Fiscal Year 2020 Federal Budget Tracker: State of Play for Cities

Staffers unpacking the  President's FY2020 budget proposal.
Staffers unpacking the President's FY2020 budget proposal.

Federal Investment in Cities, Towns and Villages: Fiscal Year 2020 Federal Budget

Last Updated March 25, 2019

Your one stop as a local official to stay up-to-date on the Fiscal Year 2020 federal budget and appropriations process. We are tracking and compiling everything you need to know about the status of the important federal investments in your city.

The President’s FY20 Budget Proposal

On March 11, 2019, the Administration released the President’s Budget Proposal, followed by detailed supplementary material on March 18. Recently, the White House Budget Proposal has served more as a statement on the general policy priorities of the President rather than a true starting point for bipartisan negotiations, and this year is no different. The FY20 White House Budget Proposal continues the call for deep cuts to federal investment in cities, towns and villages for the third straight year and a general devolution of responsibilities from the federal level to the state and local level. NLC opposes the President’s proposal.

The Congressional Budget and Appropriations Process

Although Congress is required to adopt a federal budget, it has become common for the budget process to stall indefinitely. As a result, the House and Senate often advance spending bills with different overall spending levels that must be resolved later in the year. House and Senate leaders have indicated that the appropriations process is likely to move forward without a congressional budget this year.

Budget Tracker: Where the Numbers Stand

NLC will be updating the chart below as FY20 spending bills are introduced. Search through the drop-down menus, organized by federal agency below, to find where the numbers currently stand for federal dollars to the programs that matter most to your city.
 

Agriculture

The White House’s proposed FY20 budget cuts approximately 15 percent from the budget of the U.S. Department of Agriculture overall with varying impacts to specific programs across the agency. The budget request expands the size of the Rural Utility Service Broadband Grants Program through a proposed extension of the broadband pilot program enacted in a FY18 spending agreement and designates $20M within the Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant program for addressing the opioid epidemic. However, the budget request also proposes a $4B cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by accounting for savings from a proposed work requirement, stricter eligibility requirements, and a shift from SNAP benefits to federal provision of shelf-stable foods. This is intended to cut $220B from the program over the next ten years.

Program FY19 President's Proposal FY19 Final FY20 President's Proposal
Rural Utilities Service - Water and Waste Disposal Program

$1.2B for loans, eliminates grant funding

$1.45B $1.2B for loans, $473M for grants
Rural Utility Service - Broadband Grants Program $30M $30M $30M, plus $200M for pilot program expansion
Section 521 Rental Assistance $1.35B $1.331B $1.4B
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (mandatory funding) $73.2B $73.477B $69.1B

 

Commerce

The President’s budget proposal recommends an overall increase of 9.3 percent to the FY20 budget for the U.S. Department of Commerce. If enacted, that would result in a funding increase of $1 billion compared to last year, totaling $12.2 billion. For the most part, the increase is intended to fund growing preparations for the upcoming United States Census. Funding for other city priorities, including the Economic Development Administration, would be eliminated.

Funding tracking for the U.S. Census is unique in that the Commerce Department estimates that the entire “life-cycle” cost of the 2020 Census will be just shy of $16B. Typically the Census Bureau needs to be appropriated about half of that life cycle on fiscal years ending in “0” to carry out the decennial census, which is why NLC supports $8.45B for FY20 Census Bureau appropriations.

Sign-On Letters

Program FY19 President's Proposal FY19 Final FY20 President's Proposal
National Telecommunications and Information Administration $30M $39.5M $42.4M
Economic Development Administration Eliminated $304M Eliminated
Minority Business Development Agency Eliminated $40M $10M
Manufacturing Extension Partnership Eliminated $140M Eliminated
Census Bureau $3.8B $3.82B + $1.06B in Carry Over from FY18 $7.2B

 

Environment

The President’s FY20 budget proposal for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of the Interior is similar to ones from prior years, including cuts to water infrastructure and land revitalization programs. Importantly, in FY19 Congress preserved and increased funding for important local government programs like the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds.

Program FY19 President's Proposal FY19 Final FY20 President's Proposal
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Clean Water State Revolving Fund $997M $1.694B $1.119B
Drinking Water State Revolving Fund $863 $1.184B $863M
Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) $20M $68M $25M
Brownfields $62M $87M $62M
Superfund $1.089B $1.092B $1.056B
U.S. Department of the Interior
Land and Water Conservation Fund $0 $435M TBD

 

Energy

The President’s FY20 budget proposal for the U.S. Department of Energy is similar to ones from prior years with proposed cuts to energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. Most notably, the President’s budget proposes to eliminate the Weatherization Assistance Program, which helps improve the energy efficiency of low income households. Importantly, in FY19 Congress preserved funding for this program and others within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. 

Program FY19 President's Proposal FY19 Final FY20 President's Proposal
Weatherization Assistance Program Eliminated $257M Eliminated
Office of  Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy $861M $2.379B $696M
State Energy Program Eliminated $55M Eliminated

 

Homeland Security

The President’s FY20 proposed budget for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security provides $51.7B in net discretionary funding while an additional $19.4B for the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) is requested for response and recovery to major disasters. The budget once again seeks and additional $5B for construction of approximately 200 miles of new border wall system. The budget also provides $2.3B for a variety of grant funding provided to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments in the form of non-disaster grants. These grants are intended to support and sustain capabilities at the state, local, tribal, and territorial levels in our nation’s highest-risk transit systems, ports, and along our borders to prevent and respond to terrorism and other high-consequence disasters and emergencies.

