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  • EnactedSeptember 21st, 2018
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The senate Passed September 12th, 2018
    Roll Call Vote 92 Yea / 5 Nay
  • The house Passed September 13th, 2018
    Roll Call Vote 377 Yea / 20 Nay
      house Committees
      House Committee on Appropriations
    IntroducedMay 21st, 2018

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What is it?

(Updated September 12, 2018) This bill would serve as a “minibus” appropriations package containing $147.576 billion in fiscal year 2019 funding for three of the 12 appropriations categories — Energy & Water, Military Construction & Veterans Affairs, and the Legislative Branch. It was amended from its original form by the Senate, after the House passed its own version of the minibus. The current summary reflects the bill as reported by the conference committee, and a breakdown of its major provisions can be found below.


MILITARY CONSTRUCTION & VETERANS AFFAIRS

This section of the bill would provide $98.1 billion in FY2019 funding, up $5.3 billion from the prior year.

Veterans Affairs

This section would authorize FY2019 mandatory spending at the Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA) and would provide $86.5 billion in discretionary funding for FY2019, an increase of $5 billion from the year prior.

VA Medical Care: $72.3 billion would support medical treatment and healthcare for the VA’s approximately 9.3 million enrolled patients. Of the total, $8.6 billion would be for mental health; $400 million for opioid misuse prevention and treatment; $206 million for suicide prevention; and $270 for rural health initiatives.

Additionally, this section would provide:

  • $7.5 billion for veterans homelessness programs;

  • $3 billion for claims processing to ensure that staffing and resources are utilized to reduce wait times and the backlog of disability appeals;

  • $1.8 billion for major and minor construction;

  • $75.6 billion in advance FY2020 appropriations and $121.3 billion in FY2020 advance mandatory funding.

Military Construction

Funding for military construction would total $10.3 billion for FY2019, up $241 million from the year prior. Of the total, $921 million would go to Overseas Contingency Operations projects and the European Reassurance Initiative.

Specifically, this section of the bill would provide:

  • $1.6 billion for military family housing, up $173 million from the prior year including construction for nine housing projects.

  • $352 million for military medical facilities.

  • $267 million for safety improvements and infrastructure work at four overseas military schools.

  • $465 million to support construction needs of the National Guard and Reserve forces.

  • $171 million for the NATO Security Investment Program.

ENERGY & WATER

This section of the bill would provide $44.64 billion in funding for FY2019 energy and water programs, an increase of $1.44 billion from the year prior.

Nuclear Security: Funding would total $15.23 billion, up $560 million from the prior year. This would include: $11.1 billion for nuclear weapon safety and readiness; and $1.79 billion for maintaining naval nuclear reactors on aircraft carriers and submarines.

Energy Programs: A total of $13.5 billion would be provided, up $554 million above the prior year, increases energy research toward an “all-of-above” solution to American energy independence.

  • Nuclear energy research & development would total $1.2 billion, up $108 million from FY18.

  • Fossil energy research & development would total $740 million, up $13 million from the year prior.

Environmental Cleanup: Funding would total $7.2 billion for DOE environmental management activities, up $56 million from the prior year. This would include $6 billion for Defense Environmental Cleanup to continue remediation of sites contaminated by past nuclear weapons production such as Hanford, Savannah River, Oak Ridge, Idaho, and other DOE sites.

Additionally, this section would provide:

  • $7 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers, up $172 million from the prior year, to fund the Corps water resources infrastructure projects.

  • $6.6 billion for the DOE Office of Science, up $325 million from the year prior, which would support basic science research, development of high-performance computing systems, and next generation clean energy sources.

  • $1.57 billion for the Bureau of Reclamation to manage, develop, and protect the water resources of Western states.

LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

This section of the bill would provide $4.836 billion in annual funding for the offices of members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, the support agencies of Congress, security and police forces, services for visitors, and Capitol operations and maintenance. The pay freeze for members of Congress would remain in effect, while each member’s office would receive $20,000 annually to offer paid internships.

Capitol Police: A total of $456.3 million would be provided to the Capitol Police, an increase of $29.8 million, to address concerns regarding security in the Capitol complex and member security off-campus. It’d provide for an increase in officer and civilian staffing, provide some lifecycle replacement for equipment, and allow for continued training.

Architect of the Capitol: Funding would total $733.7 million, an increase of $21.6 million, to prioritize day-to-day maintenance and critical safety projects.

Library of Congress: A total of $696 million, up $26 million from the year prior, would allow the LOC to continue to support Congress and the public and modernize IT systems. Funding would go to modernizing mission-specific systems for the Congressional Research Service and the U.S. Copyright Office.

Government Accountability Office: Funding would total $589.7 million, up $10.8 million from the prior year, to allow GAO to hire new staff and support Congress with accurate, nonpartisan reporting of federal programs and tracking expenditures of taxpayer dollars.

