Update May 1, 2017: This legislation was co-opted through the amendment process to serve as the legislative vehicle for a $1.1 trillion omnibus appropriations bill to fund the government through the end of fiscal year 2017. Originally it was known as the HIRE Vets Act, and created a medallion program that awards to businesses which have a verified track record of recruiting, employing, and retaining veterans and provide community and charitable services to the veteran community.
In its current form, this bill would provide $1.163 trillion to fund the government through the end of fiscal year 2017 on September 30. It would meet the base discretionary spending cap of $1.07 trillion imposed by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, while providing additional funding for national defense, border security, and other emergency needs. A total of $93.5 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) / Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) funding would be provided to combat ISIS, support U.S. allies, and fund diplomatic and humanitarian missions. Emergency and disaster funding would total $8.1 billion to address needs arising from fires, floods, and other extreme weather events.
Defense: $593 billion in funding would go to defense, an increase of $19.9 billion over the last fiscal year, of which $14.8 billion goes to OCO / GWOT accounts. Military personnel and pay accounts for $132.3 billion of the funding, and a 2.1 percent pay raise for the military would be fully funded instead of a 1.6 percent raise as requested by the previous administration. This would allow the military to provide for 1,305,900 active-duty troops and 813,200 Guard and Reserve troops. Other military appropriations include:
$223 billion for operations and maintenance, including additional funding to address readiness shortfalls.
$123.3 billion for equipment procurement and upgrades, including 13 Navy ships and 74 F-35 aircraft among other items.
$73.7 billion for research, development, testing, and evaluation of new defense technologies.
$34.1 billion for the Defense Health Program to provide care for troops, military families, and retirees. Included in this total is $312 million for cancer research, $296 million for sexual assault prevention and response programs, and $125 million for traumatic brain injury and psychological health research.
Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education: $161 billion would go to these three agencies, a decrease of $934 million from fiscal year 2016. In general, this funding goes toward medical research, public health, and biodefense, as well as support for the comprehensive approach to combat the opioid epidemic. No new funding for Obamacare would be provided under this bill. Other provisions of this section include:
Rescinding the budget of Obamacare’s Independent Patient Advisory Board, prohibiting a taxpayer bailout of insurance companies through its Risk Corridor program, and prevents the Prevention and Public Health Fund from being used to fund Obamacare.
Health benefits for retired coal mine workers that’d otherwise expire would be made permanent. This spending would be fully offset.
All longstanding restrictions on the federal funding of abortion (such as the Hyde Amendment) would be extended by this bill. It also increases funding for sexual risk avoidance programs (formerly known as abstinence education) by 50 percent.
Agriculture: $153.4 billion in mandatory and discretionary funding, an increase of $12.8 billion that’s driven in part by growth in mandatory spending. Discretionary funding would decrease by $623 million. Funding in this section of the bill would go to programs supporting U.S. agriculture, rural communities, food and drug safety, and nutrition for those in need. Provisions of this section include:
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps, would receive $78.5 billion in mandatory spending. This total is $2.4 billion less than the year before due to declining enrollment, although a reserve of $3 billion would be included to account .
Child nutrition programs would get $22.8 billion in mandatory funding, an increase of $644 million from the previous year. This money goes to providing free or reduced-price school lunches and snacks for 31 million qualifying children. An Obama-era school meal regulation would no longer be implemented, allowing for more flexibility in providing whole grains and milk while preventing changes to sodium standards.
Transportation, Housing & Urban Development: $57.7 billion would be provided to these two agencies, up $550 million from the year prior, which funds land, air, and sea infrastructure projects and housing for low-income or vulnerable households. Transportation funding levels match those approved in the FAST Act in 2015. No funding would be provided for high-speed rail.
Commerce, Justice, and Science: $56.6 billion would be allocated to funding federal law enforcement, national security, reducing drug use, trade enforcement, and space exploration — up $833 million from fiscal year 2016. Funding to the Dept. of Justice and Dept. of Commerce would be reduced by $143 million and $9 million, respectively, while NASA would get an additional $368 million. Notable provisions of this section include:
A prohibition on funding to house, transfer, or release any Guantanamo Bay detainee.
