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house Bill H.R. 3219

$788 Billion “Minibus”: FY2018 Funding for Defense, Veterans, Energy & Water, and Congress

Argument in favor

This spending package provides the resources needed to ensure military readiness, care for veterans, continue critical energy & water programs, and operate the legislative branch.

operaman's Opinion
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07/27/2017
I support the minibus legislation. It supports the Military with funds to upgrade military hardware and troops plus Veterans. More energy for business and water management. What's not to like? But let's be cognizant of our National Debt.
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John's Opinion
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07/22/2017
Without a strong defense you don't have to worry about anything else except learning a new language. Some people just don't get it. This world and this country has been as stable over the past 60 years because of the strength shown by this country's military. Has we remained in a Monroe Doctrine posture it would likely be very different today.
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07/22/2017
Our nation's military has been put on the back burner for the past eight years, making us very weak and vulnerable. It's high time we put some much needed funding into it and make us a formidable force once again. As for those who are crying about the amount being spent on defense, try living in a country without this type of defense budget. See how well you like it there. This is America, and if we want to remain independent and strong, a large budget for our defense is necessary.
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Argument opposed

This spending package provides too much defense funding and shortchanges too many critical areas, like renewable energy research. Plus these bills should be considered individually.

Adriel's Opinion
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07/22/2017
Too many things in one bill. Separate them and decrease the insane amount of money budgeted towards defense.
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JustinM.D.Nelson's Opinion
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07/22/2017
Too much money for the military, not nearly enough for veterans or renewable energy initiatives. A budget this big needs to be debated and discussed further.
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Lisa's Opinion
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07/22/2017
Why are all of these lumped together? Also defense spending is too high and other areas are left short
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed July 27th, 2017
    Roll Call Vote 235 Yea / 192 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Appropriations
    IntroducedJuly 13th, 2017

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What is House Bill H.R. 3219?

This bill — known as the Make America Secure Appropriations Act — combines four of the 12 annual appropriations bills into one piece of legislation, including funding for the Dept. of Defense (DOD), military & veterans affairs, energy & water development, and the legislative branch. The funding totals for each section of the bill would be as follows: $658.1 billion for the DOD; $88.8 billion for military construction & veterans affairs; $37.56 billion for energy & water development; and $3.58 billion for the legislative branch.


Dept. of Defense

This legislation would provide $658.1 billion for the DOD in fiscal year 2018. Of this, $584.2 billion would be discretionary funding — up $68.1 billion over the prior year — while $73.9 billion in funding would be provided for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) / Global War on Terrorism (GWOT).

The OCO/GWOT funding would provide resources needed for preparation and operations to fight ongoing threats; including personnel requirements; operational needs; replacing aircraft losses; combat vehicle safety modifications; additional Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) assets;and maintenance of facilities and equipment. It would also provide critical support to allies such as Israel, Ukraine, and Jordan.

Military pay would total $138.3 billion under this bill, $5.3 billion of which for OCO/GWOT requirements with the rest going to base pay. That would support 1,324,000 active-duty troops and 822,900 Guard and Reserve troops. A 2.4 percent pay raise for the military would be fully funded.

Operation and maintenance funding would total $241 billion, of which $49 billion is for OCO/GWOT requirements. Base funding would be $24.1 billion above fiscal year 2017, with the increase aimed at filling readiness shortfalls to provide troops with training and equipment.

Research and development funding would total $84.3 billion, with $1.6 billion going to OCO/GWOT requirements. Base funding would be $10.3 billion more than fiscal year 2017. That funding would support research and development of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, space security programs, the new Air Force bomber program the Ohio-class submarine replacement, Future Vertical Lift, the Israeli Cooperative Programs, and other research and development, like that done by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Equipment procurement and upgrades would total $149 billion — up $24.1 billion from the prior year — of which $16.5 billion would go to OCO/GWOT requirements. Base requirements would be $24.1 billion above fiscal year 2017. Some of the highlights include:

  • $21.5 billion for 11 Navy ships, including one carrier replacement, two guided missile destroyers, two Virginia-class submarines, and three littoral combat ships.

