Related Agencies

Program FY17 White House  House Senate

Rural Utility Service - Water and Waste Disposal Program

$1.25B

Eliminated

$1.25B

$1.25B

Rural Utility Service - Broadband Program

$27M

Eliminated Consolidated

$27M

$30M

Rural Business Cooperative Service - Rural Business Development Grant

$42.21M

Eliminated Consolidated

$58.2M

$64.3M

Rural Business Cooperative Service - Rural Cooperative Development Grants

$26.55M

Eliminated Consolidated

$21M

$26.55M

Rural Economic Infrastructure Grants

NA

$162M

$122.7M

NA

Rural Housing Service - Rural Community Facilities Program

$2.6B

$3B

$2.6B

$3B

Rural Housing Service - Rural Housing Insurance Fund Program / Single Family Housing Program

$1B

Eliminated

$900M

$1B

Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (mandatory funding)

$78.5B

$73.6B

$73.6B

$73.6B

Commerce

The Department of Commerce faced some of the most extreme cuts in the President’s FY18 budget request. While the House’s appropriations proposals walk back these cuts, including the elimination of the Economic Development Administration, the committee ultimately proposed a series of smaller cuts that could still harm communities. The Senate Appropriations Committee restores the majority of the cuts made under the presidential and House proposals, largely maintaining FY17 funding levels for critical programs.

Program FY17 White House House Senate

National Telecom-munications and Information Administration

$32M

$30M

$30M

$32M

Economic Development Administration

$276M

Eliminated

$176M

$254M

Minority Business Development Agency

$34M

Eliminated

$34M

$34M

Manufacturing Extension Partnership

$130M

Eliminated

$100M

$130M

Environment

Last week, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Environment passed a spending bill to fund the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI). Funding levels proposed by the committee are mostly good news for key local programs, rejecting cuts to the Brownfields and Superfund cleanup programs, along with regional ecosystem restoration efforts. The bill provides modest cuts to the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and WIFIA, while maintaining level funding for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. Within DOI, the Land and Water Conservation Program takes a hit, but the committee rejected a near elimination of the program.

The bill language also includes a policy rider that would allow EPA to withdraw the 2015 Clean Water Rule (aka “waters of the U.S.”/WOTUS) without following the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act and the requirement for public notice and comment period. While NLC has concerns with the 2015 rule, and has advocated for a revision, the ability of local officials to participate in the rulemaking process is a fundamental principle of the intergovernmental partnership.

The bill passed the full House Appropriations Committee on July 18. There is no timeline for when the bill might be brought to the House floor.

NLC response to House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior and the Environment.

Program FY17 White House House Senate

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Clean Water State Revolving Fund

$1.393B

$1.393B

$1.143B

TBD

Drinking Water State Revolving Fund

$863M

$863M

$863M

TBD

Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA)

 $30M

 $20M

$25M

TBD

Brownfields

$80M

 $69M

 $90M

TBD

Superfund

 $1.089B

 $762M

 $1.116B

TBD

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

$300M

Eliminated

$300M

TBD

Chesapeake Bay Watershed Initiative

$72M

Eliminated

$72M

TBD

U.S. Department of the Interior

Land and Water Conservation Fund

$400M

$26M

$275M

TBD

Energy and Water

A spending bill to fund the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) has passed both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. Important to cities and towns is the Weatherization Assistance Program, which aims to reduce energy costs for low-income households by improving the energy efficiency of their homes, and funding for the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, which supports programs such as the Better Buildings Challenge and SunShot program aimed at increasing energy savings from buildings and promoting renewable energy generation. While the Weatherization program would receive level funding compared to FY17, the Committees partially restored proposed cuts to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Similar to the Interior-Environment bill, House Energy-Water bill also includes a policy rider that would allow the Army Corps to withdraw the 2015 Clean Water Rule without following the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act and the requirement for public notice and comment period. A bid by Democrats to strip the rider from the bill failed by voice vote on the House floor.  This language is not included in the Senate bill.

The House bill is expected to be brought to the floor during the week of July 24 as part of a four-bill mini-omnibus package that includes the Defense, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction-VA bills. As the House took up the bill, an amendment by Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) was approved by voice vote that added $15 million to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy by taking away from DOE’s administration fees.

NLC response to House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development.

