Congress Might Have a Budget Deal: UPDATED for Passage

October 27, 2015

Late last night, after months of deadlock, congressional leaders and the White House reached a budget agreement that would increase the fiscal year (FY) 2016 and FY 2017 budget caps and extend the debt ceiling.

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 would increase the discretionary spending—annual funding not previously allocated in existing statute—caps from the stringent levels currently required by the Budget Control Act of 2011. This $80 billion increase over two years (FY 2016 and FY 2017) would be divided equally between defense and nondefense funding, providing a $50 billion increase in FY 2016 and $30 billion in FY 2017. By way of comparison, the 2013 budget deal provided an additional $22.4 billion to FY 2014 funding and an additional $9.4 billion to FY 2015 funding.

The latest proposed budget deal would also provide an additional $32 million beyond the budget caps for overseas contingency operations defense spending for FY 2016 and FY 2017. Additionally, facing a looming government default date next week, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 extends the federal borrowing authority to March 5, 2017, not tied to a specific amount. 

The budget deal increases would be offset by cuts and changes to Medicare and Social Security, and savings from revenue from other programs, such as selling oil reserves. For more information on the budget deal, the New York Times and The Hill have helpful summaries.

The bill could advance to the House floor as soon as tomorrow and through the Senate by next week. However, conservative House members are already voicing their opposition to the bill and presumptive House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI-1) has criticized the process. Therefore the House GOP will likely need the support of the Democratic minority to pass the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. Earlier this morning, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12) issued a press statement in support of the deal.

Passage of the budget agreement is a critical step toward ensuring final FY 2016 funding that supports adolescent sexual health. Congress will still have to negotiate final funding under the new caps by December 11, 2015, but a $25 billion increase for nondefense discretionary programs provides much better terms for funding negotiations. Both the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) are discretionary nondefense programs, but the overall budget cap increase does not guarantee increases for these programs. While current FY 2016 funding proposals would maintain current DASH funding, but would essentially eliminate TPPP.

SIECUS will continue to monitor the budget and funding process moving forward and provide updates and opportunities for action in the coming weeks.

For more information or questions, please contact Jesse Boyer at

UPDATE: Within 72 hours of its unveiling, the budget deal (HR 1315) arrived on the president's desk Friday morning, October 30, 2015, following a 3:00am Senate vote and a 64 to 35 vote passage. On Wednesday, October 28, 2015, the House of Representatives passed the budget deal by a vote of 266 to 167. Following the bill's passage out of Congress, President Obama issued at statement applauding both Democrats and Republicans.


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