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The $271 Billion Bill to Reopen the Agencies Impacted by the Shutdown (Except Homeland Security) Thru September

Do you support this bill?

by Countable | 1.2.19

Note: We'll transfer this summary once the bill is formally introduced after the 116th Congress convenes and it is assigned an ID number on Thursday.


Summary:

This bill would fund roughly one-fourth of the federal discretionary budget by providing covered agencies with a total of $271 billion in funding for fiscal year 2019 (which runs through September). Specifically, it’d fund agencies covered by these six appropriations titles: Agriculture; Commerce, Justice, Science; Financial Service and General Government; Interior & Environment; State & Foreign Operations; and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development. A detailed breakdown of each section can be found below.

AGRICULTURE

This section of the bill would provide a total of $145.1 billion in FY19 funding to support the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, rural development, conservation, and nutrition programs  — of which $121.8 billion would go to mandatory programs and $23.235 billion in discretionary funding. Overall funding would be $710 million below the prior year, in part to fewer individuals seeking nutrition assistance, while discretionary funds would rise by $225 million.

Food and Nutrition Programs: This section would provide discretionary and mandatory funding for USDA’s food and nutrition programs, including:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): $73.219 billion in required mandatory funding would be provided, which is $794 million below the prior year.
  • Child Nutrition Programs: $23.184 billion in mandatory funding, which would provide meals for an estimated 30.7 million participants.
  • Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC): $6.15 billion in discretionary funding, a decrease of $25 million — which is based on USDA enrollment estimates and won’t prevent eligible participants from getting benefits.

Rural Development: This section would provide $3.8 billion in FY19 funding, of which $825 million would be dedicated for infrastructure investments. It’d provide for the development of rural broadband, and finance $1.25 billion in loans for water & electric infrastructure, $24 billion in rural housing & rental assistance, and $1 billion in loans for rural businesses.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA): This section would provide $2.97 billion in discretionary FY19 funding for the FDA, an increase of $159 million (the FDA gets another $2.5 billion in funding from user fees). It’d provide:

  • $88.5 million of medical product initiatives, including full funding for the Oncology Center of Excellence;
  • $70 million as authorized in the 21st Century Cures Act;
  • $66 million for opioid prevention efforts; and
  • $15 million for food safety initiatives.

Agricultural Research: This section would provide $2.73 billion to support research conducted by the Agricultural Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Formulas used to determine research funding for land grant universities would be maintained at the prior year’s levels.

International Programs:

  • $1.716 billion would be made available for Food for Peace grants, which support the delivery of American-grown food to foreign countries experiencing chronic hunger crises.
  • The McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program would be funded with $210 million, including $15 million for the Local and Regional Food Aid Procurement at the Foreign Agriculture Service.

COMMERCE, JUSTICE, AND SCIENCE

This section of the bill would provide $62.995 billion in fiscal year 2019 funding — an increase of $3.4 billion from the prior year — for the federal government’s commerce, justice, and science-related activities through the Departments of Commerce and Justice, among other agencies.

The Commerce Department would be provided with $11.57 billion in funding for FY2019, an increase of $435 million from the prior year. Among the agencies that’d get funding include:

  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO): $3.37 billion would be provided for USPTO to carry out its work of protecting the ideas and inventions of the nation’s entrepreneurs.
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST): $1.04 billion would be provided for NIST, a decrease of $161 million from the prior year. That’d include $140 million for the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership program, which is a public-private partnership serving small- and medium-sized manufacturers in all 50 states.
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA): $5.48 billion would be provided for NOAA, a decrease of $426 million from the prior year. It’d continue core NOAA operations including: ocean monitoring, fisheries management, coastal grants to states, aquaculture research, weather satellites, and severe weather forecasting.
  • Bureau of the Census: $3.82 billion would be provided, an increase of $1 billion from the prior year, so the Census Bureau can continue its efforts to hold the costs of the 2020 Census lower than the 2010 Census.

The Justice Department would be provided with $30.7 billion in funding for FY2019, an increase of $402.5 million from the prior year. That’d include a 2% increase for salaries and expenses for most federal law enforcement agencies.

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI): The FBI would receive $9.415 billion to cover salaries, expenses, and construction — an increase of $15 million from the prior year. Of the total, $91.6 million would be provided for the Innocent Images National Initiative to target and investigate sexual predators on the internet. Funding would also be increased for cybersecurity activities to neutralize, mitigate, and disrupt illegal computer-supported operations.

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA): $2.23 billion would be provided for the DEA, an increase of $44 million from the prior year, to continue its enforcement of controlled substances laws and regulations — particularly efforts to combat heroin use and prescription drug abuse.

