Steady Start for FY 2016 Appropriations
A unified Congress has propelled the fiscal year (FY) 2016 appropriations process to a slow but steady pace. In the spring, Congress approved the first concurrent budget resolution since FY 2010. The budget resolution (discussed in Budget Brief 15-04) abides by the FY 2016 discretionary spending caps included in the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA). Since that time, there has been movement on almost all spending bills. Six bills have passed the House, with the remaining six being approved at the committee or subcommittee level. The Senate has been slower to move bills. While most have been approved at the committee level, none has been considered by the chamber as a whole.
Although there has been significant progress on appropriations bills, the outlook for enactment remains unlikely. The president proposed raising the BCA discretionary caps in his FY 2016 budget, and the administration has issued several veto threats on specific bills, indicating it does not support the budget framework approved by Congress.
This Budget Brief describes funding and policy provisions in appropriations bills that are relevant to states. Table 1 provides recommended funding levels for major grant programs based on the latest House and Senate actions. To date, discretionary funding for the programs included on the table would be reduced by -1% in both chambers.