Paul Amendment #1019 Would Violate The Bipartisan Budget Agreement

The Paul amendment would slash spending below the Bipartisan Budget Act by over $14 billion.  The four bill minibus complies with the limits on spending contained in the Bipartisan Budget Act.  Examples of such cuts follow:


Overall, the Bureau of the Census would be $3.8 billion below the FY 2020 Senate level and $2.4 billion below the President’s FY 2020 budget request. Practically speaking, at this level it would not be possible to hold an accurate and complete count, and this cut would jeopardize the entire $15 billion lifecycle investment in the 2020 Census. We do not get multiple opportunities to get the once in a decade count right.

Census Day is April 1, 2020.  We cannot delay it.  The Census expects to print and distribute more than 1 billion printed items, hire approximately 500,000 people, count everyone in the country, and compile and distribute the information for reapportionment and redistricting purposes.  At this level, non-response follow up would likely be severely curtailed.  The quality of the count would be suspect.

Wildland Firefighting:

The Paul amendment would severely compromise the Federal government’s ability to fight catastrophic wildfires and safeguard people’s lives and property at a time when tens of thousands of acres in California, Arizona, and Colorado are ablaze.  The Senate bill provides $3.6 billion to fight wildfires and access.  The Paul amendment would reject those increases and reduce the amounts provided for fire suppression by $1.6 billion to only $2 billion – an amount that wouldn’t even cover the full amount that the Government spent on fighting wildfires in four out of the last five years.

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA):
The Paul Amendment would cut available funding for our nation’s roadways and bridges by $1.53 billion, eliminating the potential for 19,500 new jobs and exacerbating the $123 billion backlog of bridge repairs and replacement of 47,000 structurally deficient bridges.

Indian Health:

Funding for direct tribal health care services would be cut by $284 million – enough funding to pay for nearly 24,000 hospital stays or to cover 1.8 million outpatient visits to primary care doctors and other health care providers for American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA):
The Paul amendment would reduce the Senate THUD FY20 appropriations level of by $585 million.  This funding level results in an immediate freeze of all hiring and jeopardizes the FAA’s ability to pay air traffic control employees for overtime.  Without the use of overtime, the national airspace system could see additional service disruptions and flight delays.  Further, this funding level would prevent the FAA from improving the aviation safety inspector and aircraft certification workforce in accordance with NTSB recommendations in the wake of the Boeing 737 Max accidents.

Clean and Drinking Water:

The Paul amendment would reduce funding for the Clean and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds by $55 million – cutting funding that is equivalent to 20 clean or drinking water projects across the country, which is enough projects to generate more than 1,000 jobs.

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Salaries and Expenses:

With a 2% cut, ($184 million less than the FY2019 level and $460 million less than the FY 2020 amount provided in this bill), the FBI would have to reduce an estimated 2,680 positions, of which 970 would be agents.  Attrition would not cover the cuts, and approximately 565 positions worth of spending would need to be addressed by furloughs and/or a reduction in force.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA):

Overall, NASA would be $430 million below the FY 2019 level and $1.68 billion below the FY 2020 amount provided by this bill.  For NASA’s Artemis mission, the Exploration account would see a cut of $101 million below FY 2019 and $1.27 billion below the FY 2020 amount provided in this bill.  At this level, a 2024 lunar landing would not be possible.  Funding for the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion vehicle would be reduced.  Practically speaking, this would curtail development of the heavy lift upper stage for SLS and delay the development of a replacement Orion main engine. 

Tenant-Based Rental Assistance:

The Paul Amendment would reduce the Senate THUD FY20 appropriations level by $1.595 billion.  This funding level will result in more than 175,000 households losing their federal rental assistance. This means tens of thousands of already vulnerable households – over half of which are elderly or disabled – would be forced into deplorable housing conditions or homelessness.

Project-Based Rental Assistance:

The Paul Amendment would create a $1.05 billion shortfall in FY 2020.  This would result in a funding shortfall for an estimated 16,000 contracts that serve 1.1 million low-income families or individuals - or 90% of the total PBRA portfolio. 

Homelessness Assistance Grant:
The Paul Amendment would reduce homeless assistance from $2.74 billion in the Senate FY20 THUD bill to $2.5 billion for a reduction of $177 million.  This funding level would eliminate $50 million for assistance to survivors of domestic violence, $80 million for targeted assistance to homeless youth, and nearly $50 million for current homeless assistance programs.   

Food for Peace:

The Paul amendment would cut $34 million from the Food for Peace program.  With more than 15 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia facing acute food and water shortages, this funding is critically needed. In Yemen, it is estimated that 60% of the population are suffering from food security and malnutrition.  Cutting this program means lives will be lost.

Rental Assistance:

The Paul Amendment would result in a program shortfall of $70.228 million for rural development rental assistant programs.  This would cause over 14,300 very low income rural household to lose their rent subsidy, and face untenable rental increases and possibly eviction. These households are typically elderly, disabled, or headed by a female.

Land and Water Conservation Fund

The Paul amendment would reduce funding below the Senate bill by $39 million.