Senate Passes First FY20 Appropriations Minibus

The Senate passed H.R. 3055, an appropriations minibus that includes the FY20 Commerce, Justice, Science; Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration; Interior, Environment; and Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development spending bills. The bill passed by a vote of 84 to 9. Nine Republicans voted against the measure – Blackburn (R-TN), Braun (R-IN), Cruz (R-TX), Johnson (R-WI), Lee (R-UT), Paul (R-KY), Sasse (R-NE), Scott (R-FL), and Toomey (R-PA). Not voting were Sens. Bennet (D-CO), Booker (D-NJ), Harris (D-CA), Isakson (R-GA), Klobuchar (D-MN), Sanders (I-VT), and Warren (D-MA).

Prior to the roll call votes today, the following amendments to H.R. 3055 were adopted:

  • Cortez Masto amendment 961 to require a report relating to the challenges that food distribution programs face in reaching underserved populations 
  • Jones amendment 1067 to provide funding for the relending program to resolve ownership and succession on farmland
  • Tester amendment #953 to provide for the availability of funds for Agricultural Research Service research facilities to provide public access
  • Smith amendment #1023 to amend provisions relating to the rental assistance program of the Rural Housing Service
  • Hirono amendment #1037 to require a study on the economic and environmental impacts of importing orchids in growing media
  • Brown amendment #1088 to provide appropriations for centers of excellence at 1890 Institutions, with an offset, as modified
  • Baldwin amendment #1099 to increase the appropriation for the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network, with an offset
  • Whitehouse amendment #1121 to set aside funding for the ocean agriculture working group
  • Thune amendment #1133 to provide funding for the new beginning for Tribal students program, with an offset
  • Jones amendment #1143 to increase the appropriation for rural decentralized water systems
  • Smith amendment #1149 to require the Secretary of Agriculture to prioritize maintenance and staff needs relating to assistance provided by the Rural Housing Service
  • Rosen amendment #1161 to increase the appropriation for the distance learning and telemedicine program, with an offset
  • McSally amendment #1163 to provide funding for the emergency and transitional pet shelter and housing assistance grant program, with an offset
  • Reed amendment #1217 to provide funding for States impacted by Eastern equine encephalitis, with an offset
  • Stabenow amendment #1223 to provide funding for the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production, with an offset
  • Cornyn amendment #1224 to provide funding for pilot projects to address food insecurity, with an offset
  • Warner amendment #951 to require the Attorney General to report to Congress on, and establish a deadline for, the implementation of the Ashanti Alert Act of 2018
  • Capito amendment #1077 to make $10,000,000 available for the SelectUSA program
  • Cantwell amendment #1094 to require the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration submit to Congress a report on existing supercomputing capacity and needs of the Administration
  • Toomey amendment #1129 to require that the Secretary of Commerce use amounts appropriated or otherwise made available for the Bureau of Industry and Security for operations and administration to publish and submit to Congress a report on the findings of the investigation into the effect on national security of imports of automobiles and automotive parts
  • Durbin amendment #1146 to require the Drug Enforcement Administration to continue to establish and utilize data collection and sharing agreements in order to properly estimate rates of overdose deaths and overall public health impact related to certain controlled substances, for the purpose of determining diversion and establishing annual opioid production quotas
  • Gardner amendment #1150 to increase funding for the COPS Office Anti-Methamphetamine Task Forces grant program
  • McSally amendment #1234 to require the Attorney General to submit a report on the enforcement of animal welfare laws
  • Sinema amendment #1025 to require a Bureau of Indian Affairs report analyzing the facilities investments required to improve direct service and tribally operated detention and public safety facilities in Indian country
  • Ernst amendment #1079 to prohibit bogus bonus payments to contractors
  • Ernst amendment #1081 to require the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to submit to Congress a report on projects that are over budget and behind schedule
  • Cornyn amendment #1151 to increase funding for the construction of high priority water and wastewater facilities on the United States-Mexico Border, with an offset
  • Cardin amendment #1159 to provide for a report on certain programs of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Rosen amendment #1160 to set aside funds for certain Lake Tahoe restoration activities
  • Thune amendment #1162 to require a study of law enforcement staffing needs of Indian Tribes
  • Peters amendment #1182 to increase money appropriated for Geographic Programs, with an offset
  • Cornyn amendment #1193 to make available funds for the Smithsonian Latino Center
  • Menendez amendment #1199 to set aside funds for the Partnership Wild and Scenic Rivers program
  • Blunt amendment #1211 to set aside funds for the 400 Years of African-American History Commission
  • McSally amendment #1215 to require a report on the status of the Four Forest Restoration Initiative
  • Collins amendment #1220 to make available funds for the Women’s History Initiative
  • Schumer amendment #1227 to provide for a Government Accountability Office study on outdoor recreation
  • Hassan amendment #956 to require the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to provide Congress with recommendations and associated costs for future research on rental payment insurance
  • Collins amendment #1002 to make a technical correction
  • Shaheen amendment #1005 to express the sense of Congress [relating to emergency medical equipment]
  • Kaine amendment #1010 to ensure funding for the FAA remote tower pilot program
  • Cortez Masto amendment #1061 to require a report on engagement with local interests relating to intelligent transportation systems technologies and smart cities solutions
  • Cortez Masto amendment #1062 to prohibit the use of funds to terminate the ITS program advisory committee
  • Heinrich amendment #1114 to improve the bill [relating to HUD VASH]
  • Shaheen amendment #1130 to provide a sense of Congress relating to preserving manufactured home communities
  • Hoeven amendment #1214 to provide for a veterans pilot training competitive grant program
  • Portman amendment #1235 to provide additional funding for the family unification program of the Department of Housing and Urban Development

