House Passes FY18 Appropriations Omnibus

The House passed a $1.23T spending bill (H.R. 3354) that funds the government for FY18, which begins on October 1. The bill was passed by a vote of 211 to 198 with one Democrat (Rep. Peterson – MN) voting in favor of passage and 14 Republicans voting against passage (Reps. Amash – MI, Biggs – AZ, Brooks – AL, Buck – CO, DeSantis – FL, Duncan – TN, Jones – NC, Katko – NY, LoBiondo – NJ, Massie – KY, Messer – IN, Rokita – IN, Sanford – SC, and Sensenbrenner – WI). The bill doesn’t stand a chance in the Senate as Democrats are expected oppose it if it came to the floor as it violates the statutory cap on defense spending by $72B. If it were to become law it would trigger across-the-board sequestration cuts to defense programs of about 13 percent. The measure also includes some “poison pills” that Democrats object to, including funding for the President’s wall on the Southwest border.

The Senate Appropriations Committee has marked up and reported out eight of their 12 annual spending bills, but none have been considered on the Senate floor. The committee will not consider any bills next week because of the shortened work week.

Congress passed a short-term continuing resolution (CR) funding the government for FY18 from October 1 through December 8 and the President signed it into law. Congress now needs to come up with a final FY18 spending deal by December 8. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the President will demand an increase in defense spending when he and Congress negotiate the end-of-the-year budget deal. Democrats are likely to require an equal raise in non-defense spending in order for their votes on any deal.

Status of FY18 Appropriations Spending Bills

Subcommittee House Action Senate Action
Agriculture Subcommittee: June 28

Full Committee: July 12

Floor: September 14

Subcommittee: July 19

Full Committee: July 20

Commerce Justice Science Subcommittee: June 29

Full Committee: July 13

Floor: September 14

Subcommittee: July 25

Full Committee: July 27

Defense Subcommittee: June 26

Full Committee: June 29

Floor: July 27

Energy & Water Subcommittee: June 28

Full Committee: July 12

Floor: July 27

Subcommittee: July 19

Full Committee: July 20

Financial Services Subcommittee: June 29

Full Committee: July 13

Floor: September 14

Homeland Security Subcommittee: July 12

Full Committee: July 18

Floor: September 14

Interior Subcommittee: July 12

Full Committee: July 18

Floor: September 14

Labor HHS Subcommittee: July 13

Full Committee: July 19

Floor: September 14

Subcommittee: September 6

Full Committee: September 7

Legislative Branch Full Committee: June 29

Floor: July 27

Full Committee: July 27
MilCon-VA Subcommittee: June 12

Full Committee: June 15

Floor: July 27

Subcommittee: July 12

Full Committee: July 13

State Foreign Ops Subcommittee: July 13

Full Committee: July 19

Floor: September 14

Subcommittee: September 6

Full Committee: September 7

Transportation HUD Subcommittee: July 11

Full Committee: July 17

Floor: September 14

Subcommittee: July 25

Full Committee: July 27

FY18 Appropriations, Emergency Funding, and Debt Ceiling Update

Hurricane Harvey Funding, FY18 Continuing Resolution, and Debt Ceiling Bill

The House passed the $7.85B Hurricane Harvey emergency funding bill (HR 601) earlier in the week by a vote of 419 to 3. Reps. Justin Amash (R-MI), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), and Thomas Massie (R-KY) were the no votes. President Trump, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) then worked out an agreement to include an FY18 continuing resolution (CR) funding the government through December 8 as well as lifting the debt ceiling until December 8 on the emergency funding bill. Both provisions were attached to HR 601 when the Senate took up the measure. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was clear that the agreement to add the CR and the debt extension was between President Trump and Democratic leaders. Republicans had tried to get an 18-month debt ceiling extension.

The Senate amended the House-passed bill so that it included $7.4B for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, $450M for the Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Program (of which up to $225M may be used for administrative expenses to carry out the program), and $7.4B in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding through the Department of Housing and Urban Development for areas most affected by 2017 disasters. The Senate bill also included an FY18 CR funding the federal government at current levels through December 8, and an extension of the debt ceiling through December 8. The CR also included a limited number of “anomalies,” which are programmatic or funding changes. The Senate passed the bill by a vote 80 of 17 (all no votes were from Republicans). The House then took up the bill and passed it by a vote of 316 to 90 (all no votes were from Republicans). The bill now goes to the President for his signature.

The bill temporarily suspends the debt limit through December 8 at which time it will be reset to a higher level that will include the debt issued while the debt limit was not in effect. This will also allow the Treasury Department to reset its extraordinary measures. The new amount of time granted by the extraordinary measures will depend on a number of factors, including Treasury’s borrowing patterns, incoming receipts, and the government’s rate at which is burns through cash. Extraordinary measures could meet the Treasury’s needs through next year’s April 15 tax date. If that happens, the debt ceiling debate could extend through August or September of 2018.