Program FY19 President's Proposal FY19 Final FY20 President's Proposal
State and Local Homeland Security Grant Program $349M $525M $332M
Urban Area Security Initiative $449M $640M $426.5M
Firefighter Assistance Grants $669M $700M $688.7M
Pre-Disaster Mitigation Fund $39M $250M $0
Flood Hazard Mapping & Risk Analysis Program $100M $262.5M $192M
Emergency Management Performance $279M $350M $279M
Port Security Grants $36M $100M $35M
Disaster Relief Fund $7.23B $12.55B $20B

 

Housing and Urban Development

The President’s budget proposal recommends an overall cut of 16.5 percent to the FY20 budget for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). If enacted, the President’s budget proposal would result in $8.7B less for HUD programs compared to last year.  As a result, community development funding for city priorities, including CDBG and HOME, would be eliminated. The Administration is also proposing a controversial cost-savings measure that would consolidate several rental assistance programs into one, including Housing Choice Vouchers, Public Housing funds, Project-Based Rental Assistance, and set-asides for elderly and disability housing.

Sign-On Letters

Program FY19 President's Proposal FY19 Final FY20 President's Proposal
CDBG Eliminated $3.3B Eliminated
HOME Eliminated $1.25B Eliminiated
Choice Neighborhoods Eliminated $150M Eliminated
Tenant Based Rental Assistance $19.315B $22.5B $22.2B
Project Based Rental Assistance $10.866B $11.74B $12.0B
Public Housing Operating Fund $2.84B $4.65B $2.86B
Public Housing Capital Fund Eliminated $2.77B Eliminated
Homeless Assistance Grants $2.38B $2.6B $2.59B
Healthy Homes & Lead Hazard $145M $279M $290M

 

Justice

The President’s FY20 budget proposal for the Department of Justice (DOJ) request totals $29.2B. The budget requests an additional $146.9M to strengthen federal law enforcement’s ability to reduce violent crime. The Budget provides an additional $290.5M to enhance heroin enforcement efforts, end anonymous online drug trafficking, and pursue transnational criminal organizations profiting from these deadly substances. The budget proposal also looks to support state and local assistance programs, including $604.2M for violent crime reduction efforts, $100M for Project Safe Neighborhood, $405.2M in Byrne Justice Assistance Grants, and $99.0M for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program. DOJ continues to address the opioid crisis and requests $330M for the Comprehensive Addiction Recovery Act. The FY20 budget proposal includes $86.5M to prepare inmates for successful reintegration back into communities through its Second Chance Program. 

Program FY19 President's Proposal FY19 Final FY20 President's Proposal
Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program $332.5M $423.5M $405.2M
COPS Hiring Grants $94M $225.5M $99M
Second Chance Act (SCA) $30M $87.5M $85M
Drug Courts $43M $77M $69M
Mentally Ill Offender Act $10M $31M $30M
Veteran Treatment Courts $6M $22M $18M
Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act Activities $20M $347M $330M
Juvenile Justice Programs $236M $287M $238.5M
National Instant Criminal Background Check System $10M $75M $4M
Interagency Law Enforcement Crime and Drug Enforcement Program $522M $560M $550.5M
State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) Eliminated $243.5 $0
Stop School Violence Act   $100M $98M
Violent Gang and Gun Crime Reduction/Project Safe Neighborhoods     $100M

 

Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies

In a repeat of the White House’s FY19 budget proposal, important programs for cities within the U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and related agencies were largely eliminated in the President’s FY20 budget proposal, including the independent agencies of the Corporation for National and Community Service and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Sign-On Letters

Program FY19 President's Proposal FY19 Final FY20 President's Proposal
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) $3.474B $3.50B $3.25B
Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) Eliminated $400M Eliminated
21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) Eliminated $1.22B Eliminated
Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants Eliminated $2.06B Eliminated
Charter School Program Grants $500M $440M $500M
Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) Eliminated $360M Eliminated
Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) $12.8B $13.2B $12.4B
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Eliminated $3.69B Eliminated
Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Eliminated $725M Eliminated
Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) Eliminated $1.08B Eliminated
Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) Eliminated $1.08B Eliminated
Institute for Museum and Library Sciences (IMLS) Eliminated $242M Eliminated

 

Transportation

The President’s FY20 budget proposal continues to promote a $200B infrastructure package while cutting other transportation programs on which cities rely, such as the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Grants, which were cut by 41 percent, and Essential Air Service, which was not proposed for complete elimination as in earlier presidential budgets but was down $50M from FY19 budget levels. Two competitive grant programs of note were boosted: the popular Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grants went up to $1.5B, an 11 percent bump, and the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) freight grants program added $1B to an existing $1B included in the FAST Act. The budget acknowledges the need to reauthorize the FAST Act as well as return the Highway Trust Fund to solvency with Congress. The budget proposal also included $300M in competitive highway bridge grants, which would reward states that use innovative and efficient procurement practices to repair or replace rural bridges that are in poor condition. Finally, the budget proposes investing $127M to support the safe integration of unmanned aerial systems (also called drones) into the nation’s airspace.

Program FY19 President's Proposal FY19 Final FY20 President's Proposal
Infrastructure Proposal $200B   $200B
Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD and previously called TIGER) $0 $900M $1B
Transit Capital Investment Grants $1B $2.6B $1.5B
Essential Air Service $93M $175M $125M