NDD United was established in response to the Budget Control Act of 2011, which placed austere caps on federal spending for all discretionary programs through 2021 and set the stage for sequestration starting in 2013. With so much at stake for so many programs, NDD United brought together for the first time hundreds of stakeholders from across the nondefense discretionary (NDD) sectors to call for a balanced approach to deficit reduction.

After sequestration took effect in 2013, NDD United released a report detailing the impacts of the budget cuts titled: Faces of Austerity: How Budget Cuts Make Us Sicker, Poorer, and Less Secure. Following the release of the report, Senator Patty Murray and Congressman Paul Ryan reached an agreement to partially and temporarily patch sequestration under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. As a result of these efforts The Hill Named NDD United one of their Top 10 Lobbying Victories in 2013. 

Since then, NDD United has helped secure two more budget deals to #RaiseTheCaps, including the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018--the largest single increase for nondefense discretionary programs since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. 

With this deal expiring at the end of fiscal 2019, we will continue our work together and urge Congress and the administration to negotiate another budget deal to stop sequestration and #RaiseTheCaps.


It is critical to NDD United that a deal to replace the harmful sequestration cuts include:

  1. A Balanced Approach – For too long, lawmakers have tried to balance the budget on the back of the discretionary portion of the budget, which experts widely recognize is not responsible for our growing federal debt. In order to effectively and responsibly reduce the deficit, lawmakers must ensure that all portions of the budget, including revenue and entitlements, are on the table and enact a balanced approach to deficit reduction.

  2. The Parity Principle – In the media, a majority of the stories about sequestration are focused on the impact of the cuts on the defense side of the ledger. However, the cuts are equally split between defense and NDD programs. Thus, NDD United urges lawmakers to continue the precedent set in the Budget Control Act and the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 and ensure that defense and nondefense programs are treated equally. For every dollar of sequestration relief granted to defense, NDD must receive at least one dollar of relief.

  3. No More NDD Cuts – NDD programs play a vital role in the health and well-being of our lives and communities. As a result of sequestration and other austerity measures enacted since 2011, NDD funding in 2014 was about 15 percent below 2010 levels, adjusted for inflation. Without action to stop sequestration, in 2016 NDD programs will decline to 3.1 percent of GDP — equal to the lowest level in at least 50 years. Deficit reduction efforts must recognize the contributions NDD programs have already made, and the cuts already sustained.