The Senate then turned its attention to H.R. 2740, the legislative vehicle for an appropriations minibus with the texts of Defense, Labor HHS Education, State Foreign Operations, and Energy and Water FY20 spending bills. They failed to invoke cloture on the measure by a vote of 51 to 41. Sens. Jones (D-AL) and Peters (D-MI) voted for cloture while Sen. Paul (R-KY) voted against it. Democrats voted against cloture saying that they want an agreement on spending allocations that resolves the border wall funding issue dispute first.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said they want to get all 12 spending bills passed by the end of this calendar year. 

The current continuing resolution (CR) funds the federal government through November 21. Some Senate Republicans have floated the idea of another CR funding the government through early next year. A CR through next February could increase the odds of a year-long CR since it would extend funding almost halfway through the fiscal year in a presidential election year. On the other hand, Senate Democrats are concerned that the President will veto a CR and shutdown the government in November to create a diversion from the House impeachment inquiry. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said that he spoke with McConnell last week, and that the two agreed that any short-term funding measure shouldn’t extend past December 31. 

House Majority Leader Hoyer Letter to Senate Majority Leader McConnell re: FY20 Appropriations Negotiations

https://www.majorityleader.gov/sites/democraticwhip.house.gov/files/Letter%20on%20Appropriations%20-%20AW%2010-28-19%20-%20CLEAN.pdf

Senate to Consider Two FY20 Appropriations “Minibuses” Next Week

On the Senate floor on Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch (R-KY) announced that he would file cloture on motions to proceed to two FY20 spending bills, setting up votes for next week. The first vote will be on a package of domestic funding bill. While the contents of that package are still being negotiated, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) said that measure could include three bills and specifically mentioned the Agriculture and Transportation-HUD bills. McConnell said that if the Senate can get bipartisan support to take up that bill, they will stay on it until they complete it. Afterward, they will turn to a second package that will include the FY20 Defense, Labor HHS Education, State Foreign Operations, and Energy & Water appropriations bills. 

The only bill not yet released by the Senate is the Military Construction-Veterans Affairs bill. The subcommittee chairman, John Boozman (R-AR), said the bill could be introduced this week or next. He indicated that it would include $3.6B to fund military construction projects the President wanted to delay in order to fund the border wall. 

The federal government is currently funded through November 21 under a continuing resolution (CR). They need to pass all 12 annual spending bills or another CR before then to avoid a shutdown. The President has indicated that he is not interested in signing other domestic spending bills until he has an agreement on funding for his border wall. He could force another shutdown, or use his executive authority to transfer funds from other accounts using a national emergency declaration.

FY20 Appropriations Update

As it stands now, the House has passed 10 of its 12 Fiscal Year 2020 (“FY20”) spending bills, and the remaining two bills were passed out of the Appropriations Committee. On the Senate side, the Appropriations Committee has passed 10 of its 12 FY20 bills, and those bills are now awaiting action by the full Senate. House and Senate Appropriations Committee staff have been meeting over the October recess to work out the differences between their FY20 spending bills. Ultimately, differences between the House and Senate bills must be resolved before they can go to the president for signature. In the meantime, the federal government is currently operating under a continuing resolution that goes through November 21.

