Congress Has Agreed to a Budget for 2021
Last August, Congress enacted the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019 (BBA19), which provided Congressional budgets for 2020 and 2021.
Without Congressional action, statutory caps on discretionary funding – set by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA) – would have forced deep cuts to defense and nondefense spending. Congress passed laws to avoid severe cuts in 2013, 2015, and 2018, and Chairman Yarmuth introduced the BBA19 to raise the caps a final time before they expire after 2021.
The BBA19 replaced the harmful, unrealistically low caps with a usable budget complete with:
- discretionary toplines for 2020 and 2021, making strong investments in our national and economic security possible;
- revenue levels and committee spending allocations consistent with current-law projections;
- accommodations for spending or revenue initiatives that are fully offset with other savings; and
- a two-year suspension of the debt ceiling to avoid default
It passed the House and Senate with bipartisan support, including “yea” votes from House Budget Chairman John Yarmuth and Ranking Member Steve Womack, House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey and Ranking Member Kay Granger, and Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby and Ranking Member Patrick Leahy. It was signed by President Trump on August 2, 2019.
With a bipartisan budget for 2021 already in place, Congress is ready to move forward with the appropriations process and make the necessary investments in our nation’s future. The House Budget Committee can use this year to continue its work to restore Congress’ power of the purse and rein in the unprecedented abuse of budget law and executive power that have occurred under this Administration.
Next year the provisions in the 2011 BCA will have expired. The House Budget Committee looks forward to drafting a 2022 budget, when the budget resolution will once again be the principal tool for establishing and enforcing Congress’ fiscal plans.