Information is the foundation of good decision making. Expert, timely targeting and analysis of public information, along with understanding that comes from personal access to leading decision makers provides all DLM clients with a "Need to Know" status that insures they receive accurate, timely information to guide their activities. Use our Blog as a resource on the ideas of today and the issues of tomorrow.

DLM ALERT – House Appropriations Releases FY17 Labor, HHS Bill

NEWS
House Appropriations Committee
Chairman Hal Rogers
Website address: http://appropriations.house.gov/
For Immediate Release: July 6, 2016

Appropriations Committee Releases the Fiscal Year 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services Funding Bill
Legislation blocks unnecessary and harmful regulations, reduces spending, and invests in proven programs to protect the health and well-being of all Americans

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Appropriations Committee today released the draft fiscal year 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services (LHHS) funding bill, which will be considered in subcommittee tomorrow. The legislation includes funding for programs within the Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Education, and other related agencies.
In total, the draft bill includes $161.6 billion in discretionary funding, which is a reduction of $569 million below the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $2.8 billion below the President’s budget request. Funding within the bill is targeted to proven programs with the most national benefit, including medical research, public health, and biodefense, as well as funding for a comprehensive approach to combatting the nation’s opioid epidemic. The bill saves taxpayer dollars by cutting funding in lower-priority areas, including ineffective or wasteful programs.

In addition, the legislation contains several policy provisions to improve government oversight and to block the Administration’s unnecessary and harmful regulations that hurt economic growth. The legislation also defunds existing ObamaCare programs and prohibits any new discretionary funding from being used to further implement ObamaCare.

“This is the 12th and final Appropriations bill to be considered by the Committee this year. It follows the responsible lead of the legislation before it – investing in proven, effective programs, rolling back over regulation and overreach by the Administration that kills American jobs, and cutting spending to save hard earned taxpayer dollars,” House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said. “It includes critical funding for health and disease research, pandemic preparedness, and jobs and education programs. These are investments that will help improve American lives now, and keep us on the path for a healthier and more productive future.”

“This bill achieves its goal of reducing discretionary spending by more than half a billion dollars, all the while prioritizing where funding is needed the most. Several important programs through the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health that benefit many Americans receive a substantial increase in funding, often well beyond the amount the President requested in his budget,” LHHS Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole said. “More specifically, the bill includes additional funding dedicated to the Zika response effort, which gives the CDC director the ability to respond more quickly to the fight against Zika. Furthermore, this bill continues to fund numerous programs that many Americans rely on including Head Start, special education, community service, and Native American programs for well-being. This bill reflects the values and priorities of the American taxpayer. It will make a difference and improve the welfare of the American people,” Cole continued.

Bill Summary:

Department of Labor (DoL) – The bill provides a total of $12 billion for DoL – $138 million below the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $765 million below the President’s budget request. Within this slimmed-down amount, the bill targets increases for several worker training programs, including state grants for dislocated workers, Job Corps, and the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program. The bill also provides responsible, adequate funding for labor enforcement and benefit protection agencies to fulfill their core missions.

• Employment Training Administration (ETA) – The legislation provides ETA with $9.8 billion – a decrease of $257 million below last year’s enacted level and $568 million below the President’s budget request. This total includes $849 million in mandatory appropriations for the Federal Unemployment Benefits and Allowances Account. State and local workforce training and development programs are prioritized, while lower-priority, unnecessary, or wasteful programs are reduced or eliminated.

• Job Corps – The bill provides $1.7 billion for Job Corps, an increase of $11.2 million over the 2016 enacted level and $54 million below the President’s budget request. The program helps unemployed young Americans receive education, job training, and employment assistance. Increases are included for safety and security improvements at Job Corps campuses across the country.

• Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) – The bill provides $285.5 million for VETS, which is $14.4 million above the fiscal year 2016 level and the same as the President’s budget request. This includes an $11.9 million increase to expand the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program.

• Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) – The bill funds MSHA at $350.5 million, $25.4 million below the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $46.9 million below the President’s budget request. The funding level reflects the declining need for various MSHA activities due to decreased mining activity across the country.

• Reducing Harmful Red Tape – The legislation includes several provisions designed to help U.S. businesses create jobs and grow the economy by reducing or eliminating overly burdensome government regulations, including:

– A new provision prohibiting enforcement of the “Fiduciary” rule;
– A new provision prohibiting enforcement of the “Overtime” rule; and
– A continuation of provisions providing flexibility in the H-2B program.

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) – The bill includes a total of $73.2 billion for HHS, an increase of $2.6 billion above last year’s enacted level and $3.5 billion above the President’s budget request. The legislation targets funds to effective, proven programs that help improve the health, safety, and quality of life for Americans.

• National Institutes of Health (NIH) – The bill provides a total of $33.3 billion for the NIH, $1.25 billion above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $2.25 billion above the President’s discretionary budget request.

Within this funding, the legislation includes $165 million to support activities for the National Children’s Study, $511.5 million for Clinical and Translational Sciences Awards, and $333.3 million for Institutional Development Awards (IDeA) programs.

The bill also provides increases for several critical research initiatives, including:

– $1.26 billion, a $350 million increase, for the Alzheimer’s disease research initiative;
– $195 million, a $45 million increase, for the Brain Research through Application of Innovative Neuro-technologies (BRAIN) initiative;
– $300 million – the full requested amount – for the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI); and
– $12.6 million for the Gabriella Miller “Kids First” initiative, dedicated to pediatric cancer research.

• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – The legislation includes a total of $7.8 billion for CDC – $605 million above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $800 million above the President’s budget request. This includes $6.9 billion in appropriated funds, as well as $908 million in transfers from the Prevention and Public Health Fund.

Within the total, the bill provides $390 million to fight the Zika virus. This includes: domestic and supplemental vector control activities; international and territorial Zika response efforts; and block grants for states and local communities with high potential for Zika transmission to ensure officials have flexibility to address their needs. In addition, the bill provides $300 million to create a new Infectious Diseases Rapid Response Reserve Fund, which will give the CDC Director immediate access to funds to respond to any future infectious disease emergency such as Ebola or Zika.

$90 million – $20 million above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and the President’s budget request – is included to expand efforts to combat prescription drug abuse.

CDC’s Public Health Preparedness and Response programs are increased by $80 million over last year’s enacted level – for a total of $1.5 billion – to ensure that the Strategic National Stockpile and State and Local Preparedness capacity are adequate. These programs provide supplies and response efforts in the event of a bioterror attack or pandemic disease emergency.

The bill also continues the longstanding prohibition against using federal funds to advocate or promote gun control.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) – The bill funds SAMHSA at $4.2 billion – $431 million above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $480 million above the President’s budget request. Within this funding, the bill provides $581 million to address opioid and heroin abuse, which is a $525 million increase above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $490 million above the President’s budget request. This includes $500 million for a first-ever comprehensive state grant program that will address the opioid epidemic nationwide. These discretionary funds match the mandatory funding dollar for dollar.

The bill funds the Substance Abuse Block Grant at $1.8 billion – the same as the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and the President’s budget request. Criminal justice activities receive $78 million – equal to the fiscal year 2016 level and $16 million above the President’s budget request – including $60 million for drug courts.

The legislation maintains a prohibition on federal funds for the purchase of syringes or sterile needles, but allows communities with rapid increases in cases of HIV and Hepatitis to access federal funds for other activities, including substance use counseling and treatment referrals.