One of the biggest issues for Senate appropriators to work out when they return next week is determining what is a “poison pill.” The bipartisan budget deal Congress agreed to in July included an agreement banning “poison pill” policy riders on the FY20 and FY21 spending bills. The annual spending bills usually include some contentious riders that trigger partisan clashes and slow down the process. Past poison pill riders have been on issues such as abortion, gun control, and environmental regulations. The ban on riders was intended to speed up the appropriations process. However, there isn’t agreement on what constitutes a poison pill. Democrats on the committee wanted to offer an amendment to reverse the Mexico City Policy in the FY20 State Foreign Operations bill when it was considered in committee. They argued that the amendment long had bipartisan support and should have been permitted. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has defined a poison pill as anything that is not in existing law. A resolution may be needed to get the spending bills moving again in the Senate.

Senate Appropriators Continue Marking Up FY20 Spending Bills

The Senate Appropriations Committee reported out five more FY20 spending bills this week leaving only the Labor HHS Education and Military Construction-Veterans Affairs bills on their “to do” list for when they return the week of October 15. The Commerce Justice Science, Interior-Environment, and Homeland Security bills were marked up in subcommittee on Tuesday, and the Legislative Branch and State Foreign Operations bills were added to the full committee agenda for the Thursday markup. All of the spending bills, except for the Homeland Security bill, were voted on unanimously. The Homeland Security bill passed by a vote of 17 to 14 with all Democrats, except for Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), voting against the bill.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) is meeting with President Trump this afternoon to discuss the path forward. House and Senate Appropriations staff will meet during the October recess to discuss compromise spending allocations. The House FY20 spending bills were written before the budget agreement was reached in August and will have to be reduced to the agreed upon nondefense spending limit.

Commerce Justice Science

The $70.833B FY20 Commerce Justice Science bill is $6.715B above the FY19 enacted level and $1.1B more than the President’s FY20 budget request.

Bill Text

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/FY2020%20CJS%20Appropriations%20Act,%20S.2584.pdf

Report Language

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/FY2020%20CJS%20Appropriations%20Act,%20Report%20116-127.pdf

Republican Press Release

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/news/fy2020-commerce-justice-science-appropriations-bill-approved-for-senate-consideration

Democratic Press Release

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/news/minority/summary-fiscal-year-2020-senate-commerce-justice-science-and-related-agencies-appropriations-bill-

Homeland Security

The $70.725B FY20 Homeland Security bill includes $17.352B for Disaster Relief and $190M for Coast Guard Overseas Contingency Operations. After excluding those two amounts, the net discretionary appropriations for DHS is $53.183B which is $3.772B above the FY19 enacted level. 

The bill includes the President’s $5B for the border wall system that, in addition to funding construction of the wall, includes funding for towers, sensors, roads, lights, cameras, gates, etc. Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Democrat Jon Tester (D-MT) offered two wall-related amendments during the full committee markup that were defeated. The first amendment struck the $5B for the border wall and reallocated $1.375B of that funding to make investments in non-intrusive inspection (NII) border technology, computed tomography (CT) for TSA screening, FEMA Flood Mapping grants, and a second Polar Security Coast Guard Cutter. The second amendment prevented funds from being diverted from military construction projects to pay for the border wall. Sen. Tester acknowledged that the amendment would be more appropriately offered when the committee considers the FY20 Military Construction-Veterans Affairs bill, but markup of that bill was cancelled earlier this month when a similar amendment was going to be offered and was going to prevail in the markup. 

Bill Text

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/FY2020%20Homeland%20Security%20Appropriations%20Act,%20S.2582.pdf

Report Language

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/FY2020%20Homeland%20Security%20Appropriations%20Act,%20Report%20116-125.pdf

Sen. Tester Amendments

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/tester1.pdf

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/tester2.pdf

Republican Press Release

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/news/senate-appropriations-committee-sends-fy2020-homeland-security-bill-to-full-senate

Democratic Press Release

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/news/minority/summary-fiscal-year-2020-senate-homeland-security-appropriations-bill-

Interior-Environment

The $35.8B FY20 Interior bill is $248M above the FY19 enacted level and $5.46B more than the President’s FY20 budget request. In addition, for the first time, the bill provides $2.25B in a wildfire budget cap adjustment to respond to the increasing incidence of catastrophic wildfires across the country.

