Arlene Conn, PHADA Policy Analyst
A final FY 20 appropriations package was released by House and Senate leaders on December 16, allocating $1.4 trillion in federal spending for the fiscal year that began on October 1. The legislation resolves differences between the House and Senate bills, which were put forward by each chamber earlier this year. The negotiated bill was approved on December 17 by the House on a vote of 297–120, on December 19 by the Senate on a vote of 71–23 and signed by the president on December 20, averting a government shutdown.
An agreement reached this past summer by the White House, Senate and House to increase federal spending caps for FY 20 and FY 21 led to the passage of the FY 20 spending bills. Without the spending cap agreement, nondefense discretionary spending (NDD) would have been cut by 9 percent from FY 19. The budget caps agreement provided for a $27 billion increase in NDD for FY 20 over the FY 19 level. Fiscal year 2021 will be the final year of mandated federal spending caps.
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