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) The bill includes over $6.1 billion for HRSA – $218 million below the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $168 million above the President’s budget request. The bill eliminates all funding for the controversial Family Planning Program, saving taxpayers nearly $300 million, and maintains all existing protections against federal funding for abortion.

Within the total, the bill provides nearly $1.5 billion for Community Health Centers, which is the same as the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $150 million above the President’s budget request.
The bill also provides $300 million for the Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education program – $5 million more than the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $300 million more than the President’s budget request. Additionally, the legislation includes $103.5 million for the Healthy Start program – the same as the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and the President’s budget request.

• Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) – The recommendation provides $3 billion for CMS program management and operations, which is $576 million below the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $1 billion below the President’s budget request.

The bill does not include additional funding to implement ObamaCare programs, and prohibits funds for the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight and Navigators programs.

• Administration for Children and Families (ACF) – The bill provides $19.4 billion in discretionary funding for ACF, which is $558 million above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $588 billion below the President’s budget request.

The Head Start program receives $9.3 billion, a $142 million increase, which supports a 1.5 percent Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) increase for Head Start grantees. The bill supports the Preschool Development Grants program at $250 million.

• Administration for Community Living (ACL) – The bill funds ACL at $2 billion, which is $11 million above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $17 million below the budget request.

The bill also provides $454 million – a $5 million increase – for congregate meals, and $234 million – an $8 million increase – for the Meals on Wheels program.
Department of Education – The bill funds the Department of Education at $67 billion, which is $1.3 billion below the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $2.4 billion below the President’s budget request. The bill eliminates several duplicative or ineffective education programs, and makes reductions to several other lower priority programs.

• Special Education – The bill includes $12.4 billion for IDEA special education grants to states, an increase of $500 million over the fiscal year 2016 enacted level, which will maintain the federal share of special education funding to states.

• Student Support and Academic Achievement State Grants – The bill includes $1 billion, $500 million above the President’s budget request, for grants that provide flexible funds to states and school districts to expand access to a well-rounded education, improve school conditions, and improve the use of technology.

• Pell Grants – The maximum Pell Grant award is increased to $5,935, funded by a combination of discretionary and mandatory funds.

• Impact Aid – The bill provides over $1.3 billion for Impact Aid, an increase of $23 million above the current enacted level.

• Policy Provisions – The bill includes provisions prohibiting the Department of Education from moving forward with regulations to place new requirements on teacher preparation, define “gainful employment” and “credit hour,” and dictate how states must license institutions of higher education.

Other Related Agencies –

• Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) – The bill includes $1.1 billion for CNCS, $13 million below last year’s enacted level and $15 million below the President’s budget request.

• Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) – The bill provides an advance appropriation of $445 million for CPB for fiscal year 2019, which is the same level of advance funding provided in the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and the President’s budget request.

• National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) – The bill includes $215 million for NLRB – a decrease of $59 million below last year’s enacted level and $59.7 million below the President’s budget request.

The legislation includes several policy provisions to stop the NLRB’s harmful anti-business regulations that impose additional and excessive costs on American businesses, result in job losses, and hinder economic growth. The provisions include:

– A continuation of the prohibition on use of electronic voting in union elections;
– A new prohibition on implementation of the representation-case procedures regulation;
– A new prohibition on enforcement of joint-employer standards;
– A new prohibition on enforcement of bargaining unit standards; and
– A new provision related to jurisdiction over Indian tribes.

• Social Security Administration (SSA) – The bill provides $11.9 billion to administer SSA activities – a decrease of $250 million from the fiscal year 2016 enacted level – to ensure those served by the program receive efficient and timely assistance and services. One time costs for building renovations provided in fiscal year 2016 make up a majority of the decrease.

Defunding ObamaCare – The legislation contains several provisions to stop the implementation of ObamaCare – including rescinding prior-year mandatory funds and prohibiting the use of any new discretionary funding to implement ObamaCare.
Protecting Life – The bill contains several provisions to protect life, including continuing all longstanding restrictions on abortion funding that have been included in the legislation in prior years. The legislation also includes the text of the “Health Care Conscience Rights Act.”

For the text of the legislation, please visit: http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-114hr-sc-ap-fy2017-laborhhs-subcommitteedraft.pdf

#####

DLM ALERT – House Passes FY DOD Appropriations Bill

NEWS
House Appropriations Committee
Chairman Hal Rogers
Website address: http://appropriations.house.gov/
For Immediate Release: June 16, 2016

House Passes FY 2017 Defense Appropriations Bill
Bill will fund military operations overseas, ensure the readiness of our troops to meet global threats, and sustain health and safety programs
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the fiscal year 2017 Defense Appropriations bill. The legislation funds critical national security needs, including military operations and readiness programs, as well as health and quality-of-life programs for our troops and military families.
The legislation meets the overall defense spending limits set by law for fiscal year 2017, providing $517.1 billion in discretionary funding – an increase of $3 billion above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $587 million below the President’s budget request. The bill also provides $58.6 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO)/Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) funding – the level allowed under current law. Following the lead of the House-passed National Defense Authorization Act of 2017, the legislation targets approximately $16 billion of this OCO/GWOT funding to meet needs within the base Pentagon budget.
“This bill fulfills the Congress’s most important responsibility – providing for the common defense. And it does so responsibly – funding those military needs that must be addressed now, planning and preparing for the future, and respecting the taxpayer by making commonsense budgeting decisions,” Chairman Hal Rogers said.

For a bill summary, please visit:
http://appropriations.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=394520

For the text of the bill, please visit:
https://www.congress.gov/114/bills/hr5293/BILLS-114hr5293rh.pdf

For the bill report, please visit:
https://www.congress.gov/114/crpt/hrpt577/CRPT-114hrpt577.pdf
#####

DLM ALERT – House Appropriations Approves FY17 Financial Services Bill

NEWS
House Appropriations Committee
Chairman Hal Rogers
Website address: http://appropriations.house.gov/
For Immediate Release: June 9, 2016

Appropriations Committee Approves Fiscal Year 2017 Financial Services Bill
Legislation will increase accountability at the IRS, target funds to the Judiciary and law enforcement, and invest in programs to boost economic opportunity

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Appropriations Committee today approved the fiscal year 2017 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill. The bill provides annual funding for the Treasury Department, the Judiciary, the Small Business Administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other related agencies.

The bill totals $21.7 billion in funding – $1.5 billion below the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $2.7 billion below the President’s budget request. The legislation targets resources to programs that will help boost economic growth and opportunity, protect consumers and investors, promote an efficient federal court system, and stop financial crime. To make these investments within a tight budget, the legislation reduces funding for lower-priority or underperforming programs and agencies. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which is reduced by $236 million, receives additional oversight and transparency requirements in the bill to ensure tax dollars are properly used and the agency is acting responsibly. Several other policy provisions are also included to promote good government and stop bureaucratic overreach that can slow economic growth.

“The job of this bill is two-fold: to make wise investments with taxpayer dollars in the programs and agencies that we need to grow our economy and enforce our laws, and to tightly hold the reins on overspending and overreach within federal bureaucracies,” House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said. “This bill makes great strides on all accounts – carefully investing taxpayer dollars in programs that promote opportunity, while keeping these agencies accountable to the American people.”

“Federal agencies have a duty and obligation to use hard-earned taxpayer dollars in the most effective and efficient manner. Americans work hard for the money they send to Washington and expect their legislators to make the same tough budget decisions that they have made. Our bill is the product of comprehensive hearings with input from both sides of the aisle with an emphasis on economic growth and job creation through small businesses, while bolstering law enforcement to protect our citizens. And, for the first time, funding to help individuals with disabilities overcome barriers to financial services is set aside within the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund,” said Financial Services Subcommittee Chairman Ander Crenshaw.

