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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 

DLM ALERT – State, Foreign OP Appropriation Approved by Committee

NEWS

House Appropriations Committee

Chairman Hal Rogers   

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

For Immediate Release: June 11, 2015

Appropriations Committee Approves Fiscal Year 2016 State and Foreign Operations Bill

Legislation will advance U.S. security abroad, support humanitarian aid, and cut lower-priority international programs to save tax dollars

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Appropriations Committee today approved the fiscal year 2016 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill on a voice vote. The legislation funds the State Department and foreign assistance – prioritizing funding for American security efforts abroad, as well as critical humanitarian aid to areas facing war, conflict, and instability. The bill also supports activities to increase stability and security in areas such as the Middle East, Ukraine, and Latin America, and targets funds to embassy security, global health, refugee, and democracy programs. In order to make these focused investments, the bill reduces funds in nonessential or lower-priority areas.

In total, the bill provides $47.8 billion in both regular discretionary and Global War on Terror (GWOT) funding. This total is $1.4 billion below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $6.1 billion below the President’s request for these programs. Within this amount, GWOT funding totals $7.3 billion – $1.9 billion below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level – to support operations and programs in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, to provide emergency humanitarian relief, and to promote counterterrorism and stabilization efforts in critical areas around the globe.

“This bill rightly prioritizes national security – providing critical aid to our strategic allies, securing key diplomatic outposts, and investing in programs that will grow democracy across the world. This funding will help find and defeat terrorists, prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons, support peacekeeping operations, and fight drug trafficking,” Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said. “The bill also helps build democracy worldwide – targeting funds to life-saving development, global health, and humanitarian aid programs.”

State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee Chairwoman Kay Granger said:

“This legislation is first and foremost a national security bill. We live in an increasingly dangerous world where terrorist groups threaten the United States, our allies and partners, and our way of life. We see Russia and China continuing to assert territorial ambitions against its neighbors, and the threat of a nuclear Iran and its support and financing of terrorists is real,” Chairwoman Granger said. “The United States must do more to lead on the world’s stage. This bill addresses challenges head-on and demonstrates our commitment to programs that promote global security and American prosperity.”

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

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

The bill was approved on a voice vote.

For a summary of the bill, please visit:

http://appropriations.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=394231

For the text of the bill, please visit:

http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-114hr-sc-ap-fy2016-stateforop-subcommitteedraft.pdf

For the bill report, please visit:

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

DLM ALERT- Veto Threat on Defense Appropriations

STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY

H.R. 2685 – Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2016 (Rep. Rogers, R-KY)

The Administration strongly opposes House passage of H.R. 2685, making appropriations for the Department of Defense (DOD) for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2016, and for other purposes. The Administration supports investments essential to execute the President’s national security and defense strategies, and appreciates the Committee’s recognition that the President’s Budget level is needed for DOD, as well as its support of the Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund, which is a vital partnership-focused approach to counterterrorism. However, the bill drastically underfunds critical investments in DOD’s base budget and instead uses Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding in ways that leaders in both parties have made clear are inappropriate. Base budget sequestration levels will damage our ability to restore readiness, advance badly-needed technological modernization, and keep faith with our troops and their families. Meanwhile, shifting base budget resources into OCO risks undermining a mechanism meant to fund incremental costs of overseas conflicts and fails to provide a stable, multi-year budget on which defense planning and fiscal policy are based. The use of OCO funding to circumvent budget caps in defense spending also ignores the long-term connection between national security and economic security and fails to account for vital national security functions carried out at non-defense agencies.

In addition, the bill fails to support many of the needed force structure and weapons system reforms included in the President’s Budget, and undermines a new Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round that would allow DOD to properly align the military’s infrastructure with the needs of its evolving force. The President’s defense strategy depends on investing every dollar where it will have the greatest effect, which the Administration’s FY 2016 proposals will accomplish through critical reforms that divest unneeded force structure, slow growth in compensation, and reduce wasteful overhead. The Committee’s changes would constrain the ability of DOD to align military capability and force structure with the President’s defense strategy, and would require the Department to retain unnecessary force structure and weapons systems that cannot be adequately resourced in today’s fiscal environment, contributing to a military that will be less capable of responding effectively to future challenges. The bill also continues unwarranted restrictions regarding detainees at Guantanamo Bay. If the President were presented with H.R. 2685, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.

