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Chairman Yarmuth Introduces Investing for the People Act of 2019

Apr 2, 2019


WASHINGTON – Today, House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (D-KY) introduced the Investing for the People Act of 2019, a budget to stabilize discretionary funding levels over the next two years and ensure Congress can meet its obligations to the American people. The legislation is cosponsored by House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY).

“Congress owes the American people a government—and a budget—that works,” Chairman Yarmuth said. “The Investing for the People Act lays out a responsible framework for the country that ensures we make the needed investments for American families, our economy and our security. By moving this bill forward, we will bring responsible governing back to the budget process, avoid uncertainty and the unrelenting threats of a government shutdown, and meet our obligations to the American people.”

Since the passage of the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA) and its implementation of austerity-level spending caps, raising these caps to workable levels has become a standing bipartisan and bicameral necessity. Without Congressional action this year, defense and non-defense investments will face a $125 billion cut from 2019 levels.

The Investing for the People Act sets out a two-year budget for the country, lifting the caps for defense and non-defense discretionary spending to more realistic levels for 2020 and 2021, the final two years of the BCA.

The legislation will:

  • Adhere to the principle of parity – applying the same dollar increase to the defense and non-defense discretionary (NDD) caps.
  • Set the NDD cap for 2020 at $631 billion – a 5.7 percent increase over the 2019 cap – and $646 billion in 2021.
  • Set the defense cap for 2020 at $664 billion – a 2.6 percent increase over the 2019 cap – and $680 billion in 2021.
  • Allow for up to $8 billion per year for non-defense Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) activities that do not count against the cap, while preventing abuse of the OCO designation by limiting defense OCO for 2020 and 2021 to no more than this year’s level of $69 billion.
  • Provide upward adjustments to the NDD caps for two particularly important activities: carrying out the 2020 Decennial Census and supporting IRS tax enforcement activities.

The House Budget Committee will mark-up the legislation tomorrow, April 3, at 2 p.m.

Report: Investing for the People Act of 2019

Issue Brief: The Investing for the People Act Moves our Country Forward

Issue Brief: The Devastating Consequences of the 2020 and 2021 Budget Caps

Full text of the bill.

Section-by-section description of the bill.

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