Congress Averts Federal Government Shutdown, FY 2020 Spending Package Signed into Law
Last week, Congress passed—and President Trump signed—a compromise spending deal to avert a government shutdown that would have gone into effect on December 20. The fiscal year (FY) 2020 spending package comes almost three months into the current fiscal year, a delay due to disagreements over highly political issues, including boarder wall funding (led by the White House), Affordable Care Act tax repeals (led by Republicans), and gun and election security measures (led by Democrats). The compromise spending package totals $1.4 trillion, with a $22 billion increase in defense spending (money that the President would be able to transfer in order to fund the proposed boarder wall) and a $24.5 billion increase in nondefense spending.
Each of the 12 appropriations areas would receive an increase in funding over FY 2019 levels:
- Energy and Water: $48.3 billion ($3.7 billion increase)
- Commerce-Justice-Science: $73.2 billion ($9 billion increase)
- Agriculture-FDA: $23.5 billion in discretionary funding ($183 million above the fiscal 2019 level)
- Defense: $695.6 billion total ($20.7 billion increase)
- Financial Services: $23.8 billion ($673.3 million increase)
- Homeland Security: $50.5 billion ($1.1 billion increase)
- Interior-Environment: Almost $36 billion ($437 million increase)
- Labor-HHS-Education: $184.9 billion ($4.9 billion increase)
- Legislative Branch: More than $5 billion ($213 million increase)
- Military Construction-VA: $110.4 billion ($10.7 billion increase).
- State and Foreign Operations: $54.7 billion ($467 million increase)
- Transportation-HUD: $74.3 billion ($3.2 billion increase)
In terms of the political battles that delayed the compromise bill, $425 million will be allocated for election security grants along with $7.6 billion for the Census Bureau ahead of the 2020 survey; $25 million is allotted for gun violence research at the Centers for Disease Control and National Institutes of Health; and as previously stated, the President maintains his authority to transfer funds from the Defense Department’s budget to fund the proposed board wall. The legislation also repeals three “Obamacare” taxes.
Disclaimer: This article was drafted in advance and at the time, Congress was expected to pass—and the President was expected to sign—the spending agreement.