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  • EnactedSeptember 28th, 2018
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The senate Passed September 18th, 2018
    Roll Call Vote 93 Yea / 7 Nay
  • The house Passed September 26th, 2018
    Roll Call Vote 361 Yea / 61 Nay
      house Committees
      House Committee on Appropriations
    IntroducedJune 20th, 2018

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What is it?

(Updated 9/18/18): This bill has been amended to serve as the legislative vehicle for a continuing resolution to fund the government through December 7, 2018 along with being the conference report for the "minibus" containing $855 billion in FY2019 funding for Defense, Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services. Previously, the bill was the House's $675 billion standalone defense appropriations bill before becoming the Senate’s $856 billion version of the minibus. A breakdown of the current bill's provisions can be found below.


This section of the bill would fund federal agencies through December 7, 2018 that haven’t had their appropriations enacted through this bill or the $147 billion “minibus” appropriations package containing funding for Military Construction & Veterans Affairs; Energy & Water; and the Legislative Branch. (The appropriations bills that are yet to be enacted include the Interior & Environment; Financial Services & General Gov’t; Transportation, Housing and Urban Development; and Agriculture — plus Homeland Security; State & Foreign Operations; and Commerce, Justice, and Science.)


This section of the bill would provide $674.4 billion in FY2019 for the Dept. of Defense (DOD). Of the total, the base budget is $606.5 billion (an increase of $17 billion) while $67.9 billion is provided for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO). A detailed breakdown of where that funding would go can be found below.

Military Personnel & Pay: This section would fund an Active Duty end strength of 1,338,100 servicemembers and a Selected Reserve end strength of 817,700 for a total strength of 2,155,800. A military pay raise of 2.6%, the largest in nine years, would be funded by this bill. It’d also include additional funding targeted to support the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) programs, the State Partnership Program, and the Advance Trauma Training Program.

  • $350 million for Navy facility sustainment, restoration, and modernization;

  • $350 million for Air Force weapons systems sustainment;

  • $23 million in funding for U.S. Southern Command Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance requirements (which includes the Caribbean plus Central and South America);

  • Full funding for flight operations and force related training for Special Operations Command.

Shipbuilding: A total of $24 billion would be provided for Navy shipbuilding, including $2.3 billion in additional funding for high priority shipbuilding and industrial base programs. It’d fund the construction of 13 new ships:

  • Two Virginia class submarines;

  • Three Arleigh Burke class destroyers;

  • Three Littoral Combat Ships;

  • One expeditionary sea base and one expeditionary fast transport;

  • Two TAO fleet oilers; one towing, salvage, and rescue ship; and one cable ship.

Aviation Programs: A total of $42.2 billion would be provided for the procurement of military aircraft, including $3.8 billion to address high priority aviation programs across the services such as:

  • $9.3 billion for 93 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters;

  • $1.2 billion for 66 AH-64E Apache helicopters;

  • $1.2 billion for 58 UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters;

  • $1.1 billion for 13 V-22 Osprey aircraft.

Missile Defense: A total of $10.5 billion would be provided for the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), which includes $1.2 billion to support unfunded priorities and emergent threats including:

  • $100 million for the development of a space-based Missile Defense Tracking System to detect conventional ballistic missiles and hypersonic glide vehicles;

  • $85 million to continue research and development of three separate laser scaling efforts;

  • $46 million to accelerate development of critical technologies against hypersonic threats;

  • $285 million to address a U.S. Pacific Command Joint Emergent Operational Need.

  • $500 million for Israeli Cooperative Programs.

Munitions: $18.5 billion would be provided for missile and ammunition programs, including $366 million in additional, targeted funding for high priority munitions. That’d include $125 million to expand Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile and Long Range Anti-SHip Missile production rates and an additional $57 million for the Army’s industrial facilities to increase production capacity.

