Low-Income Programs Shortchanged by Appropriations Committee

Subcommittee Allocations for FY17 Will Be
Key in Funding Affordable Housing

Center on Budget and Policy PrioritiesA new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) analyzes how the Senate and House Committees on Appropriations allocated the $33 billion in funds for non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs made available by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.

The report concludes that appropriators “allocated the available non-defense funds among the eleven subcommittees with non-defense responsibilities in a way that shortchanged low income and other social programs.”

CBPP’s analysis finds the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) and Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-H) appropriations subcommittees each received an increase of 3.6% for FY16 relative to their FY15 funding levels while the other nine NDD subcommittees received an average increase of 6.9%. THUD and Labor-H subcommittees “handle more than four-fifths of all appropriations for low income programs.”

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (BBA) lifted the sequester spending caps for defense and nondefense discretionary programs, allowing the FY16 appropriations process to move forward and the omnibus spending bill for FY16 to be enacted.

The CBPP report goes on to state, “For 2017, the budget agreement holds total defense and non-defense appropriations at essentially the 2016 level,” making the funding landscape in FY17 more challenging than in FY16.

Advocates should pay close attention to the subcommittee allocations, referred to as 302b allocations, for FY17 to ensure affordable housing and other low-income programs are not shortchanged again.

Full CBPP Report