Section-By-Section Summary

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/090617-CONTINUING-APPROPRIATIONS-ACT-FY18-SECTION-BY-SECTION.pdf

Additional Summary Information

https://rules.house.gov/sites/republicans.rules.house.gov/files/115/PDF/SA%20to%20HA%20to%20SA%20to%20HR%20601/Additional%20Summary%20Information.pdf

FY18 House Omnibus

The House began consideration of its $1.23T FY2018 omnibus appropriations bill this week but delayed a final vote on the bill citing the impending hurricane. They will resume consideration of the bill next week. The bill isn’t likely to be passed by the Senate as it exceeds the FY18 budget caps by $72B.

Senate

The Senate Appropriations Committee marked up and reported out two FY18 spending bills this week leaving the committee with four more FY18 spending bills to complete.

State Foreign Ops

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved its FY18 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs spending bill this week and reported it out of committee unanimously. The bill provides $51.2B in discretionary funding, of which $30.4B is for enduring costs and $20.8B is for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO). This is $10.7B above the President’s FY18 budget request as scored by the Congressional Budget Office, and $1.9B below the FY17 enacted level. Funding for the agencies in the bill are at, or close to, the FY17 levels.

The bill included the Taylor Force Act, which would restrict U.S. economic aid to the West Bank and Gaza until the Palestinian Authority stops paying terrorists guilty of violence against Israelis and Americans. There is also a new provision to prohibit assistance to the central government of a country that contributes to the nuclear, ballistic missile, or cyber-intrusion/cyber-warfare capabilities of the Government of North Korea. The bill continues a prohibition on enforcement of any rules or regulations implemented by the Export-Import Bank, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, or the World Bank that would prohibit coal-fired power plants. The bill repeals the Mexico City policy, but continues the long-standing prohibition on the use of Federal funds for abortion as a method of family planning.

Committee members also highlighted that the bill does not endorse the reorganization or redesign of any part of the Department of State, USAID, or any other entity funded in the bill absent consultation with the committee.

Bill Text:

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/FY2018%20State%20Foreign%20Operations%20Appropriations%20Bill%20-%20S1780.pdf

Report Language:

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/FY2018%20State%20Foreign%20Operations%20Appropriations%20-%20Report%20115-152.pdf

Labor HHS

The Senate Appropriations Committee also approved its $164.1B FY18 Labor HHS Education spending bill by a vote of 29 to 2. The bill is $3B above the FY17 enacted level and $27.5B above the President’s FY18 budget request. The bill provides $36.1B for the NIH ($2B more than FY17), $12B for the Department of Labor ($61.5M below FY17), $79.4B for the Department of Health and Human Services ($1.7B more than FY17), $68.3B for the Department of Education ($29M above FY17), $235M for the Institute for Museum and Library Services ($4M above FY17), $445M for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (level with FY17), $1.02B for the Corporation for National and Community Service ($11M below FY17), and $274M for the National Labor Relations Board, $12B for the Social Security Administration.

Bill Text:

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/FY2018%20Labor%20HHS%20Education%20Appropriations%20Bill%20-S1771.pdf

Report Language:

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/FY2018%20Labor%20HHS%20Education%20Appropriations%20-%20Report%20115-150.pdf

Status of FY18 Appropriations Spending Bills

Subcommittee House Action Senate Action
Agriculture Subcommittee: June 28

Full Committee: July 12

Subcommittee: July 19

Full Committee: July 20

Commerce Justice Science Subcommittee: June 29

Full Committee: July 13

Subcommittee: July 25

Full Committee: July 27

Defense Subcommittee: June 26

Full Committee: June 29

Floor: July 27

Energy & Water Subcommittee: June 28

Full Committee: July 12

Floor: July 27

Subcommittee: July 19

Full Committee: July 20

Financial Services Subcommittee: June 29

Full Committee: July 13

Homeland Security Subcommittee: July 12

Full Committee: July 18

Interior Subcommittee: July 12

Full Committee: July 18

Labor HHS Subcommittee: July 13

Full Committee: July 19

Subcommittee: September 6

Full Committee: September 7

Legislative Branch Full Committee: June 29

Floor: July 27

Full Committee: July 27
MilCon-VA Subcommittee: June 12

Full Committee: June 15

Floor: July 27

Subcommittee: July 12

Full Committee: July 13

State Foreign Ops Subcommittee: July 13

Full Committee: July 19

Subcommittee: September 6

Full Committee: September 7

Transportation HUD Subcommittee: July 11

Full Committee: July 17

Subcommittee: July 25

Full Committee: July 27

 

Update on FY18 Appropriations, Emergency Funding for Hurricane Harvey, and the Debt Ceiling

Before the August recess, the House passed a four-bill “securitybus” that included the FY18 Defense, Energy & Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction-Veterans Affairs spending bills. The House will consider an eight-bill appropriations “minibus” when they return next week and roll the four-bill securitybus into it before final passage. Over 900 amendments have been filed for the eight-bill minibus: https://rules.house.gov/bill/115/hr-3354. The House Rules Committee will meet on September 5 at 4:00 PM to determine which amendments will be made in order for consideration on the House floor. The Senate Appropriations Committee has passed six of their FY18 spending bills and is scheduled to mark up its FY18 Labor HHS Education and State Foreign Operations spending bills in subcommittee on September 6 and full committee on September 7.