Enacting H.R. 2685 and adhering to the congressional Republican budget’s overall spending limits for FY 2016 would hurt our economy and shortchange investments in middle-class priorities. Sequestration was never intended to take effect: rather, it was supposed to threaten such drastic cuts to both defense and non-defense funding that policymakers would be motivated to come to the table and reduce the deficit through smart, balanced reforms. The Republican framework would bring base discretionary funding for both non-defense and defense for FY 2016 to the lowest real levels in a decade. Compared to the President’s Budget, the cuts would result in tens of thousands of the Nation’s most vulnerable children losing access to Head Start, more than two million fewer workers receiving job training and employment services, and thousands fewer scientific and medical research awards and grants, along with other impacts that would hurt the economy, the middle class, and Americans working hard to reach the middle class.

Sequestration funding levels would also put our national security at unnecessary risk, not only through pressures on defense spending, but also through pressures on State, USAID, Homeland Security, and other non-defense programs that help keep us safe. More broadly, the strength of our economy and the security of our Nation are linked. That is why the President has been clear that he is not willing to lock in sequestration going forward, nor will he accept fixes to defense without also fixing non-defense.

The President’s senior advisors would recommend that he veto H.R. 2685 and any other legislation that implements the current Republican budget framework, which blocks the investments needed for our economy to compete in the future. The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress to reverse sequestration for defense and non-defense priorities and offset the cost with commonsense spending and tax expenditure cuts, as Members of Congress from both parties have urged.

The Administration would like to take this opportunity to share additional views regarding the Committee’s version of the bill.

Department of Defense

Sequestration and Misuse of OCO Funds. The Administration strongly objects to the sequestration level appropriations in the bill for items that were requested in and belong in the base budget, as well as the use of OCO-a funding mechanism intended to pay for wars and not subject to the budget caps-to pay for $37.5 billion in base requirements. Sequestration adds risk to our national security by threatening the size, readiness, presence, and capability of our military, and threatens the economic security on which our national security depends. The Committee clearly recognizes that the President’s Budget level for defense is needed, but proposes to fund it by circumventing instead of increasing the budget caps. This approach fails to provide the stable, multi-year budget on which defense planning is based; undermines a mechanism meant to fund incremental costs of overseas conflicts; locks in unacceptable funding cuts for national security activities at non-defense agencies like the Departments of State, Homeland Security, and Veterans Affairs; and also undermines national security by undermining the Nation’s economic security.

Guantanamo Detainee Restrictions. The Administration strongly objects to sections 8100, 8101, and 8102 of the bill, which would restrict the Executive Branch’s ability to manage the detainee population at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba detention facility. Sections 8100 and 8101 would prohibit the use of funds for the transfer of detainees to the United States and for the construction, acquisition, or modification of any facility to house Guantanamo detainees in the United States. Section 8102 would continue restrictions relating to transfers of detainees abroad. The President has repeatedly objected to the inclusion of these and similar provisions in prior legislation and has called upon the Congress to lift the restrictions. Operating the detention facility at Guantanamo weakens our national security by draining resources, damaging our relationships with key allies and partners, and emboldening violent extremists. These provisions are unwarranted and threaten to interfere with the Executive Branch’s ability to determine the appropriate disposition of detainees and its flexibility to determine when and where to prosecute Guantanamo detainees based on the facts and circumstances of each case and our national security interests. Sections 8100 and 8102 would, moreover, violate constitutional separation-of-powers principles in certain circumstances.

Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission (MCRMC). The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress and MCRMC to improve our military compensation and retirement systems, and encourages the Congress to support the additional recommendations for which the Administration has transmitted legislation. The Administration continues to evaluate how the more complex recommendations of a Blended Retirement System would affect the All-Volunteer Force, and expects to provide the Committee with further views on this proposal in the near future. The Administration looks forward to continuing to work with the Congress and MCRMC on other provisions, to meet our solemn responsibility to ensure that any changes protect the long-term viability of the All-Volunteer Force, improve quality-of-life for service members and their families, and safeguard the fiscal sustainability of the military compensation and retirement systems.

Compensation Reform. The FY 2016 Budget request provides the funding and common-sense reforms that will ensure that service members receive competitive pay and benefits and critical training and equipment. The Administration believes it is imperative to slow the growth of basic pay and housing allowances, modernize military healthcare, and reform how commissaries operate, and strongly encourages members of the Congress to support these reforms, which would save $1.7 billion in FY 2016 and $18 billion through FY 2020.