  • $9.5 billion would go to providing 84 F-35 aircraft; $1.8 billion for 24 F-18 Super Hornet aircraft; $1.05 billion for 56 Black Hawk helicopters.

  • $1.09 billion for the upgrade of 85 Abrams tanks, $483 million for upgrades of 145 Bradley fighting vehicles, $348 million for upgrades of 116 Strykers, and $332 million for the Israeli Cooperative Programs.

Defense health and military family programs funding would total $34 billion, up $150 million from the prior year, for the Defense Health Program to provide care for troops, military families, and retirees. Of the total, $282 million would go to cancer research, $125 million for traumatic brain injury and psychological health research, and $277 million for sexual assault prevention and response.

Some of the savings that would be gained under this bill are $1.5 billion in savings from rescinding unused prior-year funding, $1 billion from lower-than-expected fuel costs, and $345 million due to favorable economic conditions.


Military Construction & Veterans Affairs

A total of $88.8 billion in discretionary funding would be authorized by this section of the bill — $6 billion more than what was authorized for fiscal year 2017 — of which $638 million would go to Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) accounts for base construction.

The Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA) would receive $182.3 billion in both discretionary and mandatory funding, an increase of $5.3 billion from fiscal year 2017. Discretionary funding makes up $78.3 billion of that total, up $3.9 billion from fiscal year 2017. Mandatory funding provides veteran disability compensation for 4.5 million veterans and their survivors, education benefits for 1 million veterans, and vocational rehabilitation and employment training for more than 145,000 veterans.

VA medical care would total $69 billion to treat an estimated seven million patients in fiscal year 2018. Of that, funding would be broken down as follows:

  • $8.4 billion in mental healthcare services, $186 million for suicide prevention, $316 million for traumatic brain injury treatment.

  • $7.3 billion in homeless veterans treatment, services, housing, and job training; $751 million for hepatitis C treatment; $50 million for opioid abuse prevention.

  • $250 million for rural health initiatives.

To speed up the process of reducing the VA’s disability claims backlog (about 312,000 veterans), $50 million in funding above the president’s budget request would be provided to be used on the scanning of health records and overtime pay. The bill would also continue existing reporting requirements that track each regional office’s performance on claims processing and appeals backlogs.

The VA’s electronic health record system would be modernized using $65 million set aside by this bill to use an identical electronic record system as the DOD. Major and minor construction at VA facilities would be funded at $753 million, which includes money for the construction of new facilities and the expansion of cemeteries that are reaching capacity before 2022.

Advance appropriations for fiscal year 2019 would also be provided by this bill, including $70.7 billion for veterans’ medical programs and $107.7 billion for mandatory benefit programs.

Military construction projects would receive $10.2 billion in funding, an increase of $2.1 billion above fiscal year 2017, with $638 million in OCO funding for projects in countries with ongoing U.S. operations. This would fund operational facilities, training facilities, hospitals, family housing, National Guard readiness centers, and barracks among other resources. A total of 215 military constructions projects in the U.S. and overseas would be funded.

Some of the highlights of the military construction funding include:

  • Military Family Housing: $1.4 billion to build, operate, and maintain military family housing, an increase of $131 million above fiscal year 2017, which currently serves a total of 1,388,028 military families.

  • Military Medical Facilities: $737 million for construction and alterations at new or existing military medical facilities, up $433 million from fiscal year 2017. There 9.8 million eligible beneficiaries of the care provided at these facilities.

  • DOD Education Facilities: $249 million for safety improvements and infrastructure work at four DOD Education Activities facilities in the U.S. and overseas.

  • Guard and Reserve: $575 million for construction or alteration of Guard and Reserve facilities in 22 states.

  • NATO Security Investment Program: $178 million, the same amount as fiscal year 2017, for infrastructure needed for wartime, crisis, peace support and deterrence operations, and training requirements. The funding would assist NATO’s response to challenges from Russia and threats coming from the Middle East and North Africa.

  • Guantanamo Bay: $115 million would go to building two new barracks to house service members stationed at Guantanamo Bay. The bill would also prohibit the closure of the Guantanamo Bay Naval Station and prohibit funding for any facility in the U.S. to house detainees.


