Budget & Appropriations – House Committee Passes FY 2017 Budget Resolution

The House Budget Committee passed a Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Budget Resolution (BR) on March 16 by a vote of 20-16. The BR serves as a blueprint for the next 10 years, setting overall spending and revenue goals. The FY 2017 BR cuts spending by $6.5 trillion over 10 years, at least half of which is to programs serving people with low incomes. The Committee supported the BR’s discretionary programs limits of $1.07 trillion for FY 2017, the amount agreed to in last year’s Balanced Budget Act. However, many only lent their support in exchange for the BR’s drastic cuts to mandatory programs, including Medicaid ($1 trillion), Medicare ($449 billion), and other unspecified mandatory programs ($1.5 trillion) which are expected to include Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, also known as food stamps). In addition, non-defense discretionary programs (which include education, employment, housing, and transportation) would drop from $518.5 billion in FY 2017 to $472 billion in 2018, a 9% reduction; after that funding would stay flat through 2026, eroding with inflation year by year. A surprise amendment to the BR also passed which would have tens of billions of dollars in mandatory spending cuts be attached to a “must-pass bill” this year to force the Senate to consider it. The House announced that the BR will not be taken to the House floor until after the spring recess. In the meantime, leaders already have agreed to consider a related bill. This free standing measure would cut mandatory spending by at least $30 billion over two years and $150 billion over a decade.

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