The House Committee on the Budget Feb. 7 held a hearing titled, “Investing in America’s Economic and National Security” to discuss the upcoming spending caps for fiscal year (FY) 2020 and FY 2021 as laid out in the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA, P.L. 112–25).
In his opening statement, Chairman John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) called on his colleagues to reach another bipartisan agreement to raise discretionary spending caps and avoid $126 billion in cuts to both defense and nondefense programs imposed by the BCA for FY 2020. Yarmuth continued, “I reject the idea that we must pit defense and nondefense discretionary against each other, as proposed by the Trump Administration in previous budgets … we cannot discount the important role non-defense discretionary also plays in building our economic and national security.”
Center for a New American Security Adjunct Senior Fellow and ISM Strategies Partner Steven Kosiak testified about the importance of raising both defense and nondefense spending caps for national security, highlighting the National Institutes of Health as critical for health security through the agency’s stated goals of “protecting and improving the health of Americans through innovative research, [while] expanding ‘the knowledge base in medical and associated sciences in order to enhance the Nation's economic well-being and ensure a continued high return on the public investment in research.’”
Yarmuth and other committee members further reminded their colleagues of new funding necessities in FY 2020, including $10 billion needed to fund veterans’ health programs as established through the VA MISSION Act of 2018 (P.L. 115-182), as well as necessary funding for the 2020 Census. Congress has previously reached bipartisan agreements in 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2018 to overcome the budget restrictions imposed by the BCA.