Federal Budget Agreement Includes Investment in Many Programs Important to Nonprofits
In December 2019, Congress approved two massive appropriations bills with a variety of provisions affecting the work of nonprofits. These bills combined elements of 12 other spending bills and provide $1.4 trillion in funding for the federal government for the remainder of the current fiscal year (through September 30, 2020). One of the bills ( H.R. 1158) provides funding for the Departments of Commerce, Defense, Homeland Security, Justice, Treasury, and general government operations, while the other bill ( H.R. 1865) provides funding for other federal government departments. Many of the provisions in the bills provide support for programs that are important to the work of nonprofits. Among many other things, the appropriations bills include:
- Several tax provisions, including a repeal of the confusing and harmful tax on nonprofit parking and transportation expenses.
- $7.56 billion in funding for the 2020 U.S. Census, which was $1.4 billion more than President Trump requested. This increased funding is important to ensure a complete, fair, and accurate count in the Census.
- Preservation of six-day delivery by the U.S. Postal Service.
- Increased investment in public and preventative health through $8 billion in funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is $636 million more than current spending levels and $1.4 billion more than the President requested.
- More federal support for early childhood programs with $5.8 billion in funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant and $10.6 billion in funding for Head Start (both an increase of $550 million over current spending levels).
- $1.1 billion for the Corporation for National and Community Service, which the President had proposed eliminating. This investment is $21 million above current spending levels and includes a significant increase in support for the Senior Corps program.
- Investment of $640 million in the expansion of rural broadband service.
- Full funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for the current fiscal year and provisions that ensure that SNAP benefits will remain available for the next three years, even in the event of a government shutdown.
- Support for arts and cultural programs through $162.5 million in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, an increase of $7.25 million over current spending levels. President Trump had proposed eliminating both programs.
- Increased investment in housing needs through $49.1 billion in funding for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), an increase in $4.9 billion over current spending levels and $12.4 billion more than the President requested. The HUD funding includes $3.4 billion in support for Community Development Block Grants (an increase of $100 million from current funding levels), which President Trump had proposed eliminating.