Build Back Better Act and FY22 Appropriations Status

Christopher Fisher
Spinnaker Government Relations
US Capitol

Build Back Better Act

President Biden’s signature domestic legislation –which includes tens of billions for housing and rental assistance – has stalled indefinitely in the U.S. Senate. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and some Senate Democrats have begun suggesting that the BBB be broken up into smaller “chunks” or a larger legislative bill that might be capable of passing through the narrowly divided upper chamber. Deliberations are ongoing, but no firm details are yet available regarding which pieces of BBB might be included in alternative legislation. However, it is clear that any substitute legislation for the BBB will be substantially smaller in size and scope, threatening the possibility of funding for numerous programs, including housing and rental supports.

FY22 Appropriations Status  

Regular appropriations for Fiscal Year 2022 are still pending before Congress.  The government is operating under temporary funding until February 18, giving Congress four weeks to agree to funding allocations.  Both chambers of Congress are currently in recess, but Senate Appropriations Chairman Patrick Leahy (VT), told reporters he wants to have a final spending bill assembled a few days after Congress returns on January 31. Staff in both chambers are continuing to negotiate over the recess.  

In the event that Congress cannot finalize FY22 appropriations by the February 18 deadline, the likelihood of Congress being forced to rely on a full year continuing resolution significantly increases. A “full year CR” would provide all federal departments, agencies, and programs the same level of funding as they received in Fiscal Year 2021 under the Trump Administration.  Additionally, any policy changes that were packaged with the FY22 appropriations would be dropped or need to be pushed into FY23. 

A funding outcome that reverts back to FY21 levels would have a negative impact on many of the federal programs serving our nation’s most vulnerable young people. Please keep an eye on Youth Collaboratory’s Public Policy blog for the latest updates as Congress seeks to finalize appropriations in the coming weeks. 

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