NLC response to Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development.

Program FY17 White House House Senate

 Weatherization
 Assistance Program

 $211.6M

 Eliminated

 $211.6M

$211.6M

 Office of  Energy
 Efficiency and
 Renewable Energy

 $2.1B

 $636 million

 $1.115B 

$1.9B

State Energy Program

$50M

 Eliminated

$50M

$50M

Homeland Security

The FY18 Homeland Security Appropriations bill reported out of the House Appropriations Committee reverses many of the deep cuts that were proposed in the President’s FY18 budget request.  The House bill would fund most of FEMA’s states and local grant programs at the same level as FY17 or slightly higher.

Program FY17 White House House Senate

Emergency Communications

$102M

$114M

$111M

TBD

Cybersecurity

$6.5M

$11M

$11M

State and Local Homeland Security Grant Program

$467M

$349M

$467M

Urban Area Security Initiative

$605M

$448.8M

$630M

Firefighter Assistance Grants

$690M

$688.7M

$690M

Pre Disaster Mitigation Fund

$100M

$39M

$100M

Flood Hazard Mapping & Risk Analysis Program

$177.5M

Elimated

$177.5M

Emergency Management Performance

$350M

$279.3M

$350M

Port Security Grants

$100M

$47.8M

$100M

Disaster Relief Fund

$7.328B

$7.351B

$7.327B

National Flood Insurance Program

$182M

$253M

$203.5M

Housing and Urban Development

The House bill would reduce HUD funding by 1.3 percent, to $38.3 billion, which is a significantly more favorable outcome for city priorities compared to the Administration’s proposed 20 percent cut that included the complete elimination of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, the HOME Investment Partnership Program, and the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative. Still, if the House funding reductions hold, cities will be on the hook to make up for lost federal dollars on a smaller scale. CDBG and HOME would be reduced by $100 million each and Choice Neighborhoods would fall to $20 million, an amount small enough to be considered a “placeholder” amount to keep the program on budget until more favorable funding levels become available. The brightest spot in the House HUD budget is a small increase for Homeless Assistance Grants. Funding for housing rental assistance would also grow by a slight amount, but not at the same rate as inflation which, along with other factors, could result in an overall loss of more than 100,000 housing vouchers next year.

The Senate bill is a far better outcome for city priorities, providing $20.244 billion in discretionary appropriations for HUD, which is an increase of $1.4 billion over last year.  Crucially, the bill was passed with unanimous bipartisan support, which may give the Senate additional leverage to maintain the higher overall funding levels compared to the House proposal.  The Senate bill maintains or keeps level city priorities like CDBG, HOME, and Housing Assistance.  Although the funding increase was sufficient to fully find existing housing assistance vouchers, it wasn’t quite enough to keep every program level.  One tough cut for cities in the Senate bill is the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, a place-based program that fostered innovative approaches to neighborhood revitalization, which would fall from $138 million to $50 million in the Senate proposal

NLC response to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development.

Program FY17 White House House Senate

CDBG

$3B

Eliminated

$2.9B

$3B

HOME

$950M

Eliminated

$850M

$950M

Choice Neighborhoods

$138M

Eliminated

$20M

$50M

Tenant Based Rental Assistance

$20.292B

Reduces Rental Assistance Programs by $1.9B

$20.487B

$21.365B

Project Based Rental Assistance

$10.816B

$11.082B

$11.5B

Public Housing Operating Fund

$4.4B

$4.4B

$4.5B

Capacity Building

$50M

Eliminated

$45M

$50M

Justice

The House bill would provide nearly $2.5 billion in funding to support local law enforcement programs. This is $440 million more than the President’s 2018 budget and $140 million more than 2017 appropriations. The bill increases certain local law enforcement programs, including funding for body worn cameras, the Second Chance Act, violence against women activities, drug and veterans’ courts, and mentally ill offenders. It also consolidates the COPS hiring grant program and Byrne JAG program under a single funding stream. However, the House bill cuts vital funding for addiction and recovery programs used to fight the opioid epidemic even more drastically than the cuts proposed by the White House.

