NAICU Washington Update

House Passes FY 2020 Spending Bill

June 24, 2019

The House of Representatives recently passed significant increases in the federal student aid programs as part of a bill that provides over $1 trillion to fund most of the government for FY 2020. The bill passed on a party line vote of 226 to 203, with the votes against not reflecting members’ positions on student aid funding, but the sentiment that without a budget deal to increase the statutory spending caps, the bill should not be up for consideration. The White House issued a veto threat because the bill technically triggers sequestration cuts with the funding levels above the current statutory limits.  

The Senate has yet to start writing its FY 2020 appropriations bills, but Appropriations Chairman Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) is getting tired of waiting.  Sen. Shelby recently stated that he wants either a budget deal to increase the spending caps, or a Senate resolution deeming a spending total by July 1, so that the process the House has started can continue in the Senate. 

Bipartisan congressional leadership are reportedly meeting with administration officials in hopes of negotiating a two-year budget cap increase to avoid a government shutdown, paired with an increase in the debt ceiling to avoid defaulting on publicly held debt.  These conversations are expected to continue throughout the summer, until the beginning of the fiscal year and the expiration of extraordinary measures to avoid default become more pressing deadlines. 

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