Legislative Activity

President to Release Budget on February 9, Starting FY 2017 Appropriations Process

The White House recently announced they will release the President’s budget request for FY 2017 on February 9. This will be the final budget request of his presidency, and is expected to adhere to the discretionary spending levels put in place by the two-year budget deal (PL 114-74) agreed to last fall.

The President’s budget will echo many of the elements he will highlight in his final State of the Union (SOTU) Address this week, which the White House has said will be focused on big-picture items rather than simply a list of policy priorities. Both the SOTU and the budget request are expected to address the President’s recent efforts on gun control and Syrian refugees, and may include a push for additional actions on the environment. While the President’s budget will be dead-on-arrival on Capitol Hill, given Republican control of both Houses of Congress, it will set a roadmap for Administration priorities leading into the election year.

The release of the President’s budget will kick off the FY 2017 appropriations process, which is expected to begin soon in the House. House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-GA) intends to mark up a budget resolution this spring, as Republicans look to get the appropriations process back on track. House and Senate Republicans passed a concurrent budget resolution last year, but the appropriations process stalled as Senate Democrats blocked any individual appropriations bills from coming to the floor. Despite already having top-line discretionary spending numbers for FY 2017, how that spending is allocated among the appropriations bills will be at issue.

Additionally, Congressional Republicans are expected to again use the budget reconciliation process, which is not subject to a 60-vote threshold in the Senate, to send Republican priorities to the President’s desk. President Obama vetoed the FY 2016 budget reconciliation bill last week, which would have repealed large parts of the Affordable Care Act and restricted Planned Parenthood funding for one year.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • None scheduled.