The continuation of all existing policies related to abortion.
A prohibition on NASA and the Office of Science and Technology Policy engaging in bilateral activities with China unless the activities are authorized or vetted.
Prohibitions on “gunwalking” or implementation of the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty would remain in effect.
State & Foreign Operations: $53.1 billion would be provided, down $594 million from the year prior when extraordinary costs for famine prevention, relief, and mitigation are excluded. Of this, $16.5 billion is OCO funding that’d support operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other areas of instability and conflict while another $990 million would go to international famine prevention. Provisions of this section include:
International security assistance would total $8.975 billion, up $90 million from the year before. Of this, $3.175 billion would go to Israel, while the militaries of Ukraine, Jordan, Egypt, and Tunisia would also get assistance.
Bilateral assistance would total $24.7 billion, which would go to programs that support development and democracy, global health, and humanitarian aid in foreign countries.
Funding for assessed payments to the United Nations (UN) would be reduced by $640 million from fiscal year 2016. No funding would be made available to the UN Human Rights Council or the UN Climate Change Panel.
Restrictions on providing aid to the Palestinian Authority would be maintained, and would be prohibited altogether if it forms a unity government with Hamas.
Foreign aid couldn’t be spent on abortions, go to organizations that support coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization, and family planning programs receiving funding would need to be voluntary.
Homeland Security: $42.4 billion, an increase of $1.45 billion from the year before, would go to providing for border and immigration enforcement, customs activities, protection against cyber terrorism, natural disaster response, and smuggling operations into the U.S. It’d provide for additional hiring of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) personnel and expand detention and removal programs for unauthorized immigrants. The Secret Service would receive an additional $131 million for additional costs related to protecting the president.
Energy & Water: $37.8 billion would be provided for national security efforts including nuclear weapons activities and energy and water infrastructure investments, an increase of $586 million over the previous year. Provisions of this section include:
Renewable energy programs are cut by $808 million compared to the Obama administration’s final budget request.
Funding for research and development into protecting the electric grid against cyberattacks and extreme weather events would be increased by $24 million to a total of $230 million.
An Obama administration proposal to speed up the dismantling of nuclear weapons would be rejected.
An additional $30 million would be provided for operating the nation’s repository for defense nuclear waste.
Interior & Environment: $32.28 billion, an increase of $121 million, would go to the Dept. of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Forest Service, the Indian Health Service and other independent and related agencies. Notable provisions of this section include:
The size of the EPA would be capped at 15,000; it would be prohibited from changing agricultural exemptions to the Clean Water Act, and also prohibited from regulating the lead content of ammunition and fishing tackle. The EPA is also required to review the backlog of mining permits.
The Obama administration’s proposal to increase oil and gas inspection fees is rejected, as is an attempt to raise fees on ranchers for grazing on federal land. Rulemakings or reviews related to the greater sage grouse’s status under the Endangered Species Act would be delayed for one year.
Financial Services & General Gov’t: $21.5 billion would be provided under this section, a decrease of $2 billion over the prior year. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) would see its budget frozen at the level it was at in 2016, and it’d be prohibited from doing the following:
Finalizing a proposed regulation related to political activities and the tax-exempt status of 501(c)(4) organizations.
Awarding bonuses or rehiring former employees unless their conduct and tax compliance is considered.
Targeting individuals for exercising their First Amendment rights.
Determining the tax-exempt status of an organization at the request of the White House.
The District of Columbia also receives its funding from this section. DC’s school voucher program, created by the SOAR Act, would be reauthorized through calendar year 2019. The prohibition on federal and local funds from being used for abortion or marijuana legalization would be maintained, as would the use of federal funds for needle exchanges in the District.
Legislative Branch: $4.4 billion would be provided for the operations of the House, Senate, up $77 million from fiscal year 2016. The Capitol Police, Architect of the Capitol, Library of Congress, and Government Accountability Office are some of the notable entities getting funding in this section.