Issue Report ● 2019 Budget
For Immediate Release: 
June 5, 2018
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
Once again, Republicans are front-loading the FY 2019 appropriations process to spend more on their priorities while failing to fully fund America’s priorities. Both the policy in the minibus bill on the Floor this week – and the process for considering these bills, which limits debate – short-change the American people.

This year, Republicans have diverted funding from February’s Bipartisan Budget Agreement increase to the “non-defense discretionary” budget cap toward security programs. As a result, many other priorities are flat- funded, including four of the twelve appropriations bills: Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education; Interior; Agriculture; and Financial Services. Here is a reminder of some of the items included in these programs, which are continually short-changed in Republicans’ budget and appropriations process:
  • Education, early childhood development, and skills training;
  • Science research, environmental protection programs, and clean energy development;
  • Economic development projects, such as community development block grants;
  • Health care and medical research, including veterans’ health care programs; and
  • Consumer and financial protections, regulation of Wall Street, and enforcement of Dodd-Frank.
The minibus on the Floor this week – which includes the bills for Energy & Water, Legislative Branch, and MilCon-VA – fails to fully fund critical domestic programs and includes policy riders that jeopardize environmental protections and public health. The bill:
  • Will lead to cuts in other key priorities.
    The minibus robs from future bills yet to be considered – such as Labor-HHS-Education; Interior; Agriculture; and Financial Services – in order to increase funding for security programs. This is short-sighted and will mean future bills will have less funding and result in undercutting job training and workplace programs that help workers get ahead, restricting access to Pell Grants that allow low-income students fund higher education, and limiting access to affordable health care.
     
  • Cuts funding for renewable energy and energy efficiency programs.
    Rather than investing in research that will help America lead in clean energy, Republicans are cutting $243 million from renewable energy and energy efficiency programs.
     
  • Lifts a ban on guns on Army Corps of Engineers lands.
     
  • Includes partisan riders that jeopardize public health.
    The minibus includes a number of controversial riders, including a repeal of the Clean Water rule, which seeks to protect drinking water sources for 117 million Americans, and a prohibition on key aspects of the National Ocean Policy from being implemented.
After breaking the record for the most closed rules in a single Congress, Republicans continue to stifle debate on priorities important to the American people. By packaging these appropriations bills together, instead of considering them individually, this process limits Members’ ability to offer amendments and sets up “gotcha” votes that pit priorities against one another. Republicans ought to return to allow full debate and work with Democrats to fund both our nation’s domestic and security priorities and adhere to the principle of parity.

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