“In addition, our bill reduces funding for agencies that we believe can produce results with fewer dollars. And, where there is a history of inappropriate behavior, such as the Internal Revenue Service, cutbacks and reforms are recommended to hold them accountable,” he continued.

The following amendments to the bill were adopted by the full committee today:

Rep. Crenshaw – The manager’s amendment makes technical and noncontroversial changes to the bill and report. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Fleischmann – The amendment revises the definition of a high cost mortgage and mortgage originator as those terms apply to manufactured housing. The amendment was adopted on a vote of 31-17.

Rep. Wasserman-Schultz – The amendment provides an additional $1.3 million for the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s “Virginia Graeme Baker” Pool and Spa Safety Act grant program, offset by a cut to the General Services Administration’s Operating Expenses account. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Culberson – The amendment prohibits funding for the IRS to audit a church unless the audit is approved by the IRS Commissioner, reported to the tax committees, and takes effect 90 days after such notice. The amendment was adopted on a vote of 31-17.

Rep. Palazzo/Rep. Cuellar – The amendment prohibits funding for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to finalize or implement a rule that would restrict payday lending until the CFPB completes a report, with public comment, on the impact of the rule on populations with limited access to credit, and until it identifies existing credit products available to replace the current sources of short-term, small-dollar credit. The amendment was adopted on a vote of 30-18.

Rep. Kaptur – The amendment restores mail delivery standards to the July 1, 2012 level. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Rigell – The amendment prohibits funds for an executive order (EO 13673) that requires federal contractors to comply with burdensome labor standard reporting requirements that could hurt their contracting ability, without due process. The amendment also requires an analysis and impact statement on the new standards before they are allowed to continue. The amendment was adopted on a vote of 29-19.

Rep. Harris – The amendment prohibits funding for abortions through OPM-negotiated “multi-state qualified health plans” offered under Obamacare. The amendment was adopted on a vote of 30-17.

The bill was approved on a vote of 30-17.

For a summary of the bill, please visit:
http://appropriations.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=394563

For the text of the bill, please visit:
http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-114hr-sc-ap-fy2017-fservices-subcommitteedraft.pdf

For the bill report, please visit:
http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/hrpt-114-hr-fy2017-fservices.pdf

DLM ALERT – House Appropriations Releases FY17 Homeland Security Bill

NEWS
House Appropriations Committee
Chairman Hal Rogers
Website address: http://appropriations.house.gov/
For Immediate Release: June 8, 2016

Appropriations Committee Releases Fiscal Year 2017 Homeland Security Bill
Bill targets funds to security operations, border and immigration enforcement

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Appropriations Committee today released its proposed fiscal year 2017 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations bill, which will be considered tomorrow by the subcommittee. The bill targets critical programs such as aviation security, border and immigration enforcement, customs activities, the protection against cyberterrorism, natural disaster response, and efforts to stop the smuggling of drugs and people into the U.S.

In total, the legislation directs $41.1 billion in discretionary funding tor DHS, an increase of $100 million (0.25 percent) above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $432 million above the President’s budget request. In addition, the bill includes $7.3 billion – the same as the President’s request – for disaster relief and emergency response activities through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

“Now, more than ever, we need to remain vigilant in the protection of our homeland. New threats to our people and way of life emerge every day, and the difficult challenges along our borders continue,” Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers said. “This legislation makes responsible investments in the programs that keep Americans and communities safe, that empower law enforcement officers to enforce our laws, and that enable first responders to react effectively when either man-made or natural disasters strike.”

Homeland Security Subcommittee Chairman John Carter also commented on the bill.

“Protecting the homeland is my priority, and this funding bill provides our frontline personnel the tools they need to do that. This bill secures our border, funds detention operations, and provides critical funding to protect our cyber networks,” said Chairman Carter. “In addition, it directs the Transportation Security Agency to conduct a critical assessment of its operations and requirements to handle increased passenger traffic while enhancing aviation security. It also includes steps to block the President’s attempts at rewriting our laws through executive order, and instructs our agencies to uphold the law of the land.”

Bill Highlights:

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) – The bill contains $11.2 billion in discretionary appropriations for CBP – an increase of $158 million above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level. This funding supports 21,370 Border Patrol agents and 23,871 CBP officers – the largest staffing totals in history. These resources ensure our borders are protected by putting boots on the ground and improving technology, and help stem the flow of illegal goods both into and out of the country.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) – The bill provides $5.9 billion for ICE –$72 million above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level. Within this total, the legislation includes:

• $2.1 billion – an increase of $93.8 million above the fiscal year 2016 level – for domestic and international investigations programs, including efforts to combat human trafficking, child exploitation, cybercrime, visa screening, and drug smuggling;

• $3.2 billion for detention and removal programs, including:

o 34,000 detention beds, electronic monitoring, and GPS tracking alternatives to detention;

o 129 Fugitive Operations teams and 100 new officers to support the Priority Enforcement Program; and

o Criminal Alien Program operations, including the 287(g) program, which partners with local law enforcement to process, arrest, and book illegal immigrants into state or local detention facilities.

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) – The bill includes $7.6 billion for TSA – an increase of $163 million above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $21.8 million above the request.

To enhance aviation security and reduce unacceptably long wait times at the nation’s airports, the bill includes full funding for Transportation Security Officers, privatized screening operations, and passenger and baggage screening equipment. An additional $19.8 million above the request is included to hire, train, and deploy 50 more canine teams to further expedite processing time.

The bill institutes rigorous oversight requirements for TSA, and requires assessments on how to improve security and efficiency of passenger and baggage screening.

Cybersecurity and Protection of Communications – Hacking and cyberattacks have already cost the federal government billions of taxpayer dollars, and have exposed the personal information of thousands of Americans. To help prevent these breaches in the future, the bill includes a total of $1.8 billion for the National Protection and Programs Directorate – $120.5 million above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level – to enhance critical infrastructure and stop cyberattacks.

Within this amount, $1.1 billion is provided to help secure civilian (.gov) networks, detect and prevent cyber-attacks and foreign espionage, and enhance and modernize emergency communications. Funds are also included to enhance emergency communications capabilities and to continue the modernization of the Biometric Identification System.

Coast Guard – The bill contains $10.3 billion for the U.S. Coast Guard – an increase of $141.4 million above the President’s request and a decrease of $670 million below the fiscal year 2016 enacted level. The bill provides for a 1.6 percent military pay increase, and targets resources to improve readiness. Specifically, the bill:

• Provides $7 billion for operations and training, military personnel costs, aviation and cutter hours, and to reduce a maintenance backlog that can hinder readiness and response; and

• $1.28 billion – $140 million above the request – for modernization and recapitalization of vessels, aircraft, and facilities. This includes funding for the Polar Ice Breaking Vessel program, the acquisition of an Offshore Patrol Cutter, an HC130-J aircraft, six Fast Response Cutters, and facility improvements at multiple locations throughout the United States.

Secret Service – The bill provides $1.9 billion for the U.S. Secret Service – an increase of $1.2 million above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level. This will increase investments in investigations and cybersecurity, and continue funding for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which the President proposed to eliminate.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) – To ensure responsible and ample response to both man-made and natural disasters, the bill fully funds FEMA’s disaster relief account at $7.3 billion.

The legislation denies the President’s proposed cuts to first responder grants, providing $507.2 million for these critical investments. The bill funds FEMA’s preparedness grants at $2.6 billion, sustaining fiscal year 2016 levels, including $1.3 billion for State and Local grants, $690 million for firefighter assistance grants, and $350 million for Emergency Management Performance Grants.

Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) – The legislation does not fund most CIS activities, as these are funded outside the appropriations process through the collection of fees. The bill does not contain funds to implement the President’s executive action on immigration, and it contains language specifically to bar the use of funds for these activities for the duration of ongoing legal proceedings on the issue.

The bill contains $119.1 million in funding for E-Verify, which is funded within CIS and helps companies check if their employees may legally work in the United States.

The bill also includes a prohibition on implementing any of the President’s executive actions to expand the existing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and the proposed Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program, while court action is pending.

Guantanamo Bay – The bill retains a prohibition on funds to transfer or release detainees from Guantanamo Bay into the U.S. or its territories.

Savings and Oversight – The bill includes several provisions to save taxpayer dollars and increase accountability at DHS. This includes:

• Denying a proposal to increase TSA passenger fees by $880 million;
• Withholding 20 percent of funds from all DHS headquarters staffing accounts until budget justification information is provided;
• Conditioning funds for transportation screening equipment until a full acquisition plan and justifications are provided;
• Rescinding $247.2 million in unobligated, unused funds from various accounts; and
• Requiring extensive reporting, including spending plans and benchmarks.

For the complete text of the FY 2017 Subcommittee Draft Homeland Security Appropriations bill, please visit: http://appropriations.house.gov/UploadedFiles/BILLS-114HR-SC-AP-FY2017-HSecurity-SubcommitteeDraft.pdf

 

DLM ALERT – House Appropriations Passes DHS Bill

NEWS

House Appropriations Committee

Chairman Hal Rogers   

Website address: http://appropriations.house.gov/

For Immediate Release: July 14, 2015

Appropriations Committee Passes Fiscal Year 2016 Homeland Security Bill

Bill prioritizes security operations and border enforcement, strengthens immigration activities, and implements strong oversight to hold the Department of Homeland Security accountable to the American people

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Appropriations Committee today approved the fiscal year 2016 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations bill on a vote of 32-17. The bill provides funds to secure the nation’s borders and enforce immigration laws, identify and protect against cyber threats, stop transnational criminals who smuggle drugs and people into the U.S., respond to natural disasters, and fight terrorism. In addition, the bill improves oversight of DHS to hold the agency accountable to the American people.

The legislation provides $39.3 billion in discretionary funding for DHS, a decrease of $337 million below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $2.1 billion below the President’s request. The bill does not contain funds to implement the President’s executive action on immigration, and specifically bars the use of funds for these activities for the duration of legal proceedings on the issue.

Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers made the following statement on the bill:

“Safeguarding our homeland, strengthening our borders, enforcing our immigration laws, and protecting our people from terrorism and natural disasters – these are the core missions of this legislation,” Chairman Rogers said. “Now – as we face growing threats from groups like ISIL, domestic terrorists, and other perils yet unknown – we must remain vigilant. This bill will ensure an active and well-equipped frontline, a secure border, and strong intelligence and cybersecurity operations that are paramount to keeping our nation safe.”

Homeland Security Subcommittee Chairman John Carter also commented on the bill.

“I am proud that our bill focuses first and foremost on border security, law enforcement and fiscal responsibility,” Homeland Security Subcommittee Chairman John Carter said. “This bill rejects the President’s attempt to undermine our laws and uses the tax payers’ dollars in a fiscally responsible manner by promoting reforms within DHS, and reducing ineffectual offices and programs. Additionally, this bill requires the President to enforce current law as it is written, not as he would like to interpret it by executive order. We must provide for our nation’s security, and enforcement of the law, while exercising fiscal restraint, which is what this bill offers.”

The following amendments to the bill were approved by the full committee today:

Rep. Carter – The amendment made technical and other noncontroversial changes and additions to the report. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Rooney – The amendment prohibits funding for TSA uniforms that include badges that resemble law-enforcement badges. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Culberson – The amendment requires ICE to detain Priority 1 and Priority 2 illegal aliens. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote. 

Rep. Yoder – The amendment prohibits certain state and local grants from going to “Sanctuary Cities.” The amendment was adopted on a vote of 28-21.

Rep. Aderholt– The amendment restates current law prohibiting federal funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to provide for abortions, except in certain life-threatening cases, rape, and incest. The amendment was adopted on a vote of 31-18.

Rep. Young – The amendment withholds $5 million in funding for ICE until ICE completes a congressional briefing on the status of local communities participating in the Priority Enforcement Program. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote. 

The bill was approved on a vote of 32-17.

For the text of the bill, please visit:

http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-114hr-fc-ap-fy2016-ap00-hsecurity.pdf

For the bill report, please visit:

http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/hrpt-114-hr-fy2016-hsecurity.pdf

For a summary, please visit:

http://appropriations.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=394301

#####

 

 

DLM ALERT – House Appropriations Approves Ag Bill

NEWS

House Appropriations Committee

Chairman Hal Rogers   

Website address: http://appropriations.house.gov/

For Immediate Release: July 8, 2015

Committee Approves the Fiscal Year 2016 Agriculture Appropriations Bill

Bill will protect farmers and ranchers from overregulation, support rural communities, help the hungry, and maintain food and drug safety

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Appropriations Committee today approved the fiscal year 2016 Agriculture Appropriations bill on a voice vote. The proposed legislation funds important agricultural and food programs and services, including food and medical product safety, animal and plant health programs, rural development and farm services, marketplace oversight, and nutrition programs.

The bill totals $20.65 billion in discretionary funding, which is $175 million lower (1 percent) than the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $1.1 billion below the President’s budget request. Including both discretionary and mandatory funding for various nutrition programs, the overall bill totals $143.9 billion. The legislation targets this funding to national programs that have the most benefit to the American people and the U.S. economy, while reducing inefficient, wasteful, or lower-priority programs and agencies. In addition, the bill contains several policy provisions to rein in regulatory overreach, such as unnecessary red tape that harms the livelihoods of farmers and ranchers and that impedes growth in vital U.S. industries.

“This bill is first and foremost a bill to support our economy – it targets funding toward important American agricultural industries and the development of rural communities, and away from unnecessary red tape that hinders economic growth and harms the livelihoods of America’s farmers and ranchers,” House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said. “Importantly, the bill supports rural communities by funding basic rural infrastructure, providing vital loans to rural businesses, and helping those most in need with food and housing assistance.”

“The engine that drives the American economy is not necessarily built in factories but grown on American farms,” said Agriculture Subcommittee Chairman Robert Aderholt. “This bill puts resources to work in areas that not only help farmers, ranchers, and growers everywhere, but also supports rural economic development and infrastructure.”

The following amendments to the FY 2016 Agriculture Appropriations bill were adopted by the full committee today:

Rep. Aderholt – The amendment makes technical and non-controversial changes to the bill and report. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.  

Rep. Harris –The amendment would add a provision to grant legal protections from frivolous lawsuits to the users of partially hydrogenated oils until the compliance date issued by FDA. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. DeLauro – The amendment ensures U.S. food safety laws are protected in new trade agreements. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

The bill was adopted on a voice vote.