Program FY17 White House House Senate

Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program

$319M

$239M

Consolidates and raises to $500M

$404.5M

COPS Hiring Grants

$122M

$134M

$207.5M

Body Worn Cameras

$21M

$21M

$22.5M

$22.5M

Second Chance Act (SCA)

$59M

$43M

$68M

$70M

Violence Against Women Prevention and Prosecution

$481.5M

$480M

$528.5M

$483.5M

Drug Courts

$39M

$37M

$43M

$43M

Mentally Ill Offender Act

$9M

$9M

$12M

$12M

Veteran Treatment Courts

$5M

$5M

$7M

$7M

Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act Activities

$19M

$18M

$12M for residential treatment
$14M for monitoring prescription drugs
$15M for other programs

$14M for residential treatment
$14M for monitoring prescription drugs
$21 million for other programs

Juvenile Justice Programs

$270M

$230M

$170.5M

$260M

National Instant Criminal Background Check System

$18M

$15M

$73M to help state efforts

$73M

Interagency Law Enforcement Crime and Drug Enforcement Program

$517M

$526M

$526M

$517M

State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP)

$193M

Eliminated

$220M

$100M

Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies

The House Appropriations Committee approved the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies spending bill to fund the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), U.S. Department of Education (ED) and related independent agencies prior to the August recess. Funding levels proposed by the committee provided $5B in cuts across funded agencies including: $1.3B cut to DOL, including a cut to critical workforce programs within their Employment and Training Administration (ETA); $542M cut to HHS; $2.4B cut to ED. The bill contains clear loses, including: elimination of Title II, Part A funding of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which provides funding for professional development for educators, class-size reduction, educator recruitment and retention, and mentoring; reduction of afterschool and summer funding through 21st Century Community Learning Center funding; and significant reductions to workforce education and training programs. The budget also contains positive news for local programs including rejection of proposed eliminations of key grant programs such as LIHEAP and SSBG, as well as the independent agencies of the Corporation for National and Community Service and the Institute for Museum and Library Science.

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies passed a spending bill to fund the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), U.S. Department of Education (ED) and related independent agencies on September7. Funding levels proposed by the committee provided $3B above the FY2017 level and $27.55B above the President’s budget request. The Senate bill’s numbers were mostly good news for HHS and ED and independent agencies, including $816M for programs to combat opioid abuse. The bill does contain clear losses with a proposed cut of $61.5M from DOL’s budget.

NLC response to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education.

Program FY17 White House House Senate

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)

$3.474B

$2.133M

$3.042B

$3.335B

Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP)

$434M

Eliminated

$300M

$400M

21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC)

$1.164B

Eliminated

 

$1B

$1.2B

Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants

$2.345B

Eliminated

Eliminated

$2.1B

Charter School Program grants

$342M

$509M

$370M

$367M

Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA)

$12B

$12B

$12.2B

$12B

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

$3.390B

Eliminated

$3.390B

$3.39B

Community Service Block Grant (CSBG)

$715M

Eliminated

$607.5M

$700M

Social Services Block Grant (SSBG)

$1.7B

Eliminated

$1.7B

$1.7B

Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS)

$1B

Eliminated

$1B

$1.02B

Institute for Museum and Library Sciences (IMLS)

$231M

Eliminated

$231M

$235M

Transportation

The House eliminated the innovative TIGER funding that directly invests in innovative city transportation projects, while the Senate not only funds TIGER but adds an additional $50M to it. Additionally, while the President zeroed out New Starts capital funding for transit and the House reduced it to a minimum to meet obligations, the Senate has restored the majority of this funding in their budget.

Both the House budget and Senate budget have rejected the President’s proposal to privatize the nation’s air traffic control operations, but the Senate went farther and affords $1.1B for the FAA Next Generation Air Transportation Systems (NextGen) and fully funds the Contract Towers program to ease congestion and reduce delays while flying. The Senate bill also restores long-distance rail service, which was cut entirely out of the President’s budget, with $1.6B going to Amtrak for the Northeast Corridor and the National Network.

NLC response to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development.

Program FY17 White House House Senate

TIGER program

$500M

Eliminated

Eliminated

$550M

Amtrak

$1.4B

$630M – Eliminates long distance Amtrak routes.

$1.4B

$1.974B

Transit New Starts

$2.41B

$1.4B

$1.75B

$2.133B

Aviation, including Essential Air Service

$13.4B

$13.23B

$13.5B

$16.97B