House Appropriations Committee Releases Fiscal Year 2012 Spending Limits, Sets Preliminary Schedule for Markups

The House Appropriations Committee released spending limits for the 12 annual appropriations bills as well as a preliminary schedule for markups.  The spending levels are consistent with the Fiscal Year 2012 (FY12) budget resolution passed by the House of Representatives in April and broadly reflect House Republican efforts to reduce domestic spending while boosting defense spending.

The spending framework released today would reduce discretionary spending in FY12 by $30.3 billion over Fiscal Year 2011 (FY11).  The proposed spending levels are also $121 billion less than proposed in President Obama’s FY12 budget.  While President Obama and Congressional Democrats have discussed spending at lower levels than the President’s FY12 budget as part of negotiations to increase the debt ceiling, they are not reported to approach the levels proposed today by the House.

The Senate has not yet acted on a FY12 budget resolution and is unlikely to adopt the House version without significant changes.  However, the announced spending limits will frame legislative action in the House until and unless a larger budget deal is reached, for instance, as part of an agreement to raise the debt limit on which negotiations are continuing.

It is important to understand that the spending limits announced only offer broad guidance on how the budgets for the Departments and Agencies will be affected.  Until the Committee markups are held, for example, it will not be clear how spending cuts to the Transportation-HUD bill will be distributed to the budgets for the Department of Transportation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development specifically.

Some of the key takeaways from the announcement today include:


  • Funding for 11 of the 12 appropriations bills is reduced.  Only the Defense Appropriations bill receives a funding increase under the proposal.
  • Non-security spending is reduced by $46 billion over FY11.
  • Defense spending is increased by $17 billion over FY11.
  • Spending on the Homeland Security spending bill is reduced by $1 billion over FY11, illustrating that the budget pressures are not affecting only so-called “social programs.?
  • Among the larger dollar and percentage cuts, the Labor, HHS, Education Appropriations spending bill is cut $18.2 billion over FY11 spending levels of $157 billion.  Similarly, the Transportation-HUD Appropriations bill is reduced $7.7 billion over the FY11 spending level of $55.3 billion.
  • Among the bills that fared comparatively well, the Commerce, Justice, Science spending bill is reduced by 3 billion over FY11 funding levels of $53.3 billion and the Energy and Water appropriations bill is reduced by $1 billion over theFY11 level.

Please click here for a chart with the full details on the spending allocations for review, comparing the spending levels proposed today with spending in FY11 and the President’s FY12 budget.


  • “The Appropriations bills this year will include double-digit reductions for virtually every non-security area of government, while providing additional resources for the nation’s critical and urgent needs – such as our national defense.?


  • The House Appropriations Committee would mark up all of the 12 bills before the August recess.  The Committee anticipates that all of the bills could be considered on the floor before September 30, 2011.
  • Only 9 of the 12 bills are scheduled to be cleared in time to allow floor action before the August recess.
  • Some of the bills slated for the largest reductions, including the Labor-HHS and State-Foreign Operations spending bills, would not be considered on the floor until September.


Homeland Security

Subcommittee: May 13
Full Committee: May 23

Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies

Subcommittee: May 13
Full Committee: May 23

Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies

Subcommittee: May 24
Full Committee: May 31


Subcommittee: June 1
Full Committee: June 14

Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies

Subcommittee: June 2
Full Committee: June 15

Legislative Branch

Subcommittee: June 2
Full Committee: June 15

Financial Services

Subcommittee: June 16
Full Committee: June 23

Interior, Environment and Related Agencies

Subcommittee: July 6
Full Committee: July 11

Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies

Subcommittee: July 7
Full Committee: July 13

Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies

Subcommittee: July 14
Full Committee: July 26

Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies

Subcommittee: July 26
Full Committee: August 2

State, Foreign Operations and Related Agencies

Subcommittee: July 27
Full Committee: August 3

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