For a summary of the bill, please visit:

http://appropriations.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=394279

For the text of the bill, please visit:

http://appropriations.house.gov/UploadedFiles/BILLS-114HR-SC-AP-FY2016-Agriculture-SubcommitteeDraft.pdf

For the bill report, please visit:

http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/hrpt-114-hr-fy2016-agriculture.pdf

DLM ALERT – House Appropriations Releases Homeland Bill

NEWS

House Appropriations Committee

Chairman Hal Rogers  

Website address: http://appropriations.house.gov/

For Immediate Release: July 8, 2015

Appropriations Committee Releases Fiscal Year 2016 Homeland Security Bill

Bill prioritizes security operations and border enforcement, strengthens immigration activities, and implements strong oversight to hold the Department of Homeland Security accountable to the American people

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House Appropriations Committee released its proposed fiscal year 2016 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations bill, which will be considered tomorrow by the subcommittee. The bill provides funds to secure the nation’s borders and enforce immigration laws, identify and protect against cyber threats, stop transnational criminals who smuggle drugs and people into the U.S., respond to natural disasters, and fight terrorism. In addition, the bill improves oversight of DHS to hold the agency accountable to the American people.

The legislation provides $39.3 billion in discretionary funding for DHS, a decrease of $337 million below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $2.1 billion below the President’s request. The bill does not contain funds to implement the President’s executive action on immigration, and specifically bars the use of funds for these activities for the duration of ongoing legal proceedings on the issue.

Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers made the following statement on the bill:

“Safeguarding our homeland, strengthening our borders, enforcing our immigration laws, and protecting our people from the threat of terrorism and devastating natural disasters – this is the core mission of this legislation. It will target funds to these areas, making the most of each dollar, while trimming back programs that are lower-priority or that have not been proven productive,” Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers said. “And the bill holds the Department’s feet to the fire through strong oversight measures to ensure that it is following Congressional directives, spending wisely, and providing strong enforcement of our laws.”

Homeland Security Subcommittee Chairman John Carter also commented on the bill.

“I am proud that our bill focuses first and foremost on border security, law enforcement and fiscal responsibility,” Homeland Security Subcommittee Chairman John Carter said. “This bill rejects the President’s attempt to undermine our laws and uses the tax payers’ dollars in a fiscally responsible manner by promoting reforms within DHS, and reducing ineffectual offices and programs. Additionally, this bill requires the President to enforce current law as it is written, not as he would like to interpret it by executive order. We must provide for our nation’s security and enforce the law while exercising fiscal restraint, which is what this bill offers.”

Bill Highlights:

The bill provides $39.3 billion in discretionary appropriations for DHS. Within this total, the bill prioritizes funding for frontline security operations – including all operational, enforcement, intelligence, and threat-targeting activities, and the acquisition of essential tactical equipment and assets. The legislation also includes important investments in the fight against cyber threats and illegal narcotics, and provides full funding for FEMA to help with response and recovery efforts following disasters.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) – The bill contains $11.1 billion in discretionary appropriations for CBP  an increase of $417.7 million above the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $346.8 million below the President’s request. This funding level provides for 21,370 Border Patrol agents and 23,775 CBP officers – maintaining the largest staffing totals in history. In addition, the recommendation includes:

  • $784.9 million for critical air and marine operations on the U.S. border, which is $34.5 million above the fiscal year 2015 level and $37.5 million above the President’s request; and
  • $439.4 million for border security technology, which is $56.9 million above the fiscal year 2015 level and $66 million above the President’s request.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) – The bill provides $5.8 billion for ICE – a decrease of $157.8 million below the President’s request and $151.5 million below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level. Within this total, the legislation includes:

  • An increase of 604 agents and other support personnel to strengthen enforcement of immigration laws;
  • $1.9 billion – an increase of $3.8 million above the fiscal year 2015 level – for domestic and international investigation programs, including efforts to combat human trafficking, child exploitation, cybercrime, and drug smuggling. The amount provides for 100% screening of visa applications and includes an increase of $2 million to expand the Visa Security Program; and
  • $3.3 billion for detention and removal programs – a decrease of $172 million below the fiscal year 2015 level which included construction costs for a new ICE facility that was completed in February 2015. This funding level supports 34,040 detention beds and includes $109.7 million for alternatives to detention. It funds the 287(g) and Priority Enforcement Program, and directs ICE to prioritize the use of detention for family units in expedited removal proceedings.

Transportation Security Administration (TSA)  The bill includes $4.65 billion for TSA – a decrease of $180.8 million below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level. This level provides sufficient funds for important frontline operations, including full funding for privatized screening operations (a total of $166.9 million), and increases above the President’s request for Federal Flight Deck Officers (a total of $21.5 million) and canine enforcement teams (a total of $131.8 million).

The bill institutes rigorous oversight and requires TSA to report on how it is addressing vulnerabilities within passenger security screening, equipment, training, and other protocols. Additionally, the bill urges TSA to expand and strengthen risk-based security initiatives to increase efficiency, improve security, and reduce costs.

Cybersecurity, Critical Infrastructure, and Communications  The bill includes a total of $1.6 billion for the National Protection and Programs Directorate – $82.2 million above the fiscal year 2015 enacted level – to protect critical infrastructure and prevent cyber-attacks. Within this amount, $798 million is provided to fund the deployment of the third-generation EINSTEIN system to help secure civilian (.gov) network traffic and to improve the Federal Network Security program to detect and prevent cyber-attacks and foreign espionage. Funds are also included to modernize emergency communications capabilities and to initiate the replacement of the Automated Biometric Identification System.

Coast Guard – The bill contains $8.5 billion for the U.S. Coast Guard – an increase of $133.7 million above the fiscal year 2015 enacted level, and an increase of $360.8 million above the President’s request. The bill sustains military pay and allowances, and improves readiness by denying the President’s requested cuts to priority programs that would have gutted vital Coast Guard operations, including counternarcotic activities.  This funding includes:

  • $6.9 billion – $76.8 million above the request – to increase readiness and improve quality of life, including funding for: operations and training; military personnel; aviation and cutter hours; and to significantly reduce the depot maintenance backlog; and
  • $1.3 billion – $284 million above the request – to modernize and recapitalize vessels and aircraft, including funding for: detailed design of the Offshore Patrol Cutter; procurement of a HC130-J aircraft; additional small response boats; and the procurement of six Fast Response Cutters.

Secret Service – The bill provides $1.9 billion for the U.S. Secret Service – an increase of $239.8 million above the fiscal year 2015 enacted level – including additional funding for increased costs related to the 2016 Presidential election. The bill increases funding for investigations and cybersecurity, and continues funding for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which the President proposed to eliminate. The bill also includes $24 million for needed facility improvements, including upgrades in the White House complex. 

FEMA – The bill fully funds FEMA’s stated requirement for disaster relief at $7.4 billion. The bill provides a total of $2.5 billion for first responder grants, equal to the fiscal year 2015 enacted level, which includes: $1.5 billion for State and Local grants, $680 million for Assistance to Firefighter Grants, and $350 million for Emergency Management Performance Grants. The bill does not fund the President’s request for $301 million for climate change initiatives.

Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) – The bill includes $119.7 million – a decrease of $4.8 million below the fiscal year 2015 level and $10 million below the President’s request – for E-Verify, a program that helps companies check if their employees may legally work in the United States. The legislation does not fund other CIS activities, as these are funded through the collection of fees.

Specifically, the bill does not contain funds to implement the President’s executive action on immigration, and bars the use of funds for these activities for the duration of ongoing legal proceedings on the issue.

Research and Development – The bill includes $786.9 million for Science and Technology, $8 million above the request, continuing to fund investment in high-priority research and development efforts.