Defense Health: $34.5 billion would be provided for the Defense Health Program, which provides medical services for military personnel and their families, continues advancements in medical research, and implements the next generation of electronic health records. Of the total, $974 million would be provided for defense medical research efforts, including $330 million for the competitively awarded peer-reviewed medical research program, and $202 million to advance DOD medical research priorities.


  • $929 million in additional funding would be provided to support and accelerate offensive and defensive hypersonics research and prototyping efforts; including $345 million for the prompt global strike capability development and $300 million for the Air Force’s hypersonic conventional strike and air-launched rapid response weapons.

  • $317 million in additional funding to further directed energy technology and transition such activities to offensive and defensive capabilities in the future; including $150 million for the Air Force to apply directed energy to airbase defense, precision attack, and aircraft self-protection.

  • $447 million in additional funding to ensure access to trusted microelectronics and develop manufacturing processes for next generation chips.

  • $308 million in additional funding to accelerate the pursuit of state of the art AI systems that can be rapidly adapted to the warfighting mission needs of the DOD.

  • $356 million in additional funding to expand and accelerate cyber research across the DOD.

  • $564 million in additional funding to develop enhanced offensive and defensive space capabilities, including $100 million for advanced sensors for the successor to the space based infrared system and $200 million for Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) development efforts.


This section of the bill would provide $178 billion in FY2019 funding for the Departments of Labor, Health & Human Services (HHS), Education, and related agencies — an increase of $1 billion from the prior year. A breakdown of its various provisions can be found below.


This section would provide $90.5 billion in discretionary funding for HHS, an increase of $2.3 billion from the prior year.

National Institutes of Health (NIH): The NIH would receive $39.1 billion, an increase of $2 billion from the prior year. That’d include:

  • $2.3 billion for Alzheimer’s disease research, up $425 million from the prior year, which would exceed the $2 billion funding goal for the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s disease for the first time.

  • $550 million to combat antibiotic resistant bacteria, increase of $37 million.

  • $429.4 million for the BRAIN Initiative to map the human brain, an increase of $29 million.

  • $140 million for research on the universal flu vaccine, a $40 million increase.

Fighting Opioid Abuse: This section would provide $3.7 billion for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other agencies to fight opioid abuse, an increase of $145 million from the prior year. It’d include:

  • $1.9 billion for the SAMHSA’s State Opioid Response Grant, which includes a 15 percent set-aside for states with the highest opioid use disorder mortality rate and $50 million set-aside for Indian tribes and tribal organizations.

  • $500 million for research related to opioid addiction, development of opioid alternatives, pain management, and addiction treatment.

  • $476 million for CDC opioid overdose prevention and surveillance programs, and a public awareness campaign.

Obamacare: No new funding would be provided for the Affordable Care Act (ACA, commonly known as Obamacare). This section would also include the following oversight provisions:

  • The risk corridor program, which compensates health insurance plans that lose money, would have to be operated in a budget neutral manner so no appropriations could be used as payments to insurers.

  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) would be required to notify relevant congressional committees two business days before any ACA-related data or grant opportunities are released to the public.

  • ACA-related spending would have to be classified by category since its inception, and information about employees, contractors, and activities involved in administering Obamacare would have to be published.

Head Start: This section would provide $10.1 billion for Head Start, an increase of $200 million from the prior year. Funding would keep all Head Start programs current, while an additional $35 million would expand the length of Head Start programs’ day and year to increase the duration of services provided.

Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG): This section would provide $5.3 billion, an increase of $50 million from the prior year. The program provides grants to improve the quality of child care programs, increasing provider rates, ensuring safety standards, and expanding access to affordable child care.

Public Health Preparedness and Response:

  • The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), which is responsible for advanced research and development of medical countermeasures for national preparedness efforts, would receive $562 million in funding.

  • Project BioShield would receive $735 million, up $25 million, which aims to enhance national preparedness by procuring medical countermeasures against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) threats.

