Published on Mar 13, 2019
President’s FY 2020 Budget Released
On March 11, 2019, the President released his fiscal year (FY) 2020 budget request to Congress. This broadcast will outline the major proposals included, list the impacts to tribal programs funded in the federal budget, and comment on the outlook for passage of the proposals.
The President’s budget proposes reducing FY 2020 non-defense discretionary (NDD) funding by $54 billion (9 percent) below the FY 2019 level, and by $69 billion (11 percent) after adjusting for inflation. The proposed amount follows the cap set by the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011 and which was lowered through sequestration. The proposed decreases to NDD accounts would undermine the ability of the federal government to meet its treaty and trust obligations, with the proposed budget cutting Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Indian Education (BIA/BIE) by about 10.5 percent compared to the 2019 continuing resolution level. Other agencies would see cuts of 12 percent for the Department of Health and Human Services, 18 percent for Housing and Urban Development, and 31 percent for the Environmental Protection Agency. See the attached full analysis for details of proposed funding for tribal programs by department.
Competing Budget Plans
House Budget Chairman John Yarmuth will be writing a FY 2020 budget resolution which will set discretionary spending limits higher than the current caps. Without a caps deal, the House is likely to pass a deeming resolution, which is used when the House and Senate have not agreed on a budget resolution. Under this deemed budget resolution, the House could begin writing appropriations bills.
In the Senate, Budget Chairman Enzi is expected to write the budget resolution abiding by the statutory caps used in the President’s budget. For the Senate to consider spending bills on the floor, the body would have to set enforceable spending limits in a deeming resolution. House Majority Leader Hoyer, (D-MD), has raised the possibility of the two chambers agreeing to spending limits to allow the appropriations process to move forward. Whether Senate Republicans break from the President’s proposal will determine the outcome of such a spending limit agreement. The President’s budget is just the beginning of the appropriations process. Congress has the final say.
NCAI encourages tribal leaders and advocates to submit testimony to the respective appropriations committee in the House (testimony instructions here for Interior and here for other subcommittees) and the Senate (when the instructions become available).
Summary of Key Changes
· Indian Guaranteed Loan Program: No funds are requested for new loan guarantees under the program, -$8.4 million from the FY19 CR amount
· Housing Improvement Program, -$9.7 million FY19 CR amount
· Small and Needy Tribes, -$4.5 million from the FY19 CR amount
· Tribal Climate Resilience, -$9.9 million from the FY19 CR amount
· Scholarships and Adult Education
· Special Higher Education Scholarship
· Replacement School Construction
· Replacement Facility Construction
· Indian Community Development Block Grant
· Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant
· Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP)
· Community Service Block Grants
Education Department Eliminations
· Alaska Native Education Equity
· Strengthening AN/NH-Serving Institutions
· Native Hawaiian Student Education
· The President’s budget request for tribal programs at DOJ would increase funding overall. The increase would come as a result of a proposed 7 percent set-aside for tribal governments from across Office of Justice Programs discretionary programs.
· The Indian Health Service budget (IHS) request for FY 2020 is $5.9 billion, which is $392 million or 7 percent above FY 2019.
For the full analysis, see this attachment.
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