Congress passes omnibus spending bill for 2018

Friday, March 23, 2018

Congress has passed full-year funding for fiscal 2018 and it includes some of the highest funding levels for federal economic development programs in years, possibly decades, and, in some cases, ever.

Highlights include:

  • EDA - received roughly $302 million for fiscal 2018; about $26 million above fiscal 2017
  • MEP - received $140 million; $10 million above fiscal 2017
  • CDBG - received roughly $3.3 billion; $365 million about fiscal 2017
  • TIGER - received $1.5 billion; $1 billion above fiscal 2017
  • Rural Business-Cooperative Service - received roughly $77 million; about $12 million above fiscal 2017
  • ETA apprenticeship opportunities - received $145 million; $50 million above fiscal 2017
  • MBDA - received $39 million; $5 million over fiscal 2017
  • ARC - received $155 million; $3 million over fiscal 2017
  • Denali Commission - received $30 million; $15 million over fiscal 2017
  • DRA - received $25 million; level with fiscal 2017
  • Northern Border Regional Commission - received $15 million; $5 million over fiscal 2017

What does this mean?

Congress voted earlier this year to do away with discretionary spending caps for the next two years and increased budgetary authority for defense and non-defense spending by hundreds of billions of dollars. They have acted on this new authority. Congress has also ignored the White House's (first) proposal for eliminating or greatly reducing all of these (and more) programs. It is a good day for federal economic development programs.

But...?

The White House has proposed again to eliminate or drastically reduce all of these (and more) programs for fiscal 2019. And the debate over next year's appropriations has already begun. The voices of economic developers have been heard and will need to continue to be heard over the next few years. If you haven't yet signed the letter supporting next year's funding for EDA, consider doing so now - just click here.

Finally, when talking with your Members of Congress and their staff, be sure to thank them for supporting federal economic development in the fiscal 2018 omnibus! They need to know that we're paying attention and that we appreciate their support.

Please contact Matt Mullin, Senior Director, Public Policy & Strategic Engagement at mmullin@iedconline.org if you have any questions or comments.

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