  • $260 million would be provided to improve the response and enhance the effectiveness of the current pandemic influenza capabilities.


This section would provide $71.5 billion in FY2019 discretionary funding for the Dept. of Education, an increase of $581 million above the prior year.

Title I Grants to Local Educational Agencies: $15.9 billion, an increase of $125 million, would be provided for grants to school districts and schools with a high percentage of low-income students to help all students succeed and meet challenging academic standards.

Title IV Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants: $1.2 billion, an increase of $125 million, would be provided to support activities aimed at giving students a well-rounded education, including STEM education, computer science, and the use of technology to improve instruction. Grants would also go to ensuring safe and supportive learning environments and responding to school violence.

IDEA Grants to States: $12.4 billion, an increase of $87 million, would go to grants for states to support special education services for children with disabilities, including grants for infants and families and children in preschool.

Pell Grants: The maximum Pell grant award would be increased to $6,195 — an increase of $100 — while funding would be provided to support the Year Round Pell.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF): Funding and authorities provided last year would be continued, which modified eligibility criteria for the PSLF. Student borrowers would be eligible for PSLF if they were enrolled in an ineligible repayment plan but otherwise would’ve been eligible for PSLF.


  • Career & Technical Education State Grants would receive the same funding as the year prior, $1.2 billion.

  • Grants to states for charter schools, charter management organizations, and other entities for the start-up, replication, and expansion of high-quality charter schools would total $440 million — an increase of $40 million.

  • Impact Aid would be funded with $1.4 billion, an increase of $32 million, to provide flexible support to local school districts impacted by the presence of federally-owned land and activities, such as military bases.

  • $65 million in dedicated funding would be provided for evidence-based STEM education programs, including computer science education within the Education Innovation and Research program — an increase of $15 million.


This section of the bill would provide $12.1 billion to the Dept. of Labor, a decrease of $94.3 million from the prior year.

Workforce Training Programs: A total of $2.8 billion would be distributed by formula to states and localities to meet each state’s unique job training and reemployment needs.

Jobs Corps: $1.7 billion would be provided to support Jobs Corps, which is the nation’s largest career technical training and educational program for at-risk youth and has centers in all states, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

Veterans Employment Training (VETS) Programs: VETS programs would receive $300 million in funding, a $5 million increase from the prior year. VETS funding provides for intensive employment services to veterans and eligible spouses, transitioning service members, wounded warriors, and disabled veterans.

Rural Workforce Training Initiative: This section would provide $30 million for the dislocated worker training initiative, which offers reemployment and training assistance to dislocated workers in rural areas that were hardest hit by the recession or are recovering slowly. Funding is targeted to retraining workers in the Appalachian and Delta regions, and $5 million of the total is targeted to workforce training for individuals affected by an opioid use disorder.


  • The Corporation for Public Broadcasting would receive $445 million for FY2021, level funding relative to FY2020. An additional $20 million would be provided for FY2019 to continue upgrades to the public broadcasting interconnection system.


The Departments of Defense, Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services.


A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) offered the following statement on the conference report for the Defense, Labor, and Human Services Appropriations bills and the continuing resolution to fund the rest of the government:

“We owe it to the American people and to our men and women of our Armed Forces to provide the resources needed to protect our nation from both current and future threats, and to ensure that our military remains the strongest in the world. This legislation fully supports our warfighters and their families, and continues our efforts to rebuild our military after years of under-funding and neglect. When this bill is signed into law, it will mark the first time in over 20 years that the Department of Defense will have its full yearly appropriation prior to the end of the fiscal year. In addition, the legislation funds critical programs that will protect and save lives both now and in the future, This includes investments in vital National Institutes of Health research to cure diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s, job training, college preparation, special education programs, programs to combat opioid abuse, school safety, and protections against pandemics and bio-threats. This package also includes a short term Continuing Resolution to keep the federal government open and operational until all 12 Appropriations bills can be signed into law. This will avoid the threat of any shutdown, and allow for time for work on the remaining funding bills to be completed.”


Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: U.S. Army Photo by Capt. Charlie Emmons / Public Domain)


Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act, 2019 and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2019

Official Title

Making appropriations for the Department of Defense for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2019, and for other purposes.

    It is necessary because President Obama gutted our military over the last 8 years.
    Like (117)
    Our nation needs to take care of critical human rights and humanitarian funding in our own backyard before invading and destroying other nations
    Like (515)
    We have a humanitarian crisis at the border, Flint still doesn’t have clean water, homelessness on our streets, an opioid epidemic, and failing infrastructure. This is not needed.
    Like (401)
    Pointless military spending must end. Bring the troops home and let’s repurpose that money where it’s needed most, here at home.
    Like (290)
    No. The US Military has received enough pork to last for years. They need to re-evaluate. They’ve sunk too much money into large purchases (fighter jets, tanks, battleships) while underfunding flack-jackets for our troops. I’d like to see our military become a bit leaner & a lot more flexible. We’re not fighting in rows with muskets anymore.
    Like (102)
    That money would be better served elsewhere
    Like (92)
    Why do we need $675 billion for the military when we don't have enough for Medicare, Medicaid, health insurance, education, or other programs that help average Americans? We don't need to spend more on the military than multiple other of the highest spending countries combined.
    Like (79)
    Can we please take even $10 million of that and fix the water in Flint? Maybe take some more to help the people in Puerto Rico. We spend entirely too much on Defense.
    Like (65)
    Keep our military strong! Provide the equipment and support materials they need. A strong military is a great deterrent to rogue nations. We must be prepared for anything. We have nations who want to hurt us any way they can.
    Like (51)
    We cannot afford this. We have been spending more than the combined spend of the next five largest militaries for YEARS. This is not the budget of a defense force. This is the budget of an empire. Tell me, democracy lover, do you remember voting to become an empire? Do you remember voting to get militarily involved in a dozen conflicts around the world that otherwise would have had nothing to do with us? Are you okay with spending hundreds of billions of your grandchildren's tax dollars (taxation without representation, by the way) so that our military can blockade Yemen, the poorest country in the middle east, so that millions of children and babies could enjoy the experience of dying from the worst (and an entirely man-made) cholera outbreak in the past century? No, seeing as I care about not killing people, and seeing as I care about not occupying nations where we have no business being, and seeing as I care about basic math and logic, I am adamantly opposed to this.
    Like (48)
    Stop the Military Industrial Complex and the never ending war against fake terror. While the left hands out to the poor. The right hands out to the rich and powerful.
    Like (45)
    Giving the military more money to rebuild itself is essential.
    Like (44)
    We do not need to put this much money into defense. We spend more than the next 10 countries combined. We have the biggest deficit that has been blown out of proportion because it’s the corporate tax cut last fall. We’re threatening to cut Social Security and Medicare for the elderly, ill, and disabled. We have to end the madness.
    Like (35)
    The last thing we need is more funding for the military. We should use these funds instead for healthcare, housing, education, and meeting basic needs. I am against this bill.
    Like (33)
    No way. We need to stop increasing the DOD budget and start investing our finances into the future of this country: education, healthcare for all and green energy strategies to keep our civilization from selfdestructing.
    Like (27)
    I spent nine months in Afghanistan. It’s time for the US to leave and quit intervening in foreign civil wars.
    Like (27)
    We should fund health, not war, since the ROI is much better. Even Trump should understand that. Fund NIH $20B more & we will have healthier, more productive country and military.
    Like (26)
    I'm a vet and this is an absurd waste of money. NOPE!
    Like (25)
    Just what this country needs, more $$$ for DOD!?!
    Like (24)
    Even the Pentagon didn’t ask for the billions in increases. Don’t further undercut the social safety net by increasing our deficit down the road
    Like (23)