Congress Passes Funding Bill: ED Programs Funded at Historic Levels

Mar 27, 2018 | Advocacy

Federal Budget:
On Friday, March 23, 2018, President Trump signed a $1.3 trillion spending bill into law. With many thanks to the policy team at IEDC and other economic development allies, OEDA is able to share positive news. Several key economic development programs, initially slated for large cuts and/or elimination in the administration’s budget, not only survived, but received near historic funding. Highlights related to the funding of key economic development programs 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

How are these increases possible? 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. While Congress has acted on this new authority, many policy experts are cautioning that such spending levels are not sustainable long term and economic developers will need to remain vigilant for future budget “corrections” that could cut funding or eliminate programs.

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