Prohibition on Conducting Additional Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Round. The Administration strongly objects to the proposed $10.5 million reduction to funds that would support a 2017 BRAC round. This impairs the ability of the Executive Branch to plan for contingencies or make other needed adjustments that would improve military effectiveness and efficiency. The Administration strongly urges the Congress to provide the BRAC authorization as requested, which would allow DOD to right-size its infrastructure while providing important assistance to affected communities, freeing resources currently consumed by maintaining unneeded facilities. In the absence of authorization of a new round of BRAC, the Administration will pursue alternative options to reduce this wasteful spending and ensure that DOD’s limited resources are available for the highest priorities of the warfighter and national security.

A-10 Aircraft. The Administration strongly objects to section 8120 of the bill, which is inconsistent with DOD’s fiscal constraints and current priorities. Section 8120 would restrict DOD from obligating or expending funds to retire A-10 aircraft. This restriction would eliminate about $350 million in savings for FY 2016 and $4.7 billion in savings through FY 2019. Further, it puts at risk needed recapitalization efforts adversely impacting the acquisition and manning of the Air Force fighter enterprise. DOD needs to focus its resources on the Joint Strike Fighter and other multi-mission aircraft, which will replace the A-10’s singular mission of close air support while also providing other critical capabilities.

Aviation Restructure Initiative (ARI). The Administration strongly objects to section 8116 of the bill, which does not allow the transfer of any AH-64 Apache helicopters in FY 2016 and will negatively affect the Army’s readiness and ability to prepare and deploy forces to meet ongoing operations. The FY 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) established limitations on the ARI, but provided for the transfer of certain numbers of aircraft in time for congressional review of the report of the Commission on the Future of the Army before transfer of additional aircraft. Delaying the transfer until the passage of the FY 2016 NDAA will damage the readiness of Army units in the 1st Infantry Division whose 24 AH-64s must transfer in October 2015, the 25th Infantry Division whose 24 AH-64s must transfer in February 2016, and the 10th Mountain Division whose 24 AH-64s must transfer in June 2016. The National Guard Bureau has concurred with the transfers and has plans in place with the States involved for the first 48 Apache aircraft. DOD’s plan for the transfer of select numbers of aircraft between the components in FY 2016 is in compliance with the FY 2015 NDAA and is the same as the number of Apache aircraft (72) that the National Guard Bureau agreed to transfer in its aviation proposal. The Administration urges the Congress to remain consistent with the FY 2015 NDAA and permit the transfer of 72 Apache aircraft in FY 2016.

Missile Defense Programs. The Administration strongly objects to funding reductions to several ballistic missile defense programs, specifically, the proposed reduction of $61.4 million to Improved Homeland Defense Interceptors (also known as the Redesigned Kill Vehicle program), which is needed to improve the reliability, producibility, and sustainability of the Ground-Based Interceptor. This reduction will delay the program beyond the required 2020 timeline to protect the United States. In addition, the Administration opposes the $25 million reduction to the Command, Control, Battle Management and Communications program and the $13 million reduction to the SM-3 Block IIA interceptor program. Funding for both efforts is critical to meet the President’s European Phased Adaptive Approach Phase III. Finally, the Administration objects to the Committee-proposed reductions of $38.2 million to Technology Maturation Initiatives and $26.2 million to Special Programs. These efforts are critical to ensuring the United States stays ahead of future ballistic missile threats.

Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. The Administration strongly objects to the elimination of all funding for the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP)-20 and its launch. By 2017, only one DMSP satellite will be within its design life. DOD has certified that this fully-built and recently-refurbished satellite is a cost-effective solution to the expected shortfall in polar-orbiting weather satellites, which the Government Accountability Office has chronicled in its High Risk List. Because weather satellite data are shared among defense, intelligence, civil, and international users, eliminating this satellite would have broad implications, including reduced accuracy of weather prediction models and degraded efficiency of surveillance and reconnaissance platforms. Launching DMSP-20 also provides a competitive launch opportunity, which is a cornerstone of the Department’s strategy to maintain assured access to space.

Funding Restriction on the Enforcement of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The Administration strongly objects to the prohibition of funding for the enforcement of section 526 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. This provision undercuts a law that provides an environmentally sound framework for the development of future alternative fuels, which contribute to a diverse, cost-competitive energy supply that enhances American energy security.