U.S. Marshals Service (USMS): $2.95 billion would be provided for the USMS, including $1.5 billion for federal prisoner detention expenses. Funding would allow for the USMS to continue enforcing the Adam Walsh Act by apprehending convicted sex offenders who fail to register as fugitives; executing responsibilities under International Megan’s Law like alerting foreign governments when registered sex offenders travel; and providing support for a new Regional Fugitive Task Force.

U.S. Attorneys: $2.18 billion would be provided for the 94 U.S. Attorneys offices, including $48.34 million to continue investigations and prosecutions of the sexual exploitation of children under the Adam Walsh Act. It’d also provide $60.5 million to continue efforts to combat cybercrime and intrusions.

Law Enforcement Grant Programs: A total of $2.87 billion would be provided for state and local law enforcement and crime prevention grant programs that’d go to state and local LEO agencies, the Office on Violence Against Women, and juvenile justice programs. The following grant programs are among those funded by this section:

  • $445 million for the Byrne JAG program, which is the primary grant program for state and local law enforcement agencies.
  • $214.5 million for initiatives to address sexual assault kit and other DNA evidence backlogs.
  • $360 million for Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act programs, including $102.5 million for Drug Courts and Veterans Treatment Courts to combat the opioid and heroin epidemic.
  • $90 million for Second Chance Act grants to reduce recidivism for adults released from jail by offering substance abuse treatment, employment assistance, and other rehabilitation services.
  • Project Safe Neighborhoods, which focuses on combating violent crime, would be fully funded with $50 million.
  • STOP School Violence Act programs would be fully funded with $100 million.
  • The Crime Victims Fund (CVF) would receive $4.4 billion for victims and victims services, equal to the amount from the prior year. Of the total, $10 million would be reserved for auditing grants made from the Fund while 5% would be set aside to improve services for tribal victims of crime.

The Science title of this bill funds several agencies, including:

  • National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA): $21.3 billion would be provided for NASA in FY2019, an increase of $587 million from the prior year, to support human and robotic space exploration.
  • National Science Foundation (NSF): $8.1 billion would be provided for the NSF, an increase of $301 million, to provide for basic research across scientific disciplines and to support the development of effective STEM programs.

FINANCIAL SERVICES & GENERAL GOV’T

This section of the bill would provide $23.688 billion in FY19 funding for the U.S. Treasury, the Judiciary, the Small Business Administration, several financial regulators, and other independent agencies.

Treasury Department: Funding for the Treasury Dept.’s various offices and entities would be broken down as follows:

  • $11.2 billion for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), of which $77 million would be focused on implementing tax reform. The IRS would be prohibited from rehiring former employees unless their past conduct & tax compliance is considered, targeting individuals for exercising their First Amendment rights, prohibit the targeting of groups based on ideology, or producing inappropriate videos and conferences.
  • $208.8 million, an increase of $8 million from the prior year, for departmental offices to manage a growing caseload associated with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S.
  • $159 milion for the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, which combats terrorism financing and administers economic and trade sanctions -- an increase of $17.2 million.

Judiciary: A total of $7.251 billion in discretionary FY19 funds would be provided, an increase of $140 million from the prior year, to allow for timely and efficient processing of federal cases, court security, and defender services.

Small Business Administration (SBA): The SBA would receive $699.3 million to provide assistance to small businesses, expand the economy, and promote job growth for unemployed & underemployed Americans. It’d fully fund business loans at $159.2 million, in addition to providing $130 million for Small Business Development Centers, $31 million for microloan technical assistance, $12.3 million for veterans outreach, and $11.5 million for the SCORE program.

General Services Administration (GSA): This section would allow the GSA to spend $9.63 bllion out of the Federal Buildings Fund to provide for rent payments for offices leased by the federal government, operations & maintenance at properties owned by government agencies while $1.08 billion would go to construction. Maintenance, repairs, and alterations would be fully funded.

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC): This section would provide $1.695 billion in funding for the SEC, an amount equal to the prior year. It’d provide targeted funding for economic analysis within the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis.

District of Columbia: This section would provide $703.2 million in federal payments to DC, which would fund public safety and security costs, support the DC court system and its offender supervision program.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC): The FTC would receive $309.7 million in FY19 funding, equal to the prior year.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC): The FCC would receive $333.1 million in FY19 funding, equal to the prior year.

INTERIOR & ENVIRONMENT

This section would provide a total of $35.853 billion in FY19 funding for the Dept. of the Interior, the U.S. Forest Service, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Bureau of Indian Affairs and other agencies.

