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Upcoming Congressional Fiscal Policy Deadlines

May 10, 2019 | Budget Process

Updated 5/10/2019: The next two years will include several predictable fiscal policy deadlines that will force congressional action. Many of these deadlines could bring additional costs if Congress acts irresponsibly, or they could present an opportunity for Congress to reduce deficits.

We will regularly update this tracker to help reporters, congressional staff, and others interested in fiscal policy keep tabs of major deadlines. We recommend that you bookmark it and come back to check in.

Congress will need to act on each of these dates or enact short-term extensions to move the deadlines. Dates in red indicate past due deadlines.

Issue   Deadline   Potential 2019-2028 Cost   More Information
First Expiration of the 2017 Tax Bill: Medical Expense Deduction   December 31, 2018   $2 billion for 1 year; $30 billion if extended permanently   The deduction would shrink, covering expenses that exceed 10% of adjusted gross income instead of 7.5% currently.
“Tax Extenders” – 20+ tax breaks that expired in 2017   December 31, 2018   ~$10 billion for 1 year; $80 billion if extended permanently   Retroactively reinstated for 2017; were expired for 2018 and not reinstated before tax filing for the year. Congress could revive them for future years.
Lift Debt Ceiling   March 2, 2019
Must-act deadline: late September 2019 or early October 2019.
  N/A   The debt limit was suspended by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 until March 2019. Treasury will be able to use “extraordinary measures” past that point to avoid breaching the debt ceiling, which CBO estimates will last until late FY 2019 or early FY 2020. 
Q&A: Everything You Should Know About the Debt Ceiling
National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization Needed   May 31, 2019   TBD   The House and Senate elected to extend the deadline for another five months at the end of December. More on NFIP
Reauthorization of TANF & Related Programs Needed   June 30, 2019   TBD   Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and the Child Care Entitlement to States will expire under a six-month extension enacted in January.
Increased Defense/Non-Defense Discretionary Caps   October 1, 2019   One-year: $125 billion; up to $1.7 trillion if extended   The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 set funding levels for 2018 and 2019. Sequester-level caps return for FY 2020 and 2021. Discretionary spending caps are scheduled to fall by $125 billion between 2019 and 2020.
Funding the Government / Appropriations   October 1, 2019   None if Congress abides by budget caps   Congress passed full appropriations for the remaining seven appropriations bills for the rest of fiscal year 2019, and the president signed the omnibus prior to the expiration of the existing continuing resolution (CR) at midnight on February 15. Q&A: Everything You Should Know About Government Shutdowns
Appropriations Watch
Paid Family Leave Credit Expires   December 31, 2019   $2 billion for 1 year; $20 billion if extended permanently       The 2017 tax bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), created a paid leave credit that expires at the end of 2019. 
ACA Taxes Reinstated   December 31, 2019   $15 billion for 1 year; $155 billion if extended permanently  

Includes the delays of the medical device tax and health insurance tax from the January 2018 CR. Three-Week Funding Deal Includes $30 Billion in Tax Cuts

Alcohol Taxes   December 31, 2019   $5 billion for 1 year; $10 billion through 2028   Provisions from TCJA modifying the rates of taxation of beer, wine, and distilled spirits and certain other rules expire at the end of 2019.

Longer-Term Deadlines 

  • 2022: Highway Trust Fund exhaustion
  • 2022: Various tax provisions expire: amoritization of research & experimentation costs, interest deduction rules, Cadillac tax delay
  • 2023: Full expensing tax phase-out begins; continues until 2027
  • 2025: Multiemployer Pension Insurance Fund exhaustion
  • 2026: TCJA individual income tax provisions expire
  • 2026: Medicare Hospital Insurance (Part A) Trust Fund exhaustion
  • 2034: Social Security Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund exhaustion (combined OASI and SSDI exhaustion date is 2035)
  • 2052: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Trust Fund exhaustion

These trust fund exhaustion dates are estimates provided by the Social Security Trustees. The Congressional Budget Office projected different dates of 2025 for Disability Insurance and 2032 for Old-Age and Survivors Insurance in its long-term budget outlook last year.