Bill Text

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/FY2020%20Interior%20Environment%20Appropriations%20Act,%20S.2580.pdf

Report Language

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/FY2020%20Interior%20Environment%20Appropriations%20Act,%20Report%20116-123.pdf

Republican Press Release

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/news/fy2020-interior-environment-appropriations-bill-approved-by-full-committee

Democratic Press Release

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/news/minority/summary-fiscal-year-2020-interior-environment-and-related-agencies-appropriations-bill-

Legislative Branch

The FY20 Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill provides $3.593B in discretionary budget authority, excluding items pertaining solely to the House, which total an additional $1.499B.  Total funding accommodated in the bill is $5.092B, which is $256M more than the FY19 enacted level and $197M less than the budget request.

Bill Text

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/FY2020%20Legislative%20Branch%20Appropriations%20Act,%20S.2581.pdf

Report Language

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/FY2020%20Legislative%20Branch%20Appropriations%20Act,%20Report%20116-124.pdf

Republican Press Release

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/news/senate-committee-advances-fy2020-legislative-branch-appropriations-bill

Democratic Press Release

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/news/minority/summary-fiscal-year-2020-senate-legislative-branch-appropriations-bill-

State Foreign Operations

The $55B FY20 State Foreign Operations bill is $782M above the FY19 enacted level and $11.6B more than the President’s FY20 budget request. The bill includes $8B for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO).

Bill Text

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/FY2020%20SFOPS%20Appropriations%20Act,%20S.2583.pdf

Report Language

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/FY2020%20SFOPS%20Appropriations%20Act,%20Report%20116-126.pdf

Republican Press Release

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/news/fy2020-state-and-foreign-operations-bill-advanced-by-full-committee

Democratic Press Release

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/news/minority/summary-fiscal-year-2020-state-foreign-operations-and-related-programs-appropriations-bill-

FY2020 Appropriations Bills Status

SubcommitteeHouse ActionSenate Action
AgricultureSubcommittee: May 23Full Committee: June 4Floor: June 25Subcommittee: Sept 17Full Committee: Sept 19
Commerce Justice ScienceSubcommittee: May 17Full Committee: May 22Floor: June 25Subcommittee: Sept 24Full Committee: Sept 26
DefenseSubcommittee: May 15Full Committee: May 21Floor: June 19Subcommittee: Sept 10Full Committee: Sept 12
Energy & WaterSubcommittee: May 15Full Committee: May 21Floor: June 19Full Committee: Sept 12
Financial ServicesSubcommittee: June 3Full Committee: June 11Floor: June 26Subcommittee: Sept 17Full Committee: Sept 19
Homeland SecuritySubcommittee: June 5Full Committee: June 11Floor: Subcommittee: Sept 24Full Committee: Sept 26
Interior EnvironmentSubcommittee: May 15Full Committee: May 22Floor: June 25Subcommittee: Sept 24Full Committee: Sept 26
Labor HHS EducationSubcommittee: April 30Full Committee: May 8Floor: June 19Released: Sept 18
Legislative BranchSubcommittee: May 1Full Committee: May 9Floor: Full Committee: Sept 26
Military Construction VASubcommittee: May 1Full Committee: May 9Floor: June 25 
State Foreign OperationsSubcommittee: May 10Full Committee: May 16Floor: June 19Full Committee: Sept 26
Transportation HUDSubcommittee: May 23Full Committee: June 4 Floor: June 25Subcommittee: Sept 17Full Committee: Sept 19

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Announces Impeachment Inquiry

Today the House will vote on a resolution calling for the Acting Director of National Intelligence to provide the House and Senate Intelligence Committees with the whistleblower’s complaint and the IG’s determination that the complaint was a credible urgent concern as well as any other comments the Acting Director considers appropriate. The resolution also requires the Acting Director to take steps to protect the whistleblower and to preserve all records, documents, communications, and other information relating to the allegations. While it is only a non-binding resolution, the vote will put Republicans on record on this issue.

H.Res. 576

https://rules.house.gov/sites/democrats.rules.house.gov/files/BILLS-116hres576ih.pdf

Yesterday, three House committee chairs (Foreign Affairs, Intelligence, and Oversight) sent a letter to White House Counsel Pat Cipollone following up on a September 9th letter they sent in which they requested by September 16 all records related to the whistleblowers complaint, the transcript of the President’s call, a full list of staff who participated in the call and in preparation for the call, and any records on the suspension of aid to Ukraine.