Dept. of the Interior (DOI): A total of $13.109 billion would be provided for the DOI, including full funding for the Payment in Lieu of Taxes program that compensates local governments with untaxable federal property in their jurisdiction for the lost revenue opportunity.

Bureau of Land Management (BLM): A total of $1.34 billion in FY19 funding would go to the BLM, an increase of $11 million from the year prior. Funds would go to administering energy and minerals programs while investing in public land management.

National Park Service (NPS): $3.21 billion in FY19 funding would be provided to NPS, up $13.4 million from the prior year to address a backlog of construction, maintenance, and operate new park units. That’d include $23 million for the Centennial Challenge grant program, which provides matching grants to address backlog maintenance and other needs in national parks.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS): A total of $1.57 billion would be provided for the FWS, a decrease of $19.7 million from the prior year. Within the total, increased funding would be available for the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants program and the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, while operation of fish hatcheries would be maintained. The prohibition on listing the greater sage grouse as an endangered species would continue.

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS): A total of $1.148 billion in FY19 funding would be provided to USGS, equal to the prior year. Within the total, increased funding would go toward energy and mineral resources, mapping, natural hazards, and water resources.

Indian Health Service (IHS): This section would provide $5.77 billion in FY19 funding for the IHS, an increase of $234 million from the prior year. Within the total, additional funding would be focused on combating opioid abuse, suicide prevention, domestic violence prevention, and alcohol and substance abuse problems. Funds would also be included for infrastructure improvements to healthcare facilities and $115 million would go to staffing new facilities.

Bureau of Indian Affairs & Bureau of Indian Education (BIA/BIE): This section would provide $3.07 billion in FY19 funding for BIA & BIE, an increase of $11.4 million from the prior year. Increases from the prior year for human services and natural resource programs are continued as well as public safety and justice programs. Construction activities and projects would receive $359 million, an increase of $5 million.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): This section would provide $8.058 billion in FY19 funding for the EPA, equal to its funding for the prior year, including:

  • $2.86 billion for the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds program, an increase from the prior year.
  • $63 million would go to the Water Infrastructure Finance Act program, allowing billions in loans to finance water infrastructure.
  • An increase of $17 million for categorical grant programs which help states implement various environmental regulations.

U.S. Forest Service (USFS): This section would provide $6.29 billion in FY19 funding for the USFS, including increased funding to fight wildfire. A $5 million increase would be provided for hazardous fuels reduction.to prevent catastrophic wildfires in the wildland-urban interface.

Wildland Firefighting: This section would provide $4.345 billion to fight wildland fire, representing the 10-year average of fire suppression costs plus an additional $900 million in anticipation of regular funding being insufficient. Within the total, $724 million would go to the Forest Service and $176 million to the Dept. of the Interior.

STATE & FOREIGN OPERATIONS

This section of the bill would provide $54.4 billion in fiscal year 2019 funding for the State Department, an amount equal to the prior year, to carry out diplomacy, promote democracy, provide assistance to allies, and global health programs to help the world’s most vulnerable populations. A breakdown of its various provisions can be found below.

State Department Operations: This section of the bill would provide funding for State Department operations and those of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), along with other agencies and activities, including:

  • $11.8 billion for the Administration of Foreign Affairs to maintain State Department staffing levels at FY2016 levels.
  • $1.46 billion for USAID operating expenses, including maintaining staffing and operational levels consistent with prior fiscal years.
  • Assistance for the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Gaza would be restricted, while $50 million would be included to foster partnerships between Palestinian and international businesses.

Multilateral assistance would total $1.83 billion to meet U.S. commitments to international financial institutions and assessed contributions for U.N.  organizations and peacekeeping activities. No funding would be provided to the U.N. Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, the U.N. Population Fund, or for the Green Climate Fund. It’d also promote U.N. peacekeeping reforms by restricting funds for units involved in sexual exploitation and abuse.

Global Health: This section would provide a total of $8.8 billion in FY2019 funding for global health programs, of which $3.1 billion is for USAID health programs and $5.7 billion for the State Department. That’d include:

  • $6 billion for global HIV/AIDS assistance — an increase of $50 million — of which $5.72 billion is for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, $1.35 billion for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, and $330 million for USAID HIV/AIDS programs.
  • $829.5 million for maternal and child health programs, including $290 million for the GAVI Alliance.
  • $755 million to combat malaria.

International Security Assistance: This section of the bill would provide $8.8 billion in FY2019 funding for counterterrorism and nonproliferation programs, foreign military training and education programs, peacekeeping operations, plus military equipment for U.S. partners. It’d include:

  • $5.9 billion for financing foreign military equipment.
  • $1.4 billion for International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement programs.
  • $860.7 million for Nonproliferation, Anti-terrorism, Demining and Related programs, of which $314.4 million is for anti-terrorism programs.
  • $477.4 million for peacekeeping operations, including $31 million for a U.S. contribution to the Multinational Force and Observer mission in the Sinai (between Israel and Egypt).

