Clean Budget News & Resources for FY 2020
This resource bank contains FY 2020 budget cycle news articles, op-eds, editorials, blogs, letters to the editor, press releases, fact sheets, sign-on letters and other resources related to rescissions and riders. Please use the controls below to search, sort, filter and share.
Congress Has Passed a $1.4 Trillion Spending Deal — Taking a Major Step to Avoid a Government Shutdown
The deal that they’ve landed on includes a total of $1.37 trillion in funding for agencies like the Department of Homeland Security, as well as Congress itself. These bills would keep the government funded though the end of September 2020. They also allocate $1.375 billion for border barriers, the same amount that was designated to fencing in last year’s spending bills. In other notable additions, Democrats secured $25 million in funding for gun violence research (the first funds Congress has put behind the subject in roughly two decades), $425 million for election security grants and an additional $550 million for federal child-care grants. Legislative riders include a measure that raises the age for purchasing tobacco products from 18 to 21 and another that extends Medicaid funding to US territories, including Puerto Rico. Pending potential interference from Trump, who forced the government shutdown last year, lawmakers are on track to keep the government open as Congress adjourns for the holiday recess.
Trump might shut down our government in retaliation for or to distract from impeachment, which may hit the House floor at the same time as the spending bills. No one besides the president wants another Trump Shutdown, but Senate Republicans are giving Trump the chance to instigate one. The stakes are high and regular people cannot afford to see a lapse in funding. Mitch McConnell needs to recognize this and push back on the president before it’s too late.
Lawmakers from both parties are eager to get fresh, fiscal 2020 spending in place before stopgap legislation expires on Dec. 20. Appropriators are now writing their 12 bills after striking a deal on top-line numbers last month. Congressional leaders have yet to decide how the bills will move forward, and they're also not saying what the top-line numbers are. But the most likely scenario is a broad omnibus package or a series of minibuses. An earlier deal struck over the summer should allow new and increased spending for most agencies, including EPA and the Interior and Energy departments. Riders could still be a thorny issue for negotiators, although most new policy provisions will be dropped under an agreement that says only those with bipartisan support can be attached. The deal, however, does not apply to provisions in past spending bills, meaning the parties could still haggle over riders barring spending for the United Nation's climate programs, bans on making the sage grouse an endangered species and other environmental policies.
Tonight, leading appropriators in both chambers of Congress will meet in their latest attempt to resolve disagreements over topline funding levels. Lawmakers should not allow the debate over funding levels to undermine the consensus that has been reached on excluding poison pill riders that harm the public, nor should they backtrack on the progress that already has been made on removing inappropriate legacy riders held over from previous budget cycles.
Appropriators in the U.S. Senate have their work cut out for them and hardly a moment to spare, at least if they want to be able to tell voters back home that they did their jobs. And as in years past, the debate over poison pill riders is leading to the fall funding crunch. We hope senators will not insist on keeping harmful policies that the House already voted to remove. If they do, they’ll be throwing a wrench in the process and potentially forcing another continuing resolution that kicks this debate to December. This would create more uncertainty for federal agencies that not only need additional funding but need to know what funding levels they can expect. Removing the harmful legacy riders that never belonged in the first place – and certainly don’t belong now – would honor the promise lawmakers made in August and finally get the job done.
Congress’ FY 2020 appropriations bills and continuing resolutions should remain free from poison pill policy riders that harm the public, 79 groups in the Clean Budget Coalition said in a letter sent to Congress today. Congress must act by the Nov. 21 funding deadline or risk another unwanted and costly government shutdown.
No appropriations titles or package of bills, or continuing resolutions (should that be deemed the appropriate path to continue funding the government), should move forward if they contain poison pill policy riders that go against the public interest. Unfortunately, such poison pill riders have existed as favors to corporate and special interests in previous appropriations cycles, and therefore a set of “legacy poison pills” must be removed from the FY20 appropriations bills. We ask that you take that stance as Congress processes the FY20 appropriations bills—keeping out new poison pills that harm the public and removing those that have become embedded. Poison pill riders are unpopular and dangerous, and the public opposes the abuse of the budget process to roll back public protections. The budget should be funding the things that Americans care about, not undoing essential safeguards or being held hostage to non-starter demands for projects such as a border wall.
Investors want more information about how their corporations engage in politics. More than 1.2 million comments have come in to the SEC on Jackson’s original rulemaking petition- the most in the agency’s history. It’s time for the SEC to get to work on this critical rulemaking and for Congress to remove the harmful Appropriations rider so that the rule can be finalized.
Appropriations bills in both chambers of Congress should exclude legacy poison pill riders that harm the public, groups in the Clean Budget Coalition are telling federal lawmakers. Legacy riders, added to appropriations bills in past budget cycles and held over to the current one, have nothing to do with funding our government and do not belong in spending legislation, the coalition said. Appropriators in the U.S. House of Representatives already removed legacy riders from their spending bills, and their counterparts in the U.S. Senate should leave them out, the coalition maintains. Members of the Clean Budget Coalition provided the following statements on specific legacy riders that lawmakers should remove.
For years, conservatives in Congress have snuck language deep into federal budget bills meant to make it harder to reign in the flood of secret corporate cash that has saturated the political landscape for the last decade. In 2016 Public Citizen caught language in the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) appropriations bill that forbid the SEC from finalizing rules that would require corporations to be honest about the money they spend to influence our politics. This is a critical transparency reform that America needs to expose who is truly paying to influence voters when they go to the polls. However, an undisclosed member of Congress, clearly interested in protecting their secret corporate donors, blocked the SEC from finalizing this measure.