Savings – The bill includes several provisions to save taxpayer dollars. For example, the bill cuts funds for a civilian pay raise, reduces the request by $505 million for staff positions that cannot be filled in fiscal year 2016, rescinds $250.6 million in unobligated balances from various accounts and $1.2 billion from the FEMA DRF in unused prior-year funding, rejects funds for a new climate change program, and denies the consolidation of DHS headquarters.

Funding Restrictions and Policy Provisions – The bill retains a prohibition on funds to transfer or release detainees from Guantanamo Bay and includes numerous restrictions to prevent waste and abuse.

For the complete text of the FY 2016 Subcommittee Draft Homeland Security Appropriations bill, please visit:

http://appropriations.house.gov/UploadedFiles/BILLS-114HR-SC-AP-FY2016-HSecurity-SubcommitteeDraft.pdf

 

DLM Alert – House Appropriations Releases Ag Bill

NEWS

House Appropriations Committee

Chairman Hal Rogers   

Website address: http://appropriations.house.gov/

For Immediate Release: June 17, 2015

Appropriations Committee Releases the Fiscal Year 2016 Agriculture Appropriations Bill

Bill will protect farmers and ranchers from overregulation, support rural communities, help the hungry, and maintain food and drug safety

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Appropriations Committee today released the fiscal year 2016 Agriculture Appropriations bill, which will be considered in subcommittee tomorrow. The proposed legislation funds important agricultural and food programs and services, including food and medical product safety, animal and plant health programs, rural development and farm services, marketplace oversight, and nutrition programs.

The bill totals $20.65 billion in discretionary funding, which is $175 million lower (1 percent) than the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $1.1 billion below the President’s budget request. Including both discretionary and mandatory funding for various nutrition programs, the overall bill totals $143.9 billion. The legislation targets this funding to national programs that have the most benefit to the American people and the U.S. economy, while reducing inefficient, wasteful, or lower-priority programs and agencies. In addition, the bill contains several policy provisions to rein in regulatory overreach, such as unnecessary red tape that harms the livelihoods of farmers and ranchers and that impedes growth in vital U.S. industries.

“This bill prioritizes funding on programs that support the health of our rural communities, the ability of our farmers and ranchers to put safe, cost-effective food on our tables, and the advancement and reliability of drugs and medical devices that save lives,” House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said. “And by stopping harmful and excessive regulations, the legislation also ensures that our food, drug, and financial industries remain the best in the world – helping to keep our nation strong and prosperous.”

“The engine that drives the American economy is not necessarily built in factories but grown on American farms,” said Agriculture Subcommittee Chairman Robert Aderholt. “This bill puts resources to work in areas that not only help farmers, ranchers, and growers everywhere, but also supports rural economic development and infrastructure.”

Bill Highlights:

The legislation focuses investments in programs that bolster U.S. agriculture, support rural communities, maintain food and drug safety, ensure sound markets, and provide nutrition for children, families, and seniors. In total, the bill provides $143.9 billion in both discretionary and mandatory funding – $3.2 billion below the President’s request and $3.8 billion below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level. Discretionary funding alone in the bill is $20.65 billion, $175 million below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level.

Agricultural Research – The bill provides $2.7 billion for agriculture research programs, including the Agricultural Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. This funding will support research to help mitigate and stop devastating crop diseases, improve food safety and water quality, and combat antimicrobial resistance. This also includes important research investments in U.S. land-grant colleges and universities.

Animal and Plant Health – The legislation includes $871 million – $15 million above the President’s budget request and approximately the same as the fiscal year 2015 enacted level – for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. This funding will support programs to help control or eradicate plant and animal pests and diseases that can be crippling to U.S. producers. The increase will help address harmful outbreaks of citrus greening and highly pathogenic avian influenza.

Conservation Programs – The bill provides $840 million to help farmers, ranchers, and private forest landowners conserve and protect their land. This includes $6 million in infrastructure rehabilitation funding to help small communities meet current safety standards for watershed projects.

Farm Service Agency (FSA) – The legislation provides $1.5 billion for FSA, which is approximately the same as the fiscal year 2015 level and the President’s budget request. This funding will support the various farm, conservation, and emergency loan programs, and will help American farmers and ranchers with the implementation of the farm bill.

Rural Development – The bill provides a total of $2.5 billion for rural development programs, which is $86 million above the fiscal year 2015 enacted level. These programs help create an environment for economic growth by supporting basic rural infrastructure, providing loans to increase opportunities for rural businesses and industries, and helping balance the playing field in local rural housing markets.

  • Business and Industry Loans – The legislation includes a loan level of $920 million –the same as the fiscal year 2015 enacted level – for the rural business and industry loan program. This funding will help small businesses in rural areas, many of which face unique challenges due to local economic conditions.
  • Rural Infrastructure – The legislation includes responsible investments in infrastructure needs to help rural areas of the country access basic utilities. This includes $1.25 billion – the same as the fiscal year 2015 enacted level – for rural water and waste program loans, and $474 million for grants and costs, an increase of $9 million above current levels. In addition, $6.2 billion is provided for rural electric and telephone infrastructure loans, the same level as fiscal year 2015.
  • Rural Housing Loans and Rental Assistance – The bill provides a total of $24 billion in loan authority for the Single Family Housing guaranteed loan program, which is equal to the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and the President’s request. In addition, the bill includes $900 million in direct loans – the same as the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and the President’s request. These loans provide low-income rural families – many of whom would have few loan options for purchasing a home because of their geographical location – with home loan assistance. In addition, $1.2 billion, an increase of $79 million above current levels, is provided for rental assistance for affordable rental housing for low-income families and the elderly in rural communities.

Food Safety and Inspection Service – The legislation includes $1 billion for food safety and inspection programs – approximately the same as the 2015 enacted level. These mandatory inspection activities help ensure the safety and productivity of the country’s $186 billion meat and poultry industry, and keep safe, healthy food on American tables. The funding provided will maintain more than 8,000 frontline inspection personnel for meat, poultry, and egg products at more than 6,400 facilities across the country.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – The FDA receives a total of almost $2.6 billion in discretionary funding in the bill, an increase of $30 million over the fiscal year 2015 enacted level. Total funding for the FDA, including revenue from user fees, is $4.6 billion – $106 million above fiscal year 2015. Within this total, food safety activities are increased by $41.5 million, and medical product safety activities are increased by $4.2 million.

The bill also includes a policy provision delaying the implementation of a new menu labeling regulation by a year, to give restaurants, local supermarkets, grocery stores, and similar retail establishments adequate time to comply with the law.

Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) – Included in the bill is $250 million for the CFTC, the same as the 2015 enacted level and $72 million below the President’s budget request.

International Programs – The legislation contains $1.8 billion for overseas food aid and to promote U.S. agricultural exports. This includes $1.4 billion – a $17 million increase above the President’s request – for “Food for Peace” grants, and the requested level for the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition program. These programs seek to reduce chronic hunger and increase food security by providing American-grown food, transported by U.S. ships, to foreign countries in need of aid.

Food and Nutrition Programs – The legislation contains discretionary funding, as well as mandatory funding required by law, for food and nutrition programs within the Department of Agriculture. This includes funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and the Child Nutrition programs. The bill also includes a policy provision that will ensure any new USDA Dietary Guidelines focus only on food and nutrients and have a sound scientific evidence base.

  • Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) – The bill provides $6.5 billion in discretionary funding for WIC, which is $139 million below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and the President’s request. The reduction reflects USDA’s estimates of declining enrollments in the program, and will not prevent any eligible participant from receiving benefits. The legislation also includes $55 million for management information systems and for states to transfer from paper vouchers to a more efficient electronic benefit transfer (EBT) system that will help identify waste or abuse within the program.
  • Child nutrition programs – The bill provides for $21.5 billion in required mandatory funding – which is outside the discretionary funding jurisdiction of the Appropriations Committee – for child nutrition programs. This is $207 million above the fiscal year 2015 enacted level. This funding will provide free or reduced-price school lunches and snacks for 30.3 million children who qualify for the program. The bill continues existing provisions that allow schools demonstrating a financial hardship to seek an exemption from the whole grain nutrition standards, and prevents the implementation of further sodium reduction standards until the latest scientific research establishes the reduction is beneficial for children.
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – The bill provides for $81.7 billion in required mandatory spending – which is outside the discretionary funding jurisdiction of the Appropriations Committee – for SNAP. This is $184 million below last year’s level and $2 billion below the President’s budget request, due to declining enrollment. The total includes $3 billion for the SNAP reserve fund, $2 billion below the President’s request, which is used to cover any unexpected participation increases. In addition, the bill includes provisions to increase congressional oversight of administrative activities and expenses, such as nutrition research and evaluations.

For the text of the subcommittee draft bill please visit: http://appropriations.house.gov/UploadedFiles/BILLS-114HR-SC-AP-FY2016-Agriculture-SubcommitteeDraft.pdf

 

DLM ALERT – House Appropriations Approves Interior Bill

NEWS

House Appropriations Committee

Chairman Hal Rogers   

Website address: http://appropriations.house.gov/

Appropriations Committee Approves Fiscal Year 2016 Interior and Environment Bill

Legislation will fight job-crushing regulations, protect the nation’s natural resources, and promote safe and sustainable American energy

WASHINGTON, D.C. The House Appropriations Committee today approved the fiscal year 2016 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill, on a vote of 30-21. The legislation includes funding for the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Forest Service, the Indian Health Service, and various independent and related agencies.

In total, the bill includes $30.17 billion in base funding, a decrease of $246 million below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and a reduction of $3 billion below the President’s request. Included is $452 million to fully fund “Payments in Lieu of Taxes” (PILT) – which provides funds to local communities with federal land to help offset losses in property taxes – and $3.6 billion for the Department of the Interior and U.S. Forest Service to prevent and combat devastating wildfires.

In addition, the legislation contains several policy provisions to stop job-crushing bureaucratic red tape and regulations at federal agencies – such as the EPA – that stymie growth, hurt businesses both large and small, and damage the U.S. economy.

“This bill supports important Department of Interior and environment programs that protect and promote our natural resources within a responsible, sustainable budget,” Chairman Hal Rogers said. “The bill also preserves the role of the federal government – making sure that the government is doing its job well, while ensuring that it is not harmful or intrusive into the lives of the American people or our economy.”

“This bill represents difficult decisions to allocate resources to important federal programs, while operating under a tight budget caused by the Administration’s unwillingness to address our national debt,” Interior Subcommittee Chairman Ken Calvert said. “In addition, the bill takes meaningful steps to shield our economy and defend American jobs from the executive overreach of EPA regulators, provides significant funding for our national resources, and fulfills our commitment to the needs of Indian Country. And, as a Californian, I have seen firsthand how devastating earthquakes can be, so the bill prioritizes funding for the potentially-lifesaving Earthquake Early Warning System.”

The following amendments to the bill were adopted by the full committee today:

Rep. Calvert – The Manager’s amendment makes technical and non-controversial changes to the bill and report. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Reps. Visclosky –The amendment changes bill language requiring that all iron and steel used in water infrastructure projects be sourced within the United States. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Amodei – The amendment adds report language clarifying the process for products to be designated as “made in America.” The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Jenkins – The amendment prohibits funding for the EPA to implement or administer updates to existing ozone regulations. The amendment was adopted on a vote of 31-20.

Rep. Cole – The amendment prohibits funding to implement, administer, or enforce a final rule titled “Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands.” The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Valadao – The amendment adds report language relating to the Delta Smelt and directs the Fish and Wildlife Service to complete a five-year status review of the species, as required by law. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote. 

The bill was approved on a vote of 30-21.

For a summary of the bill, please visit:

http://appropriations.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=394247

For the text of the bill, please visit:

http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-114hr-fc-ap-fy2016-ap00-interior.pdf 

For the bill report, please visit:

http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-114hr-fc-ap-fy2016-ap00-interior.pdf

DLM ALERT – House Appropriations Releases Labor, HHS, ED Bill

NEWS

House Appropriations Committee

Chairman Hal Rogers  

Website address: http://appropriations.house.gov/

For Immediate Release: June 16, 2015

Appropriations Committee Releases the Fiscal Year 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services Funding Bill

Legislation will rein in damaging regulatory overreach, roll back harmful ObamaCare provisions, cut wasteful spending, and target investments to proven national programs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Appropriations Committee today released the draft fiscal year 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services (LHHS) funding bill, which will be considered in subcommittee tomorrow. The legislation includes funding for programs within the Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Education, and other related agencies.

In total, the draft bill includes $153 billion in discretionary funding, which is a reduction of $3.7 billion below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $14.6 billion below the President’s budget request. Funding within the bill is targeted to proven programs with the most national benefit, including medical research, public health, and biodefense, as well as activities to ensure Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid services are efficient, effective, and accountable to those Americans they serve. While making these important investments, the bill reduces funding in lower-priority areas, and cuts ineffective or wasteful programs and agencies.

The legislation also contains several policy provisions to improve government oversight, protect the rights of all Americans, and bolster economic growth. These provisions will rein in unnecessary regulatory overreach that ties the hands of employers and undermines job creation, maintain longstanding life policies and constitutional protections, and ensure that taxpayer dollars are being appropriately spent. In addition, the legislation defunds existing ObamaCare programs and prohibits any new discretionary funding from being used to further implement ObamaCare.

“This legislation continues our efforts to reduce wasteful spending, to stop harmful and unnecessary regulations that kill jobs and impede economic growth, and to make wise investments in proven programs on behalf of the American taxpayer,” House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said. “This bill fulfills these goals, funding cutting-edge medical research, education for disabled children, veterans’ programs, community health centers, Meals on Wheels, and charter schools. At the same time, the bill reflects careful consideration of every program, cutting the fat and making the most of every dollar.”

“This is a fiscally responsible bill that reduces discretionary spending by nearly $4 billion. At the same time, by carefully reprioritizing where taxpayer dollars are spent, the bill increases funding for important programs that benefit the American people. Specifically, funding is targeted to the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, special education, Head Start, and a number of programs aimed at helping Native American youth. And through the inclusion of several important policy provisions, we have taken steps to rein in the excessive overreach of the Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board,” LHHS Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole said. “This bill reflects the values and priorities of the American taxpayer, setting us on a path that will reduce the deficit while funding programs that make meaningful differences in the lives of Americans.”

Bill Summary:

Defunding ObamaCare – The legislation contains several provisions to stop the implementation of ObamaCare – including rescinding prior-year mandatory funds and prohibiting the use of any new discretionary funding to implement ObamaCare.

Protecting Life – The bill contains several provisions to protect life, including continuations of all longstanding restrictions on abortion funding that have been included in the legislation in prior years. The legislation also includes the text of the “Health Care Conscience Rights Act.”

Department of Labor (DoL) – The bill provides a total of $11.7 billion for DoL – $206 million below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $1.4 billion below the President’s request.

