Revisiting the BCA
While a partial federal government shutdown is the most immediate problem facing states, its resolution will be followed closely by another impending budget dilemma: the return to strict spending caps set by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA) for fiscal year (FY) 2020.
Until now, Congress has relaxed the BCA caps through a series of laws (each entitled the Bipartisan Budget Agreement [BBA]). However, no such agreement is in place for FY 2020 or beyond. As a result, non-defense discretionary spending is slated to decline by -$55 billion (-9%). Some in Congress have suggested incorporating a larger agreement to relax the FY 2020 spending caps into a deal to end the partial shutdown.
This brief revisits the BCA in the context of the current shutdown and the upcoming FY 2020 budget process.