Impact

Veterans; military families; military personnel; energy and water programs; the Army Corps of Engineers; the Dept. of Energy; the Dept. of Veterans Affairs; and Congress.

Cost

$138.80 Billion
The CBO estimates that enacting the Senate version of this bill would lead to $138.8 billion in spending.

More Information

In-Depth: House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) offered the following statement regarding this minibus funding package:

“It is an absolute necessity that these key funding bills be approved by this Congress and signed into law. They provide resources for some of the most important federal responsibilities, including our national defense, the care of our veterans, infrastructure improvements, and the proper functioning of the legislative branch of our democracy. This Conference Report represents our strong commitment to returning to ‘regular order’ in government funding, and is a huge step toward completing all of our Appropriations bills as soon as possible while funding all aspects of our government in a responsible way.”


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: smontgom65 / iStock)

AKA

Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, 2019

Official Title

Making appropriations for energy and water development and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2019, and for other purposes.

    It is NOT just the Republicans that tack on bills that make the votes hard. We need to change congress to vote on 1 bill at a time!
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    You know Republicans are in charge when the only way you get funding for veterans is when it’s attached to legislation that also screws our planet and makes sure Congress gets paid. Fund renewable energy and stop our enslavement to oil and coal, and don’t hold veterans hostage while doing it. Before Congress gets paid I want to see you actually represent me and do something real for hardworking average Americans. You can start with Medicare for all, decriminalizing Americans who have petty or baseless charges against them, getting money out of politics, regulating Wall Street so it can’t tank our economy again, getting rid of private prisons, stop imprisoning and deporting immigrants, and stop separating immigrant children from their parents. When you have completed that list I’ll have another for you. Maybe then you will deserve a paycheck that is at the same salary rate as your average constituent. I don’t get paid unless I actually do the work I was hired to do, you shouldn’t either.
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    Stop the sneaking tactics of tying veterans affairs to things that would ruin renewable energy. We deserve better!
    Like (249)
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    These 3 bills need to be voted on separately. The GOP loves to tie in Military & Veterans’ funding with things they know the Dems are against, like defunding renewable energy to increase spending on fossil fuel. That way, if the Dems don’t vote for it, the GOP can accuse them of not supporting the troops.
    Like (216)
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    Vote on this stuff separately. The GOP loves to tie in Military & Veterans’ funding with things they know the Dems are against, like defunding renewable energy to increase spending on fossil fuel. That way, if the Dems don’t vote for it, the GOP can accuse them of not supporting the troops! Do not gut energy research!
    Like (46)
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    America should be focusing on renewable energy. Why are we focusing on fossil fuels and nuclear power. Fossil fuels should be banned by 2030.
    Like (42)
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    Cuts into renewable energy and its necessary research!
    Like (36)
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    While imperfect, it is probably the best bill possible under the current Congress. The energy provisions ideally will increase the renewable and energy savings program. The funding can come from reductions to coal. Also, Yucca Mountain is a non-starter as Nevada will never permit its development.
    Like (33)
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    Please don’t spend my money on the corrupt congress, or the murder machine. Spend it on universal healthcare.
    Like (25)
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    It’s not perfect, but this bill would fulfill Congress’s obligation to fund programs for veterans and military families, secure nuclear weapons, enhance water infrastructure & energy research, and keep the U.S. Capitol operating.
    Like (21)
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    Vote on each bill separately
    Like (17)
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    Cutting funding for renewable energy and increasing funding for fossil fuels is a step backwards
    Like (16)
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    Congress needs to pass these one at a time. They also need to stop trying to kill renewable energy for fossil fuel. As Wayne said, "Live in the now!".
    Like (13)
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    Do not tie veterans' affairs to a water bill and a bill that increases funding for fossil fuels. This is a way to sneak unexceptional bills through by calling them vetrans' Bill's. YOUR president is trying to ruin farmers with his tariffs but you all keep supporting everything he wants. WAKE UP!
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    I’m for this bill.
    Like (9)
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    Oldest trick in the political book: Pass unpopular cuts of programs people like, such as energy efficiency research, by tying them to bills that fund veterans because what lawmaker would dare vote against paying our veterans? Republicans are sly devils, they are.
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    3 separate votes are needed.
    Like (8)
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    It covers to many things under one bill. Does nothing to keep research going on fuels, etc. Just wants to keep doing the same old stuff. Gas.
    Like (8)
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    As usual the priorities laid out in this bill are completely out of whack with continued funding for the military-industrial complex, preventing Guantanamo Bay prison from being closed, a facility that is a stain on this country’s history, and cuts in funding for renewable energy programs. How about Congress actually create a spending bill that adequately plans for the future and doesn’t continue programs that are completely reprehensible or that are abject failures?
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    Shameful, sneaky vote to undo clean energy. Susan Brooks needs to go. She only sides with corporate America and greed. Let’s send Susan packing when her term is up! And it can’t come soon enough!
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