September 24th Letter

https://intelligence.house.gov/uploadedfiles/2019-09-24.eec_engel_schiff_to_cipollone-wh_re_potus_ukraine.pdf

September 9th Letter

https://intelligence.house.gov/uploadedfiles/ele_schiff_cummings_letter_to_sec_pompeo_on_ukraine.pdf

Also yesterday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced that the House of Representatives is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry. The Speaker directed six Committees to proceed with their investigations under that umbrella of impeachment inquiry. The committees are: Judiciary, Selection Committee on Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, Oversight and Reform, Ways and Means, and Financial Services. There was no concrete timeline laid out for the impeachment inquiry, although Pelosi wants it completed expeditiously. Some said it could move ahead within weeks. Others said it might continue to next year’s election. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Nadler (D-NY) said he would like it done by the end of this year.

Speaker Pelosi did not say whether the full House would vote to formalize the impeachment inquiry or whether the six committee investigations would be condensed into a single probe. In past impeachment proceedings, each of the committees involved provided input to include in articles of impeachment. In this case, the articles could be written up by the House Judiciary Committee, which then would vote on whether to refer them to the full House of Representatives. After the Judiciary committee vote, the articles, if approved, would be given special status on the House floor and it requires a simple majority of voting lawmakers to approve them.

Senate to Begin Marking Up FY20 Appropriations Bills

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) announced the Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations and Defense Appropriations subcommittees will mark up their FY20 spending bills in subcommittee on Tuesday, September 10, and the State-Foreign Operations bill in subcommittee on September 11. The full committee will mark up those three bills as well as the Energy and Water bills on Thursday, September 12 at 10:30 am. The committee will also approve its 302(b) allocations during the full committee markup.

The Senate Appropriations committee’s goal is to mark up four bills each week for the next three weeks in order to get all 12 of its annual spending bills done by the end of September. The Homeland Security spending bill will go the last week of September given its contentious nature.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) sent a Dear Colleague yesterday in which he wrote that the House will vote on a “clean” continuing resolution (CR) the week of September 16. The CR will keep the government funded through late November. The House is scheduled to be in session through November 21 when they break for Thanksgiving. The list of anomalies (http://www.vantagepointstrat.com/anomalies-2/) sent by the White House to Congress a few weeks ago assumed a CR through mid-December.

Hoyer’s Dear Colleague also set out the legislative agenda for the House for the month of September. The House will focus on three bills next week that will block oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts, and in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. In addition to considering the CR the week of September 16, they will also vote on H.R. 1423, legislationthat would eliminate forced arbitration in employment, consumer, and civil rights cases and H.R. 3106, the DATA Act. Democrats in the House also want to consider gun violence prevention legislation that the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to mark up next week. The House also will address a number of items that expire on September 30th, including the National Flood Insurance Program, authorization of the Export-Import Bank, and a number of health programs. Hoyer expects the House to go to conference on the National Defense Authorization Act. Finally, the House may consider additional legislation addressing the humanitarian crisis at the border and take up additional legislation to strengthen election security.

FY2020 Appropriations Bills Status

SubcommitteeHouse ActionSenate Action
AgricultureSubcommittee: May 23Full Committee: June 4Floor: June 25 
Commerce Justice ScienceSubcommittee: May 17Full Committee: May 22Floor: June 25 
DefenseSubcommittee: May 15Full Committee: May 21Floor: June 19Subcommittee: Sept 10Full Committee: Sept 12
Energy & WaterSubcommittee: May 15Full Committee: May 21Floor: June 19Full Committee: Sept 12
Financial ServicesSubcommittee: June 3Full Committee: June 11Floor: June 26 
Homeland SecuritySubcommittee: June 5Full Committee: June 11Floor:  
Interior EnvironmentSubcommittee: May 15Full Committee: May 22Floor: June 25 
Labor HHS EducationSubcommittee: April 30Full Committee: May 8Floor: June 19Subcommittee: Sept 10Full Committee: Sept 12
Legislative BranchSubcommittee: May 1Full Committee: May 9Floor:  
Military Construction VASubcommittee: May 1Full Committee: May 9Floor: June 25 
State Foreign OperationsSubcommittee: May 10Full Committee: May 16Floor: June 19Subcommittee: Sept 11Full Committee: Sept 12
Transportation HUDSubcommittee: May 23Full Committee: June 4 Floor: June 25 

Congress Responds to DHS July 26 Reprogramming Notification

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sent a $271M reprogramming notification to Congress on July 26. DHS cited the record surge in migrant arrivals at the U.S. Southern border and ensuing humanitarian crisis as the reason for needing to reprogram these funds. “Without additional resources, the safety and well-being of law enforcement personnel and migrants are at substantial risk.” While DHS has received supplemental funding to expand migrant processing centers, the administration contends that they need additional funding for detention beds, ground transportation, air transportation, transportation costs related to Migrant Protection Protocol, and the establishment and operation of temporary immigration hearing facilities on the southwest border.

