With an FY2019 budget passed and another government shutdown avoided, we can begin to look toward the FY2020 appropriations.
In normal years, the administration’s proposed budget would be out by now; it comes out shortly after the State of the Union. However, given the shutdown the proposal is unlikely to be out until mid-March. While the administration’s proposed budget identifies which projects will be funded by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the programmatic budget requests are increasingly ignored by Congress. With vastly different spending priorities by the Democratic House and Republican Senate and no agreed to budget “cap” (the total amount of the federal budget), this year’s budget negotiations will be as contentious as ever.
The first question is how will Congress handle the administration’s push to use disaster appropriations to build a border wall under “Emergency” declaration. The ability for a president to re-purpose money appropriated by Congress for a political priority could fundamentally change how the the United States government budgets and spends money. And from beach perspective, the administration is still considering taking USACE coastal money to pay for the wall. How this shakes out will have major ramifications on the budget and coastal funding.
The second big question is will Congress pass a 2019 disaster supplemental to further address damage from Hurricanes Michael and Florence and the 2018 wildfires. The House already passed a disaster supplemental bill that provides over $700 million dollars to USACE for flood risk reduction, specifically including “shore protection”, in areas impacted by the 2018 Hurricanes. The Senate has not passed disaster legislation.
ASBPA advocates for funding for coastal restoration and shore protection, coastal resilience and regional planning, and coastal research across many federal agencies. Below are our specific priorities:
For more detail, see ASBPA’s Letter on Energy & Water Appropriations (pdf 250kb).