Unrequested Funding. In this fiscally constrained environment, the Administration strongly objects to the billions of dollars provided for items that were not in the FY 2016 Budget request, offset by equal reductions to higher priority items that the military needs. Unrequested items include $1 billion for extra Joint Strike Fighters, $1 billion for additional F-18 aircraft, $1.1 billion to reverse planned savings associated with compensation reform proposals, $1.5 billion for National Guard and Reserve Equipment, $1 billion for additional Army vehicles and weapons systems, $635 million to fund an Afloat Forward Staging Base, and $65 million for an additional CV-22 Osprey aircraft. The Administration has made extensive efforts to assess, prioritize, and balance force capacity, capability, and readiness in developing the FY 2016 Budget. The Administration also objects to section 8006 of the bill, which places spending on unrequested items into statute.

DDG-51 Destroyers. The Administration strongly objects to the reduction of $136.8 million in DDG-51 shipbuilding funds. This reduction would make the DDG-51 program unexecutable, and preclude award of the second FY 2016 DDG as the initial Flight III ship. This reduction would prevent the Navy from fielding the Flight III variant as planned, resulting in a delay of critically needed Integrated Air and Missile Defense capability to the Fleet.

Defense Health Program. The Administration strongly objects to the bill’s $1.4 billion reduction to the Defense Health Program within Operation and Maintenance. Military medicine has had dramatic cost increases in FY 2015, and these costs are projected to continue to rise. DOD has taken aggressive action to address increases in costs where possible and has strategies in place to continue these efforts. However, we must ensure the health of the force and their families, along with upholding the promise to our retirees. This will be increasingly difficult to achieve absent sufficient funding at the level established in the President’s Budget request. Without funding at the level requested, the Department will be forced to eliminate needed medical support programs and initiatives.

Aircraft Carrier Replacement Program. The Administration objects to the bill’s $74.7 million reduction to the Department of the Navy’s Aircraft Carrier Replacement Program, ship construction account. This funding reduction impacts five systems critical to the ship’s required capability, presenting unacceptable risk to CVN 79 being delivered as a fully usable military warfighting asset. The Department of the Navy, in conjunction with industry, has implemented oversight and funding proposals that will yield cost reductions in CVN 79 as compared to CVN 78. Any further reduction would place additional risk to delivering integral warfighting systems and would likely inhibit the Aircraft Carrier Replacement Program’s ability to meet the FY 2014 NDAA cost limitations for CVN 79 procurement.

Space Modernization Initiative (SMI). The Administration objects to the $191 million reduction in SMI funding for the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) and Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) System. The Department’s 2014 Space Strategic Portfolio review recommended significant changes to our space-based capabilities in the face of dramatically increasing threats. The SMI is the critical resource to enable the evolution of the current SBIRS and AEHF systems to assured architectures, consistent with the DOD analyses. Full funding of SMI allows the Department to dramatically reduce the technical, programmatic, and operational risks of these required architecture changes in advance of the major acquisition contract award, and assure that we will not suffer a capability gap in our most important mission areas. Failing to invest in SMI technology maturation now will limit these systems to 1995 sensor technology and the associated obsolescence in our next satellite acquisition.

Limitation on Authorization for Certain FY 2016 Projects. The Administration objects to section 8111 of the bill, which would limit expending funds associated with the construction of the Joint Intelligence Analysis Complex Consolidation (JIAC), Phase 2, at Royal Air Force Croughton, United Kingdom, and would limit action to realign forces at Lajes Field, Azores, until the Department conveys specific information to the Committee. The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress on this issue in order to avoid the potential for significant financial costs during a period of constrained resources, uncertainty among our allies that share equities in the JIAC, and disruption in intelligence support to the warfighter.

Operation and Maintenance, Procurement, and Military Personnel Reductions. The Administration objects to the billions of dollars of undistributed reductions in the bill across the Operation and Maintenance, Procurement, and Military Personnel accounts. The Operation and Maintenance reductions would be applied to specific programs, which include facilities sustainment, restoration, and modernization line items. These reductions will delay the Department’s full-spectrum readiness recovery efforts.

Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (DATA Act). The Administration appreciates the support the Committee provided for the DATA Act by fully funding the FY 2016 Budget request for the Department of Defense to implement the Act.