Reforms & Savings: This section of the bill provides FY2019 for State Department and USAID inspectors general, including the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. It’d prohibit funds from being used to deny an Inspector General funded by the bill from access to any records, documents, or other materials, or to impede the access of such IG to such records, documents, or materials.

TRANSPORTATION, HOUSING & URBAN DEVELOPMENT

This section of the bill would provide a total of $71.4 billion in discretionary funding for the Departments of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development — an increase of $1.1 billion from the year prior.

Transportation: This section would provide $26.6 billion in discretionary FY19 funding for the Dept. of Transportation (DOT), a decrease of $698 million from the prior year. That’d include:

  • $1 billion for BUILD grants (previously known as TIGER grants).
  • $3.3 billion in additional funding would be provided for highway programs, including $90 million to eliminate hazards at railway-highway grade crossing and $800 million for bridge repairs.
  • $46 billion in budgetary resources from the Highway Trust Fund for the Federal-aid Highways Program.
  • $17.7 billion in budgetary resources for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fully fund air traffic controllers, engineers, maintenance technicians, safety inspectors, and operational support personnel.
  • $1 billion for FAA Next Generation Air Transportation Systems (NextGen); $168 million for the Contract Towers program; and $750 million in additional funding for airport improvements.
  • $2.8 billion for the Federal Railroad Administration, including $1.9 billion to Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor and National Network to continue service for all current routes.
  • $13.5 billion for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), with grants totaling $9.9 billion from the Highway Trust Fund’s Mass Transit Account.
  • $956 million for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, $667 million for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and $275 million for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

Housing & Urban Development (HUD): This section would provide $44.5 billion in discretionary FY19 funding for HUD, an increase of $1.8 billion from the prior year. Increases are targeted toward continuing assistance for elderly and disabled beneficiaries of rental assistance programs. HUD’s rental assistance programs would receive the following amounts:

  • $22.8 billion for tenant-based Section 8 vouchers;
  • $11.7 billion for project-based Section 8;
  • $7.5 billion for public housing;
  • $678 million for housing for the elderly;
  • $154 million for housing for persons with disabilities.

HUD’s Community Planning and Development programs would receive a total of $7.8 billion, an increase of $99 million from the prior year. Of the total, $3.3 billion would go to Community Development Block Grants, $2.6 billion to Homeless Assistance Grants, $1.4 billion for the HOME program, and $375 million to provide housing for people with AIDS.

Within the homeless assistance programs, $20 million would go to new family unification vouchers to prevent youth leaving foster care from becoming homeless. Another $80 million would be provided for grants and technical assistance to test comprehensive efforts to end youth homelessness in urban and rural areas. Additionally, $50 million would go to rapid rehousing for domestic violence victims, and $40 million for new HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers.

A total of $260 million would be allocated to combating lead hazards through grants to communities to protect children from lead poisoning, an increase of $30 million from the year prior.


Argument in Favor:

Congress has a constitutional responsibility to fund the government and this bill reflects the funding bills that passed the Senate with overwhelming support in the last Congress. Leaving Homeland Security out allows negotiations over border security funding to continue.


Argument Against:

Congress shouldn’t be passing a massive $271 billion funding bill on its first day even if some of the agencies covered by it have been partially closed because of the shutdown. This bill won’t get signed unless it provides border security funding, so it’s a waste of time in its current form


Impact: Relevant agencies and Congress.


Cost: A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.


In-Depth: Incoming House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) will introduce this bill that’d fund the other agencies impacted by the partial government shutdown through the end of September in conjunction with legislation fund Homeland Security through February 8th:

“Responsibly funding the federal government is one of the most important duties of Congress. This legislation fulfills that responsibility, reopens federal agencies shuttered by the Trump Shutdown, and ensures that the federal government is working for the American people. When the 116th Congress convenes Thursday, our new Democratic majority will take the first step to ending the Trump Shutdown by passing this legislation, which has already garnered strong bipartisan support in the Senate.”

President Donald Trump dismissed this proposal, arguing that it doesn’t do enough to secure the border:

“The Pelosi plan is a non-starter because it does not fund our homeland security or keep American families safe from human trafficking, drugs, and crime.”

Media:

House Appropriations Committee Democrats Press Release

House Majority Leader-designate Steny Hoyer (D-MD) Press Release

CNBC

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: istock.com / kaarsten)

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