  • Employment Training Administration (ETA) – The legislation provides the ETA with $9.5 billion – a decrease of $196 million (2 percent) below last year’s level and $1 billion (9.8 percent) below the President’s request. State and local workforce training and development programs are prioritized and maintained at fiscal year 2015 enacted levels. The bill also provides responsible, adequate funding for labor enforcement and benefit protection agencies to fulfill their core missions. 
  • Job Corps – The bill provides $1.7 billion for Job Corps, which is the same as the fiscal year 2015 level. This program helps unemployed young Americans receive education, job training, and employment assistance
  • Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) – The bill provides $271 million for VETS, which is $1.1 million above the fiscal year 2015 level and the same as the President’s request.
  • Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) – MSHA is funded at $371 million in the legislation, $4.9 million below the fiscal year 2015 level and $23.9 million below the budget request.
  • Reducing Harmful Red Tape – The legislation includes several provisions designed to help U.S. businesses create jobs and grow the economy by reducing or eliminating overly burdensome government regulations. Some of these include:
  • A provision providing flexibility in the H-2B program;
  • A provision prohibiting regulatory changes to the definition of the term “Fiduciary”;
  • A provision restricting the interpretation of laws and regulations governing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) “walkaround” inspections.

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) – The bill includes a total of $71.3 billion for HHS, an increase of $298 million above last year’s level and $3.9 billion below the President’s budget request. The legislation targets funds to proven programs with the most national benefit, while reducing spending in lower-priority areas.  Within this amount, the bill includes:

  • Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) The bill includes over $6 billion for HRSA – $299 million below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $413 million below the President’s budget request. The bill eliminates all funding for the controversial Family Planning Program, saving taxpayers nearly $300 million.Within the total, the bill provides nearly $1.5 billion for Community Health Centers, which is the same as the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and the request. The bill also provides $265 million for the Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education program – equal to the fiscal year 2015 enacted level, and $165 million more than the request. Additionally, the legislation includes $102 million for the Healthy Start program – the same as the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and the budget request.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – The legislation includes a total of $7 billion for the CDC – $140 million above the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and equal to the budget request. This includes $6.1 billion in appropriated funds, as well as $914.3 million in transfers from the Prevention and Public Health (PPH) Fund.

Within this total, the bill provides $70 million – $50 million above the fiscal year 2015 level and $2 million above the budget request – to expand efforts to combat prescription drug abuse. The bill also increases funding for CDC’s Public Health Preparedness and Response by $108 million over last year’s level – providing a total of $1.56 billion – to ensure that the Strategic National Stockpile and State and Local Preparedness capacity is adequate.  These programs provide supplies and response efforts in the event of a bioterror attack or pandemic disease emergency.

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) – The bill provides a total $31.2 billion for the NIH, $1.1 billion above the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $100 million above the President’s budget request.

Within this funding, the legislation includes $165 million to support activities for the National Children’s Study, $480.6 million for Clinical and Translational Sciences Awards, and $311.8 million for Institutional Development Awards (IDeA) programs.

The bill also provides increases for several targeted research initiatives, including $886 million, a $300 million increase, for an Alzheimer’s disease research initiative; $461 million, a $100 million increase, for an antibiotic resistance initiative; $150 million, a $95 million increase, for the Brain Research through Application of Innovative Neuro-technologies (BRAIN) initiative; and the full $200 million requested for the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI).

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) – The bill funds SAMHSA at $3.6 billion – $23 million above the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $21 million below the President’s budget request. The Substance Abuse Block Grant is funded at $1.8 billion – the same as the fiscal year 2015 level.

The bill provides $45 million – a $13.1 million increase – for services that address prescription drug abuse and heroin use in high-risk communities. Criminal justice activities receive $78 million – equal to the fiscal year 2015 level – including $60 million (a $10 million increase) for drug court funding.

The legislation maintains a prohibition on federal funds for the purchase of syringes or sterile needles, but allows communities with rapid increases in cases of HIV and Hepatitis to access federal funds for other activities, including substance use counseling and treatment referrals.

  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) – The recommendation provides $3.3 billion for CMS management and operations, which is $344 million below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $919 million below the budget request.

The bill does not include additional funding to implement ObamaCare programs, and prohibits funds for the new “Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight” and “Navigators” programs.

  • Administration for Children and Families (ACF) – The bill provides $17.8 billion in discretionary funding for ACF, which is $50 million above the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $1.9 billion below the President’s budget request. The Head Start program receives $8.8 billion, a $192 million increase, of which $150 million is targeted to Early Head Start and $42 million to a 0.5 percent Cost-of-Living Allowance (COLA) increase for Head Start Grantees. The Family Violence Prevention and Battered Women’s Shelters program is funded at $145 million – a $10 million increase.
  • Administration for Community Living (ACL) – The bill funds ACL at $1.9 billion, which is $261 million above the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $161 million below the President’s budget request. The bulk of the increase supports the transition programs under the “Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act” from the Department of Education to ACL, and the transfer of the Traumatic Brain Injury program from HRSA to ACL. The bill also provides $441 million – a $2.5 million increase – for Congregate Meals, and $220 million – a $3.5 million increase – for the Meals on Wheels program.
  • The bill contains a provision ensuring any new HHS Dietary Guidelines focus only on food and nutrients and have a sound scientific evidence base.

Department of Education – The bill funds the Department of Education at $64.4 billion, which is $2.8 billion below the fiscal year 2015 level and $6.4 billion below the President’s budget request. The bill eliminates 19 duplicative, ineffective, or unauthorized education programs, and makes reductions to several other lower-priority programs.

  • Special Education – The bill includes $12 billion for IDEA special education grants to states, an increase of more than $500 million over the fiscal year 2015 enacted level, which will increase the federal share of special education funding to states from 16 percent to 17 percent.
  • Charter Schools Program – The bill includes an increase of $22 million over the fiscal year 2015 enacted level for grants to support the creation of new charter schools, for a total of $275 million.
  • Pell Grants – The maximum Pell Grant award is increased to $5,915, funded by a combination of discretionary and mandatory funds.
  • Impact Aid – The bill provides nearly $1.3 billion for Impact Aid, an increase of $10 million above the current enacted level.
  • Policy Provisions – The bill also includes several policy provisions, including prohibitions on the Department of Education from moving forward with regulations to establish a college ratings system, place new requirements on teacher preparation, define “gainful employment” and “credit hour,” and dictate how states must license institutions of higher education.

Other Related Agencies –

  • Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) – The bill includes $687.8 million for CNCS – maintaining funding for Senior Corps and AmeriCorps VISTA at the fiscal year 2015 level.  The bill also provides funding to maintain competitive AmeriCorps state and national grants.
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) – The bill provides an advance appropriation of $445 million for CPB for fiscal year 2018, which is the same level of advance funding provided in the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and the budget request.
  • National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) – The bill includes $200 million for the NLRB – a decrease of $74.2 million (27 percent) below last year’s level and $78 million (28 percent) below the President’s budget request.  In addition, the legislation includes several policy provisions to stop the NLRB’s harmful anti-business regulations that would impose additional and excessive costs on American businesses, increase job loss, and further hinder economic growth. Some of these provisions include: a prohibition on use of electronic voting in union elections; a prohibition on implementing new regulations on representation-case procedures; a prohibition on issuing new joint-employer standards; and a prohibition on exercising jurisdiction over Indian tribes.
  • Social Security Administration (SSA) – The bill provides $11.8 billion to administer SSA activities –an increase of $12 million over the fiscal year 2015 level – to ensure those served by the program receive efficient and timely assistance and services.
  • To view the draft bill, please visit: http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-114hr-sc-ap-fy2016-laborhhs-subcommitteedraft.pdf