House Budget Would Keep Slashing at Non-Defense Programs

Sequestration Could Return in 2018

House Budget Would Keep Slashing at Non-Defense ProgramsOn April 4, 2016, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ David Reich wrote that “As part of ongoing Republican efforts to balance the budget by spending cuts alone (and only in non-defense programs), the House budget would impose huge new cuts to non-defense discretionary spending after 2017 — cuts that would take that spending category far below even the historically low levels set by the 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA), as further reduced by sequestration.”

Unless leaders in Washington work to prevent it, sequestration will return in 2018.

The House budget adheres to last year’s agreement between the President and Congress to partially raise the post-sequestration funding level for non-defense appropriations and set funding for that category for 2017 at $518.5 billion.

Even with the relief, funding in 2017 is 13 percent below the 2010 level adjusted for inflation.  But the budget would cut those programs by $47 billion (or $58 billion in inflation-adjusted terms) for 2018 and then freeze funding at that level for the next eight years, leaving inflation to steadily erode the value of that spending level.

Non-discretionary spending includes housing assistance. Non-defense spending in the House Budget would fall to 2.8% of the gross domestic product and would continue to fall to record lows.

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