House Proposals for Discretionary Spending for FY 2022

Earlier this year the House Appropriations committee favorably reported 12 appropriations bills, 10 of which have been passed by the House. We thought it would be interesting to look at the House’s priorities and to examine the process.

How would House Appropriators allocate their discretionary spending? The chart below shows the 12 appropriations committees, with the largest allocation to Defense, at 46%, and the smallest allocation to the Legislative Branch, at 0.4%. Note that if you add Defense to Military Construction-Veterans Affairs, it is more than 55% of federal discretionary spending.

This is a pie chart of proposed discretionary spending by the House Appropriations Committee. It shows defense spending at 47 percent, military-construction & Veterans Affairs at 8.3%, and everyone else.

What does this look like in real dollars? The following table shows how the full Appropriations Committee would allocate dollars among the subcommittees for FY 2022.

SubcommitteeHouse Official FY2022 (in millions)Percentage
Labor & HHS & Ed$237,46615.8%
MilCon & VA$124,5008.3%
State & For’gn Ops$62,2424.1%
Energy & Water$53,2263.5%
Homeland Sec’y$52,8113.5%
Interior & Envt$43,4002.9%
Financial Svcs & Gen Govt$28,5401.9%
Legislative Br$5,9760.4%

What’s interesting is that the subcommittees reported out their own bills prior to the Appropriations Committees adoption of these numbers. Most of the numbers were the same, but there were several significant deviations between what the subcommittee reported and the top line number adopted by the Appropriations Committee.

Specifically, the Labor HHS subcommittee had proposed spending $16.334 billion more than was ultimately allocated by the full committee. House Financial Services proposed $0.56 billion more than was allocated, T-HUD proposed $0.038 billion more, CJS proposed $0.015 billion less than was adopted, and State-Foreign Operations was slightly under par. Isn’t that interesting?

How do these numbers compare to FY 2021?

We looked at the FY21 final numbers versus the FY 22 House Appropriations Committee approved numbers to see where the House proposed the biggest increases. You can see it in the following chart. Please note we are excluding the Legislative Branch, because we still do not know the Senate’s proposed numbers.

SubcommitteeFY 2021 Final (in millions)FY 2022 House Approps (in million)Actual change FY21-FY22 (in millions)
Labor & HHS & Ed$198,600$237,466$38,866
MilCon & VA$113,100$124,500$11,400
Interior & Envt$36,100$43,400$7,300
State & For’gn Ops$55,503$62,242$6,739
Financial Svcs & Gen Govt$24,300$28,540$4,240
Energy & Water$51,752$53,226$1,474
Homeland Sec’y$51,876$52,811$935

It is notable that defense spending (Defense + Milcon & VA) would still increase by $20 billion, which is the second greatest increase in real terms after Labor/HHS.

We visualized the new funding for FY 2022 as a pie chart among the appropriations subcommittees. Here is what it looks like.

This is a pie chart that shows where the House proposed to place its increased funding. It appears that Labor/ HHS would get a 38 percent increase, followed by Military Construction at 11 percent, Defense at 9.7 percent, CJS at 10 percent, and everything else less than that.

What’s next. Senate Appropriators will decide how much money to make available to each of their appropriations subcommittees. Two subcommittees already have reported out their proposed allocation levels even in the absence of an agreement. Astonishingly, Senate Armed Services Committee and others are agitating for even more money for defense purposes, which you can see is already swallowing federal spending. More to come.