House Budget Committee Proposal Would Avoid Steep Cuts and Provide Resources for Needed Investments
 The BCA initially established low funding ceilings and then further reduced them by an automatic process called “sequestration.” In this analysis, when we refer to “the BCA caps” we mean the very low ceilings in effect after both steps, i.e., the post-sequestration caps.
 In addition to the three most recent two-year budget deals covering the years 2014-2019, Congress also enacted a deal that diminished the BCA’s budget cuts in 2013.
 Sharon Parrott, Richard Kogan, and Roderick Taylor, “New Budget Deal Needed to Avert Cuts, Invest in National Priorities,” CBPP, March 1, 2019, https://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-budget/new-budget-deal-needed-to-avert-cuts-invest-in-national-priorities
 Benefits for veterans are categorized as “non-defense” in the federal budget, and discretionary benefits such as veterans’ medical care are subject to the NDD caps. The Congressional Budget Office recently estimated the spending needed for veterans’ medical care to grow in a manner consistent with historical and projected growth in the costs of medical care, the expected number of veterans who need that care, and the new Mission Act. The $10 billion funding increase is derived from back-up data supplied by CBO. See CBO, “Possible Higher Spending Paths for Veterans’ Benefits,” December 21, 2018, at https://www.cbo.gov/publication/54881.
 Historical data on NDD funding do not distinguish between funding that is subject to the BCA caps and that which is not; see the section titled “Bill Allows Some Funding Outside the Caps.” For that reason, this historical comparison covers the total amount of NDD funding, including amounts that are not subject to the caps.
 Budget accounting classifies military retirement, military retirees’ health, and veterans’ health as non-defense.
 The rationale is that the 2018-2019 deal involved removing 100 percent of the discretionary sequestration for both defense and NDD programs and then further increasing the defense and NDD caps by equal dollar amounts. However, that deal not only allowed the mandatory sequestration cuts to remain in place, it actually extended them for two additional years. The deal provided sizable increases in NDD funding, but increased defense by a larger amount.
 The types of funding listed above are not technically “outside the caps” though it is easiest to describe them that way. Rather, the caps on regular funding are automatically increased each year to accommodate the additional funding that Congress chooses to enact for war costs, disasters and emergencies, and program integrity. Under the BCA, the amount of war funding that may be enacted outside the caps is not limited, though Congress must designate such funding as being for war purposes and the President must independently concur with that designation. The amount of extra funding for program integrity (which entails extra funding to fight Medicare fraud and to conduct periodic reviews of the status of people who have previously been adjudged disabled for purposes of certain federal benefits) is limited to specified dollar amounts. Both the Office of Management and Budget and CBO estimate that the mandatory savings generated by those types of program integrity funding far exceed the additional discretionary funding. The amount of disaster funding, which is supposed to keep the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) disaster relief fund well stocked, is limited by a complicated formula. And the amount of funding for emergencies — e.g., natural disasters whose large costs exceed what FEMA can handle with normal disaster-relief funding — is, like war costs, not limited.