Classified Programs. The Administration looks forward to providing its views on the adjustments contained in the Classified Annex to the bill once it becomes available.

Additional Constitutional Concerns. Several other provisions in the bill raise constitutional concerns. For instance, section 8117 may interfere with the President’s authority as Commander in Chief and section 8009 could interfere with the President’s authority with regard to sensitive national security information.

The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress as the FY 2016 appropriations process moves forward.

DLM ALERT – House Appropriations Releases Financial Services Bill

NEWS

House Appropriations Committee

Chairman Hal Rogers  

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

For Immediate Release: June 10, 2015

Appropriations Committee Releases Fiscal Year 2016 Financial Services Bill

Legislation funds U.S. judicial system, law enforcement, and programs to bolster small businesses while targeting IRS and other underperforming agencies for cuts

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Appropriations Committee today released the fiscal year 2016 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill, which will be considered in subcommittee tomorrow. The bill provides annual funding for the Treasury Department, the Judiciary, the Small Business Administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and several other agencies.

The bill totals $20.2 billion in funding – $1.3 billion below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $4.8 billion below the President’s budget request. With this funding, the legislation prioritizes critical national programs to enforce U.S. laws, maintain a fair and efficient judicial system, and help small businesses grow. In order to make these targeted investments, the bill reduces or eliminates lower-priority programs and cuts funding to poor-performing agencies – including an $838 million reduction to the Internal Revenue Service.

In addition, the bill includes several important policy provisions to rein in Administration overreach, cut bureaucratic red tape, and protect the rights of the American people. For example, the legislation includes provisions to stop the IRS from further implementing the individual mandate under ObamaCare, to protect the right to free speech and political involvement, and to prohibit the Federal Communications Commission from implementing a net-neutrality order.

“This is an important bill that will invest in programs to maintain the fundamental fabric of our nation – a just judicial system, an open marketplace that allows a fair and level playing field for all, and to provide opportunities for businesses large and small to thrive,” House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said. “While making good use of limited tax dollars, this legislation also makes great strides in reining in wasteful spending, and stopping harmful and unnecessary bureaucratic over-reach.”

“Every day, Americans are making tough decisions about their own budgets and rightfully expect federal agencies to do the same. While it reflects a very tight budget, this bill makes investments to support economic growth and job creation through our small businesses, and to protect our citizens by strengthening the enforcement of laws and the administration of justice,” said Financial Services Subcommittee Chairman Ander Crenshaw. “In addition, the bill reduces funding for nonessential areas, and holds the Administration and the Internal Revenue Service more accountable to the taxpayer.”

Bill Highlights:

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) – Included in the bill is $10.1 billion for the IRS a cut of $838 million below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $2.8 billion below the President’s budget request. This will hold the agency’s budget below the sequester level and below the fiscal year 2004 level. This funding level is sufficient for the IRS to perform its core duties, but will require the agency to streamline and better prioritize its budget. The bill also provides $2.2 billion – $75 million above current levels – for Taxpayer Services to measurably improve the rate that IRS answers telephone calls and correspondence from taxpayers.

In addition, due to the IRS’ inappropriate actions in targeting groups based on political beliefs, as well as its previous improper use of taxpayer funds, the bill includes the following provisions:

  • A prohibition on a proposed regulation related to political activities and the tax-exempt status of 501(c)(4) organizations. The proposed regulation could jeopardize the tax-exempt status of many nonprofit organizations and inhibit citizens from exercising their right to freedom of speech, simply because they may be involved in political activity;
  • A prohibition on funds for bonuses or to rehire former employees unless employee conduct and tax compliance is given consideration;
  • A prohibition on funds for the IRS to target groups for regulatory scrutiny based on their ideological beliefs;
  • A prohibition on funds for the IRS to target individuals for exercising their First Amendment rights;
  • A prohibition on funds for the production of inappropriate videos and conferences;
  • A prohibition on funds for the White House to order the IRS to determine the tax-exempt status of an organization; and
  • A requirement for extensive reporting on IRS spending.
  • ObamaCare –The bill also includes provisions to stop the IRS from further implementing ObamaCare, including a prohibition on any transfers of funding from the Department of Health and Human Services to the IRS for ObamaCare uses, and a prohibition on funding for the IRS to implement an individual insurance mandate on the American people.
  • Judiciary – Included in the bill is $6.9 billion for the federal courts – an increase of $214 million above the fiscal year 2015 enacted level. This will provide sufficient funding for all federal court activities, the supervision of offenders and defendants living in our communities, court security, and the timely and efficient processing of federal cases.
  • Small Business Administration (SBA) – The bill contains $853 million for the SBA to help provide opportunities for American small businesses to get off the ground, grow our economy, and create more jobs for our workers. To this end, the bill fully funds business loans at $156 million, and fully funds disaster loan implementation costs at $187 million to allow for a quick and efficient process when unexpected natural disasters strike individuals and small businesses. The bill also funds several important programs above the President’s request, including a total of $117 million for Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), $12.3 million for the Small Business Veterans Outreach program, and $17 million for Women’s Business Centers (WBC).
  • General Services Administration (GSA) – The bill allows the GSA to spend $8.4 billion out of the Federal Buildings Fund, a cut of $803 million below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level. This level of funding will cover the rent and other costs of buildings and properties owned or occupied by federal government agencies across the nation.The legislation also helps to save taxpayer dollars and reduce the GSA inventory by providing $70 million for space consolidation and $26 million to dispose of surplus properties. In addition, the bill continues strong oversight measures, including reporting on spending and the status of GSA’s facilities portfolio.
  • Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) – Included in the bill is $1.5 billion for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which is equal to the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $222 million below the President’s budget request. The bill targets funding towards critical information technology initiatives, and prohibits the SEC from spending any money out of its “reserve fund” – essentially a slush fund without any congressional oversight.In addition, the legislation contains policy provisions and reporting requirements. For example, the bill requires the Administration to report to Congress on the cost and regulatory burdens of the Dodd-Frank Act, prohibits the SEC from requiring the disclosure of political donation information in filings, and replaces the indemnification agreements with confidentiality agreements for swaps data repositories.
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) – The bill includes a provision to increase oversight over the CFPB by bringing funding for the agency under the annual congressional appropriations process, instead of direct funding from the Federal Reserve. This change will allow for increased accountability and transparency of the agency’s activities and use of tax dollars. The legislation also requires extensive reporting on CFPB activities.
  • Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) – The CPSC is funded at $122 million in the bill, $1 million below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $7 million below the request.
  • Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – The bill contains $315 million for the FCC – a cut of $25 million below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $73 million below the request. The legislation prohibits the FCC from implementing net neutrality until certain court cases are resolved, requires newly proposed regulations to be made publicly available for 21 days before the Commission votes on them, and prohibits the FCC from regulating rates for either wireline or wireless Internet service.
  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC) The bill provides $302 million for the FTC, which is $9.5 million below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $6.7 million below the request.
  • Executive Office of the President (EOP) – The legislation contains $676 million for the EOP, which is $12.3 million below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level. The bill denies the President’s proposed cuts of $70 million to drug control efforts, including the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) and Drug-Free Communities programs, and instead increases funding for these programs by $7 million above the fiscal year 2015 enacted level. The bill also includes a requirement that the Office of Management and Budget prepare budgetary impact statements for Executive Orders and Presidential Memorandums.
  • District of Columbia – The bill contains a $678 million federal payment to the District of Columbia virtually equal to the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $82 million below the request. Within this amount, the bill targets resources on public safety and security costs, and includes $45 million for the SOAR Act, which provides scholarships to low-income students in DC to attend private schools.In addition, the legislation maintains provisions prohibiting federal and local funds from being used for abortion or to further marijuana legalization, and a prohibition on federal funds from being used for needle exchanges in the District of Columbia.
  • Other Legislative Provisions – The legislation contains several policy provisions, including:
  • A prohibition against the use of funds for abortion in the Federal Employee Health Benefits program;
  • A prohibition on funding to require that entities applying for or conducting work under federal contracts disclose campaign contributions;
  • A prohibition on travel to Cuba for educational exchanges not involving academic study pursuant to a degree program, a prohibition on the importation of property confiscated by the Cuban Government, and a prohibition on financial transactions with the Cuban military or intelligence service;
  • A prohibition on funds for an increase in pay for the Vice President and other senior political appointees; and
  • A prohibition on funding to implement an Executive Order on flood management.
  • For the Subcommittee draft text of the legislation, please visit: http://appropriations.house.gov/UploadedFiles/BILLS-114HR-SC-AP-FY2016-FServices-SubcommitteeDraft.pdf

DLM ALERT -House Passes THUD Appropriations

NEWS

House Appropriations Committee

Chairman Hal Rogers  

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

For Immediate Release: June 9, 2015

Fiscal Year 2016 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill Passes House

Bill will fund critical infrastructure and safety programs, provide responsible levels of funding for low-income housing

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House today approved the fiscal year 2016 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development funding bill (H.R. 2577) on a vote of 216 -210. The legislation includes funding for the Department of Transportation, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and other related agencies.