Energy and Water Development

This bill would provide $37.56 billion for the Dept. of Energy (DOE), Army Corps of Engineers, and national defense nuclear weapons activities — a reduction of $209 million from the previous year and $3.24 billion above the president’s budget request for fiscal year 2018.

Funding for nuclear security would total $13.9 billion — up $976 million over last year — of which $10.2 billion would go to maintaining the military’s nuclear deterrent, $1.4 billion for naval nuclear reactors, and $1.8 billion for nuclear nonproliferation. Included in the nonproliferation funding would be $340 million to build a facility for disposing of surplus plutonium).

The Army Corps of Engineers would receive $6.16 billion for fiscal year 2018, up $120 million from the prior year and $1.16 billion more than the president’s budget request. Of the total, $2.8 billion would go to navigation projects and studies, while $1.8 billion would fund flood and storm damage reduction activities.

Energy programs within the DOE would receive $9.6 billion in funding, a decrease of $1.7 billion from the prior year and $2.3 billion above the president’s budget request. Research and development related to coal, natural gas, oil, and other fossil fuels would be funded with $635 million, down $33 million from the prior year. Nuclear energy research would receive $969 million, a reduction of $48 million from fiscal year 2017. Renewable energy programs would be cut by $986 million from the previous year at a level $468 million higher than the president’s budget.

Other provisions that would be funded under this section include:

  • Science research would receive $5.4 billion in funding, the same amount as fiscal year 2017, which would be focused on next generation energy sources and high-performance computing systems.

  • The Bureau of Reclamation would receive $1.24 billion for managing, developing, and protecting water resources in western states.

  • The Yucca Mountain nuclear repository would be supported with $90 million for its Nuclear Waste Disposal program, $30 million for Defense Nuclear Waste Disposal, and $30 million for the continued adjudication fo DOE’s Yucca Mountain License application.

Other policy items that would be enacted under this section include:

  • The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Secretary of the Army would be authorized to withdraw the Waters of the United States rule.

  • The Clean Water Act’s application would be restricted in certain agricultural areas, such as farm ponds and irrigation ditches.

  • The possession of firearms on Corps of Engineers lands would be permitted.

  • New nuclear nonproliferation projects in Russia would be prohibited without notifications from the Secretary of Energy.


Legislative Branch

This bill would provide $3.58 billion for the House and joint operations of Congress (excluding Senate-only items) for fiscal year 2018, $100 million more than 2017 but $228 million less than the president’s request.

House operations would be funded with $1.194 billion for the pay of members and their staffs, leadership, committees, and Officers of the House — $5 million more than last year to enhance security for members when they’re away from the Capitol complex and cybersecurity enhancements. Pay would remain frozen for members Congress, as it has been since 2010.

Capitol Police would be funded at $422.5 million, an increase of $29.2 from the prior year, which provides for the security of members, staff, and visitors of the Capitol. The increase would fund additional training, equipment, and technology-related support.

Among the other items funded by this section are:

  • Architect of the Capitol: $577.8 million would be provided, an increase of $48.4 million from the year prior to fund health and safety improvement projects to protect members, staff, and visitors.

  • Library of Congress: $648 million would be provided, an increase of $16 million from the prior year that would fund information technology modernization within the Library, the Copyright Office, and the Congressional Research Service (CRS). The public would have access to all non-confidential CRS reports.

  • Government Accountability office (GAO): $568 million would be provided, $450 thousand above the prior year to continue the GAO’s work of providing Congress with accurate, nonpartisan reporting of federal programs and tracking of how taxpayer dollars are spent.

Impact

The military; veterans and their families; visitors to the U.S. Capitol; members of Congress; energy & water programs; the DOD, DOE, the VA, and other federal agencies.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 3219

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthHouse Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) offered the following statement on the national security appropriations package:

“The highest priority of Congress is to ensure the safety and security of our nation and to guarantee the future of our great democracy - this critical national security legislation needs to head to the floor. All of our Appropriations bills contain important funding for essential programs that serve the American people. I am committed to getting these security bills, as well as every single one of the remaining eight Appropriations bills, through the legislative process and to the President’s desk.”

Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: U.S. Army - Patrick Albright / Public Domain)

AKA

Defense, Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, Legislative Branch, and Energy and Water Development National Security Appropriations Act, 2018

Official Title

Making appropriations for the Department of Defense for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2018, and for other purposes.

    I support the minibus legislation. It supports the Military with funds to upgrade military hardware and troops plus Veterans. More energy for business and water management. What's not to like? But let's be cognizant of our National Debt.
    Like (22)
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    Too many things in one bill. Separate them and decrease the insane amount of money budgeted towards defense.
    Like (230)
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    Too much money for the military, not nearly enough for veterans or renewable energy initiatives. A budget this big needs to be debated and discussed further.
    Like (153)
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    Why are all of these lumped together? Also defense spending is too high and other areas are left short
    Like (134)
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    You know what will make America better? It isn't strengthening the already best military force in the world. It isn't increasing the pockets of politicians. It's funding PUBLIC education, funding higher education for all, funding scientific advancement, funding technological research, funding health, and funding environmental protection. Oh wait, all those receive less, LESS, than a total of 20% of our Gross taxes paid annually. If anything, we should be allowed to choose where our taxes get allocated, and that further pushes transparency and solidifies need. It will also keep politicians honest because guess what, the people would hold the future of payments, not some undisclosed bank that no one knows who is really running (albeit the heads of all major banking institutions).
    Like (96)
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    These should be considered separately and not lumped together. I understand the importance of funding the Dept. of Defense (DOD), military & veterans. I just don't agree with wrapping in funding for energy & water development and the legislative branch into this bill. It seems like you're just trying to get the funding knowing the optics of voting against the military.
    Like (39)
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    As a veteran, it's deplorable that my care should be attached to a budget that profits the one percent and will only harm more service members. I'm not a pacifist, but this legislation only encourages reckless wars.
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    There is too much defense spending here. I believe the pay raise should be funded, but we spend more on defense than the next top ten countries combined. We need to lower defense spending.
    Like (28)
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    Defense spending should be cut drastically and the items in this bill should be voted on separately.
    Like (24)
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    These items need to be considered separately. I support increased funding for veterans services but do not support any increase in defense funding that will unnecessarily funnel money to defense contractors. I support funding for improving water quality and renewable energy but do not support funding for fossil fuel energy. Stop trying to pass funding for things that do not benefit the greater population by lumping it with items that we do support.
    Like (17)
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    We spend more money on our military than the next 9 countries COMBINED - and most of them are our allies. Military aircraft are sent, new and unused, to a boneyard, because we simply aren't going to use them - it's
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    When can we, the citizens, rely upon Congress to openly debate and compromise on the complex issues facing our country? So-called omnibus and minibus appropriation measures detract from judging a single issue (or related cluster of issues) on their merit alone. As such, pieces of legislation that run counter to the opinions and best interests of the American people can be snuck into legislation, and passed without the debate or scrutiny they deserve. One topic - one measure - one vote. It is not complicated. For example, within the fine print of this bill is decreased investment for renewable energy cultivation, potentially dangerous amendments to the Clean Water Act, and an exorbitant amount allocated toward military spending.
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    Less on defense, more for renewables! Vote no!
    Like (13)
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    Glad my rep voted nay. All Republicans know is spend spend spend! And again they are spending middle class hard earned money on war profiteers. There is no reason all these things should be lumped together and we all know why. Can't wait till they all can be voted out and bring some sanity back to the budget.
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    Too many different things in one bill. Separate them.
    Like (10)
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    A proud supporter of military funding and veteran affairs, but the fine print in this bill and seemingly unrelated issues that are ..well... as it appears trying to be snuck in a package, bad bill. These need to be separate. They aren't for a reason I'm sure...
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    Money for the rich at the expense of our vets and environment I don't think so
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    They should be separated. To much lumped together and percentages for each item need to be debated.
    Like (10)
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    Without a strong defense you don't have to worry about anything else except learning a new language. Some people just don't get it. This world and this country has been as stable over the past 60 years because of the strength shown by this country's military. Has we remained in a Monroe Doctrine posture it would likely be very different today.
    Like (8)
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    Don't spend my tax dollars on a wall. The DoD is getting too much money in this package. (Separated bills would be better. And we need more details).
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