Federal Budget News

Current Status of FY2018 Budget

  • A continuing resolution (CR) was enacted on September 8 through December 8, 2017 (PL 115-56). The measure provides $15 billion in emergency assistance to respond to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, raises the debt ceiling to allow the United States to meet its financial obligations, and continues to fund the government through December 8. For more information, see the bill summary.
  • FY2018 Senate Appropriations. On September 7, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved its version of the FY2018 Labor, HHS, and Education Appropriations bill. For early learning programs, the Senate bill freezes funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) and Head Start at the FY2017 level.  The Senate FY2018 Labor, HHS and Education Appropriations bill summary here is here. The Senate Committee report is here and the bill text is here.
  • FY2018 House Appropriations:  The House Appropriations Committee has approved its verson of the FY2018 Labor, HHS, and Education Appropriations bill. Learn more here.  The House FY2018 Labor, HHS and Education Appropriations bill summary is here. The House Committee report is here and the bill text is here.

FY2018 Proposed Budget: On May 23, President Trump proposed his FY2018 budget.

FY2017 CR FY2018 Trump and House FY2018 LHHS Aug 16 2017

Source: Division H- Departments of Labor, HHS and Education and Related Agencies, FY2017, Contained in the FY2017 Omnibus Appropriations Act, P.L. 115-31; FY2018 Proposed Budget by President Trump.  https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget; FY2018 House Labor, HHS and Education Appropriations bill, https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/23920.pdf.

FY2017 Omnibus Appropriations Act (PL115-31) was enacted on May 4, 2017.

FY2017 Continuing Resolution (PL114-254) Approved in December 2016

Congress adjourned in December without passing a full year continuing resolution (CR). Instead, a short-term continuing resolution funding the government through April 28, 2017 was enacted. In order to stay within budget caps enacted as part of the 2015 budget law, a .19% across the board cut was applied.  Some spending is exempt from the cap. For example, the Overseas Contingency Fund (OCO) was awarded an increase of about $10 billion to fight ISIS and enhance security (i.e. $5.8 billion for the Pentagon and $4.3 billion for the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development). The CR also includes a few other exemptions to the cap on spending such as $4.1 billion in disaster relief.

Continuing Resolution for FY2017 Approved in September 2016

On September 28, two days before the end of the fiscal year, Congress approved a Continuing Resolution (CR) to continue federal funding through December 9, 2016. A 10 week CR was necessary because the fiscal year ended September 30th and Congress was scheduled to adjourn (i.e., recess through the November elections).  Funding was largely continued at FY2016 levels (a freeze) until final determinations can be made in December. Note: An across-the-board spending reduction of .5% was applied in order to keep spending below budget caps.

Many funding decisions will need to be made when Congress reconvenes after the election.  It is unclear whether funds will be frozen as part of an FY2017 6 month CR, a year long CR, or potentially informed and adjusted based on committee action earlier this year. Stay tuned!

House Appropriations Committee: On July 14, the House Appropriations Committee approved its version of the FY2017 Labor, HHS and Education Appropriations bill by a vote of 31-19.

Senate Appropriations Committee: On June 9, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved its version of the FY2017 Labor, HHS and Education Appropriations bill by a vote of 29-1.

President’s FY2017 Proposed Budget

President Obama proposed his FY 2017 budget  to Congress in February, 2016.  Overall, the U.S. Department of Education would receive a 2% increase in its early learning budget, while the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services would receive a 4% increase.  Submitting a budget to Congress is just the first step in the process.  Over the remainder of the fiscal year, Members of Congress will consider the President’s recommendations as they seek to draft a budget for each chamber’s approval.

Highlights of the President’s FY2017 proposed budget:

Child Care:
Discretionary: $161million increase to support states in implementing the 2014 CCDBG reauthorization requirements.

  • $40 million for a new competitive pilot program to increase the supply of high-quality child care in rural areas and during non-traditional hours

Mandatory: $82 billion over 10 years, with an initial investment of $3.7 billion in FY2017.

This funding would be tied to the newly proposed Child C.A.R.E. Act, introduced by Senator Casey (D-PA) and Representatives Crowley (D-NY) and Frankel (D-FL). (Bill #’s: S.2539; HR.5424). This new program, operated through state grants that would supplement current state plans, targets children under age 4 in families at 200% of poverty or below. The goal of this program is to close the gap between the subsidy reimbursement rate for young children and the true cost of quality, which the Administration estimates to be about $10,000-$12,000 per infant or toddler. An estimated additional 1.15 million children would gain access to high-quality infant and toddler services through this program.

  • The budget proposes that new CCDBG health and safety requirements be extended to child care funded directly through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Social Services Block Grant (SSBG).

FY 2016 Omnibus Budget Deal

Congress reached a deal on a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September 30th, 2016, averting a government shutdown.

For Early Childhood Education, the Omnibus budget deal includes:

  • An increase of $326 million for the Child Care Development Block Grant. This maintains a set aside of $127 million for infants and toddlers that is slightly more than FY2015. (Total CCDBG funding = $2.8 billion)
  • An increase of $570 million for Head Start, which includes a $141 million COLA for Head Start and $25 million for Designation and Renewal, $294 million for supplemental funding to increase the hours of Head Start program operation, and a $135 million increase for Early Head Start, Early Head Start-Child Care partnerships, and conversions from Head Start to Early Head Start. (Total Head Start funding = $9.2 billion)
  • A $15 million increase in IDEA Part B Preschool Grant and A $20 million increase in IDEA Part C Grants for Infants and Families. (Total IDEA funding = $11.9 billion); and
  • An $18 million increase in Summer EBT benefits funding. This program is no longer limited to communities based on income projections.
  • $250 million for new Preschool Development Grants under the Every Student Succeeds Act framework.

And, the new budget will permanently extend refundable tax credits for low-income families through the Income Tax Credit for low-income earners and the Child Tax Credit for low and moderate income workers. The Omnibus bill does not include reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act, as many had hoped.  Reauthorization is expected to be considered in 2016.President Obama’s Proposed Budget for FY2015

President Obama’s FY2016 Proposed Budget

On March 4, 2015, President Obama proposed his FY2016 budget  At this point, his budget will be reviewed by Members of Congress in the House and the Senate, hearings will be held, and later this year, the House and Senate Appropriation Committees will review his proposals as they draft next year’s federal appropriation bills. For a summary of President Obama’s budget as it relates to early childhood programs, check out our ECEC Summary FY2016.

The Administration has released several topical summaries.

ECEC Resources

ECEC Guide to the Federal Budget Process

ECEC Guide to the Conference Committee