All Federal Grants

All federal grants supporting NYC’s budget

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All federal grants have fallen by $1.8 billion (21 percent) since FY 2010 after adjusting for inflation

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See how austerity in the wake of the great recession has cost New York City $1.8 billion in federal grants over the past decade.

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Federal Budget Recap — A Decade of Historical Disinvestment and Misplaced Priorities

Federal spending on low- to middle-income Americans is at historic lows in part as a result of post-Recession austerity, while the recently passed $1.5 trillion Tax Cut and Jobs Act for the powerful few and profitable corporations is being used by the bill’s proponents to justify deeper cuts to critical programs. Three developments since FY 2010 define the state of current federal spending: the 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA) and Sequestration, the 2018 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), and the 2018 Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA).

  • The 2011 Budget Control Act and SequestrationThe BCA set caps on defense and nondefense discretionary funding through 2021 and further reduced funding over time through across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration on programs such as Head Start, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, Children (WIC), Social Services Grants, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), the Emergency Food and Shelter Program, and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).  Starting in 2013, these caps were lowered when Congress failed to pass deficit reduction legislation as laid out in the BCA. While a series of short-term budget deals reduced the amount by which the caps were lowered, since 2010 non-defense discretionary programs overall have seen significant reductions.
  • The 2018 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA)The TCJA has now widely been regarded as a $1.5 trillion giveaway to wealthy households and profitable corporations. In 2025, when the TCJA is fully phased in, lower- and middle-income groups in the bottom 60 percent (below $91,700 a year) will receive a $400 tax cut on average, while those in the top 0.1 percent (more than $4.7 million a year) will receive a pay out of $252,300. As predicted, corporate executives have been showered with stock buybacks while promises that the average worker would receive a $4,000 pay raise have not materialized. Unless overhauled, the TCJA will widen income inequality and strain spending for decades to come.
  • The 2018 Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA)The BBA increased the BCA caps on non-defense discretionary spending by $63 billion in FY 2018 and $68 billion in FY 2019. It also extended direct spending on several health programs, provides a few narrow tax breaks, and raises the cap on non-defense appropriations. As a result, significant investments were made in the 2018 omnibus spending bill (a bill spanning multiple budget areas, not used in current budget documents), such as Housing for Urban Development (HUD) and the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG). While the budget agreement began to reverse some of the BCA cuts, many areas remain funded below 2010 levels adjusted for inflation, and spending outside of Social Security and Medicare remain below a 40-year historical average and is projected to decline further.

These developments clearly demonstrate that Congress has only selectively expressed concern about deficits. Funds have flowed to a variety of interests, such as tax cuts for profitable corporation, the extraction of fossil fuels, military conflict, housing subsidies the nation’s wealthiest households, and a flawed criminal justice system. But our federal budget has neglected to prioritize our mothers, children, friends, families, and neighbors. It has deprioritized the need for a trained workforce, the prevention and treating of illness, ensuring that working people can feed their families, and that older adults can retire in dignity. In a nation rich in resources, it is not a question of how to pay for the things most Americans want; it is a matter of prioritization.

Consequences in NYC of Federal Disinvestment and Misplaced Priorities

All Federal Grants

The City’s FY 2018 budget of $87.9 billion relied on $7.7 billion in federal aid – equal to nearly one out of every eleven dollars the City spends – most of which supports services for low- to middle-income residents and are highly effective in reducing hardship, food insufficiency, and unmet medical needs.

From FY 2010 to FY 2018, federal grants have fallen by $1.8 billion (21 percent) after adjusting for inflation, driven by the decline of education ($1.3 billion, or 43 percent), social services ($320 million, or 8 percent), environmental protection ($19 million, or 79 percent), health ($14 million, or 4 percent), and transportation grants ($9 million, 8 percent).

Select a Category to Show Funding Trends

FPWA analysis of NYC CAFR data. FPWA’s analysis of all federal grants excludes American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) spending following the Great Recession and Disaster Relief, such as for Hurricane Sandy, to reflect the federal government’s longer-term spending intent. See more charts on Tableau and/or download the data

Social Services Grants

Our agency-specific analysis visualizes and monitors federal grants that support the budgets of four city agencies: Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), Department for the Aging (DFTA), and Department of Social Services (DSS).

Collectively, these agencies’ federal funding – comprised of 37 federal grants – represented 38 percent ($2.9 billion) of the City’s total federal funding in FY 2018. Federal funding to these agencies has fallen by $76 million (3 percent) since FY 2010 after adjusting for inflation.

FPWA analysis of NYC CAFR data. See more charts on Tableau and/or download the data

City-Wide Grants

City-wide grants have consistently – but not exclusively – supported one or more of the four agencies since FY 2010. City-wide grants represent 76 percent of their total federal aid and have increased by $175 million since FY 2010 after adjusting for inflation. Total city-wide grants – the amount these grants have declined across all agencies they support – have declined by $359 million.

Select a city-wide grant to show funding trends

FPWA analysis of NYC CAFR data. See more charts on Tableau and/or download the data


Take Action: Federal Disinvestment and Misplaced Priorities Matter to All New Yorkers

Importantly, NYC’s historic commitment to caring for people who are struggling to afford basic needs means that it is often left to fill the gaps when the federal government abdicates its responsibility. That is, the money that NYC spends on social services in the absence of sufficient federal support could be spent on other investments equally important to the City’s quality of life, such as transportation, safety, education, cultural institutions, and the environment.

  • Reach a New Budget Agreement: Email your member of Congress and ask them to reach a new budget agreement that not only reverses course on the planned sequestration cuts but also increases support for the woefully underfunded programs that serve low- to middle-income families.
  • Submit a Comment: Comment today to stop the Trump Administration’s latest plan to deny food assistance, health, and other forms of basic assistance.
  • Sign the Petition: Demand that Congress repeal the Tax cut and Jobs Act (TCJA) and use that revenue to invest in our nation’s growing needs.