In total, the bill reflects an allocation of $55.3 billion in discretionary spending – an increase of $1.5 billion above fiscal year 2015 and $9.7 billion below the President’s budget request. However, given reduced offsets – primarily caused by a $1.1 billion decline in Federal Housing Administration receipts – the bill actually represents an increase of only $25 million above the current level. Within the legislation, funds are targeted toward transportation, infrastructure, and housing programs of national need and significance that have the biggest impact on Americans and communities across the country.

“The bill passed today will fund a wide range of federal programs that affect every citizen of every district of every state. From the transportation infrastructure that moves goods, people, and businesses around the country, to the housing options that help those in most need, the benefits of the programs in this bill are felt far and wide,” House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said. “We face tight budget restrictions, yet this bill provides adequate investments in critical infrastructure and much-relied-upon housing programs. I thank my colleagues for their support today, and their continued support as this legislation continues through the process.”

For the House-passed amendments to H.R 2577, please visit:

http://appropriations.house.gov/UploadedFiles/06.09.15_FY_2016_Transportation_Housing_and_Urban_Development_Bill_-_Floor_Adopted_Amendments.pdf

For a summary of the bill, please visit:

http://appropriations.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=394177

For the text of the bill, please visit:

https://www.congress.gov/114/bills/hr2577/BILLS-114hr2577rh.pdf 

For the text of the report, please visit:

https://www.congress.gov/114/crpt/hrpt129/CRPT-114hrpt129.pdf

DLM ALERT – House Appropriations Approves CJS Bill

NEWS

House Appropriations Committee

Chairman Hal Rogers  

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

For Immediate Release: May 20, 2015

Contact: Jennifer Hing, (202) 226-7007

Appropriations Committee Approves the Fiscal Year 2016 Commerce, Justice, Science Bill

Bill targets funding to federal law enforcement, national security efforts, and space exploration 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Appropriations Committee today approved the fiscal year 2016 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations bill on a voice vote. The bill funds the Department of Commerce, the Department of Justice, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and other related agencies.

The legislation contains $51.4 billion in total discretionary funding, an increase of $1.3 billion over fiscal year 2015 and $661 million below the President’s request for these programs. The bill prioritizes funding for law enforcement, national security, science, and space exploration programs.

“This bill supports a broad range of federal programs that are important to our safety, our economy, and our nation’s place as a global leader in research and innovation,” House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said. “It prioritizes law enforcement, counterterrorism and cyber security, and important science programs, while weeding out waste and excess. The sound investments in this legislation will help spur American innovation both today and into the future.”

“This is a tough budget year, but this bill ensures our law enforcement officers have the resources they need to protect our lives and property,” said CJS Subcommittee Chairman John Culberson. “It also makes important scientific research a top priority. Breakthroughs in these areas are vital to America’s future economic growth.”

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

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

Rep. Farr –The amendment increases funds for the NOAA Bay Watershed and Training education program by $7.2 million, offset by a cut to the NOAA Administrative account. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Wasserman-Schultz – The amendment adds $5 million to the DOJ Rape Survivor Child Custody Act program, offset by a cut to the Commerce Departmental Management account. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. McCollum – The amendment adds report language to support DOJ efforts to prevent the recruitment of at-risk youth to terrorist activities, and requests a report on these efforts. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Wasserman Schultz – The amendment designates $1 million in funding within the Missing and Exploited Children program, for the purpose of hiring wounded warriors to assist with these cases. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Fattah – The amendment names the Preventing Violence Against Law Enforcement Officer Resilience and Survivability (VALOR) initiative in honor of officer Robert Wilson III. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

The bill was approved by the Committee on a voice vote.

For a bill summary, please visit:

http://appropriations.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=394203

For the text of the bill, please visit:

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

 

For the bill report, please visit: http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/hrpt-114-hr-fy2016-cjs.pdf