House Homeland Security Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Lucille Roybal-Allard responded to DHS Acting Secretary McAleenan in a letter this week in which she stated that she has, “significant concerns about the intended use of funds and, consequently, about the tradeoffs between that use and the activities that would otherwise be funded from the source accounts.” While the chairwoman objected to the reprogramming, she noted in her letter that it was a moot point as the Department has already incurred most of the obligations related to the notification and doesn’t need congressional approval to go ahead with the transfers. Roybal-Allard wrote, “the late submission of this notification undermines and ignores the time-tested mechanism for ensuring that the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations are in concurrence with proposed transfer and reprogramming actions.” She urged DHS to work with the Committee to “restore the partnership we once had in support of the Department’s many important missions.”

Department of Homeland Security FY 2019 Southwest Border Emergency Transfer and Reprogramming Notification

Chairwoman Roybal-Allard Letter to DHS Acting Secretary McAleenan

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Thompson Statement

https://homeland.house.gov/news/press-releases/thompson-reckless-for-trump-administration-to-divert-funding-from-tsa-and-fema-to-pay-for-ice-indefinite-detention-of-families-and-children

Congressional Budget Office Updates Economic Outlook

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) release an update to its 10-year budget and economic outlook projections. CBO estimates that the U.S. federal deficit is forecasted to be $960B in FY2019 and will reach $1 trillion for the 2020 fiscal year. The estimate for FY2019 is $63B or 7% above the estimate CBO released three months ago. Over the 2020 to 2029 period, projected annual deficits will equal $12.2T, or $800B more than projected in May. This is an average of $1.2T per year, or 4.7% of gross domestic product (GDP). In 2018, debt held by the public reached 78% of GDP. By 2029, the national debt is projected to grow to 95% of GDP – its highest level since immediately after WWII.

The increase in the deficit comes mostly from the higher discretionary funding limits for FY2020 and FY2021 in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019. An anticipated reduction in interest rates provides some relief as it lowered projections of net interest outlays by $1.4 trillion (including interest savings from the resulting reductions in deficits and debt).

CBO “An Update to the Budget and Economic Outlook: 2019 to 2029”

https://www.cbo.gov/system/files/2019-08/55551-CBO-outlook-update_0.pdf

OMB Releases FY2018 FISMA Report to Congress

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published its Fiscal Year 2018 Annual Report to Congress on the implementation of the Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014 (FISMA). The document includes data reported by agencies to OMB and the Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Information Security Agency (CISA). The report highlights government-wide cybersecurity programs and initiatives, and federal agencies’ progress to enhance federal cybersecurity over the past year and into the future. In FY18, federal agencies reported 31,107 incidents, which is a 12% decrease from FY17. While the number of incidents has decreased, several large agencies continue to be at risk for cyberattacks. The most at risk agencies are the departments of Energy and Health and Human Services, EPA, FCC, and FTC. Email-based threats are the most prevalent means of cyberattack. And the main deficiencies are lack of data protection, inconsistent application of software security fixes, lack of strong authentication requirements for accessing systems, and absence of continuous monitoring of systems.

Federal Information Security Modernization Act (FISMA) FY2018 Report 

https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/FISMA-2018-Report-FINAL-to-post.pdf

FY20 Appropriations Update

The President signed the Bipartisan Budget Act (H.R. 3877) last week. Senate appropriators can now turn their attention to their FY20 spending bills. Last week Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) distributed the individual spending allocations for each of his 12 subcommittees, but those figures have not been made public. The allocations will allow the Senators and committee staff to finish drafting their bills during the August recess so that they are ready when Congress returns the week of September 9. 

Senate Republicans are looking to decrease the Labor HHS Education FY20 allocation by $5 billion in order to fund the President’s border wall. This is a clear signal that negotiations between the House and Senate on the Homeland Security FY20 spending bill could be contentious. Congress approved $1.3B for the wall in the FY19 omnibus signed into law in February. The President has requested an additional $8.6B for border barriers in FY20 – $5B for the Department of Homeland Security and $3.6B for the Department of Defense to assist with the project.

The first full committee markup will be on September 12. The first package the Senate marks up could be a three-bill minibus that includes the Defense, Labor HHS Education, and Energy & Water spending bills. Chairman Shelby has the goal of marking up all 12 FY20 spending bills before the end of September. The committee will mark up four bills per week to meet that goal.