Budget, Appropriations, And Allocations

On May 23rd President Trump released his budget proposal for fiscal year 2018, which included far-reaching and deep cuts to programs from AmeriCorps to the Veterans’ Homeless Reintegration program.

How far will this proposal go? According to the most recent Capitol Hill meetings conducted by our allies in the Committee to Investment in America’s Workforce, not far. Most Republicans on Capitol Hill are highly critical of the budget.

Budget  Changes in the Appropriations Process
This skepticism of the Administration’s budget may affect how the appropriations process unfolds. Speaker Ryan has historically been a champion of following regular order for government spending bills: Congress agreeing on a budget resolution, appropriations subcommittees in each chamber marking up 12 appropriations bills, then each bill being taken up separately in an orderly fashion. It’s been many years since the process unfolded this way, but this has been the Speaker’s line – and he was quick to blame Democrats when Republicans were in the minority and this process broke down. This year, however, rather than publicly break with the Administration in a series of appropriations markups, Republican Congressional leadership may instead claim that they have no floor time for full appropriations bills and direct appropriators to pull together a full-year continuing resolution, essentially bypassing the appropriations process.

The Committee to Invest in America’s Workforce has submitted written testimony to the Senate Labor-H subcommittee today, to which NYEC contributed.

Debt Limit Wrinkle
The Treasury Department is currently using so-called extraordinary measures to pay America’s bills, the last debt-limit increase having expired in March. These measures were originally estimated to prevent a default until after the August recess, but Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin – who reportedly favors a “clean” debt limit increase without policy riders and has called for the eventual abandonment of the debt limit as a concept – recently announced that the department would hit the ceiling sooner than expected.

According to a CQ Roll Call article, the White House invited several far-right groups to a meeting on May 26 to discuss concessions that could be extracted from Democrats in exchange for increasing borrowing authority. Concessions discussed include, from less painful/unusual to more painful/unusual:
• Matching any debt limit increase with spending cuts, as was done with the 2011 deficit reduction law;
• Extending the sequester;
• Adding work requirements to government assistance programs;
• Caps on mandatory spending;
• Pairing a debt limit increase with prioritizing the payment of interest in case the debt limit is not raised; and
• A balanced budget amendment.

FY17 WIOA Allocations Out Mid-June
Courtesy of Kay Tracy with Minnesota DEED: DOL plans to release final program-year 2017 WIOA Youth allocations in mid-June. They are currently tied up in the OMB review process at the White House. PY17 WIOA Youth allotments will be available retroactive to April 1, 2017, and will be similar to the “planning estimate” released to the states January 13 in TEGL 14-16.