Funding for FY2017 ends on September 30 leaving Congress four short weeks to pass the FY18 spending bills or risk a government shutdown. There has been discussion this week of combining a short-term (through December?) FY18 continuing resolution (CR) with emergency funding for Hurricane Harvey and possibly lifting the debt ceiling. The President may attach his disaster aid request to a measure increasing the debt limit. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), Chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, said that conservatives could support attaching some Harvey aid to a CR but that the emergency aid bill should not be part of a vehicle to raise the debt ceiling. Meadows said that it would send the wrong message to add spending to a bill that is also increasing the debt ceiling. The caucus has been pushing for a debt ceiling package that includes spending reforms.

Emergency funding for Harvey may be complicated by the fight four years ago over funding for Superstorm Sandy. Some conservative Republicans voted against that emergency funding bill because of concerns that the funding included unrelated “pork,” while others pushed amendments that would have required offsetting part of the cost of the disaster aid with cuts to other discretionary programs. OMB Director Mick Mulvaney authored the offset amendment when he was a member of Congress. Tom Bossert, White House Homeland Security Advisor, said on Thursday that they want a clean supplemental that is focused on funding “obvious needs” like repairing a highway. He stressed that Harvey funding should not be part of a debate about the debt ceiling. While Texas Governor Greg Abbott estimates that the state might need $100 billion in federal aid, the Administration is still tabulating how much it will request from Congress.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), OMB Director Mick Mulvaney, officials from FEMA and DHS, members of the Texas delegation, and House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) held a conference call yesterday to discuss an emergency funding package for Texas. The President is expected to request an initial $5.95B in emergency relief – $5.5B for FEMA and $450M for the Small Business Administration. Whatever Congress appropriates for Hurricane Harvey relief might impact the timeframe with which Congress needs to lift the debt ceiling. And because the extent of the damage is not known yet, aid is likely to come in installments.

Status of FY18 Appropriations Spending Bills

Subcommittee House Action Senate Action
Agriculture Subcommittee: June 28

Full Committee: July 12

Subcommittee: July 19

Full Committee: July 20

Commerce Justice Science Subcommittee: June 29

Full Committee: July 13

Subcommittee: July 25

Full Committee: July 27

Defense Subcommittee: June 26

Full Committee: June 29

Floor: July 27

Energy & Water Subcommittee: June 28

Full Committee: July 12

Floor: July 27

Subcommittee: July 19

Full Committee: July 20

Financial Services Subcommittee: June 29

Full Committee: July 13

Homeland Security Subcommittee: July 12

Full Committee: July 18

Interior Subcommittee: July 12

Full Committee: July 18

Labor HHS Subcommittee: July 13

Full Committee: July 19

Subcommittee: September 6

Full Committee: September 7

Legislative Branch Full Committee: June 29

Floor: July 27

Full Committee: July 27
MilCon-VA Subcommittee: June 12

Full Committee: June 15

Floor: July 27

Subcommittee: July 12

Full Committee: July 13

State Foreign Ops Subcommittee: July 13

Full Committee: July 19

Subcommittee: September 6

Full Committee: September 7

Transportation HUD Subcommittee: July 11

Full Committee: July 17

Subcommittee: July 25

Full Committee: July 27

 

FY18 Appropriations Update

During a rally speech in Phoenix, AZ this week, President Trump threatened to shut down the government if Congress doesn’t appropriate money for a wall on the Southwest border. The President said, “Build that wall. The obstructionist Democrats would like us to not do it, but believe me, if we have to close down our government, we’re building that wall.” House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-WI) responded that he doesn’t want a government shutdown and that he does think a continuing resolution (CR) will be needed to keep the government funded into the new fiscal year beginning October 1.

The House passed HR 3219, the Make America Secure Appropriations bill on July 27, which includes the FY18 Defense, Legislative Branch, Energy and Water, and Military Construction-Veterans Affairs spending bills. The “securitybus” included $1,571,239,000 for the Department of Homeland Security to construct physical barriers along the southwest border of the United States in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and in San Diego, California. But the Senate appears unlikely to take up this spending package because its allocation for defense spending violates the spending caps set in the 2011 Budget Control Act.

There could be two shutdown showdowns this year – September and December. If Congress passes a clean debt ceiling and short-term CR funding the government through December, there could be another potential shutdown towards the end of the year. President Trump would have to veto any spending measure to trigger a shutdown, but Congress could then override the veto.

While the path to funding FY2018 isn’t clear, one thing that is clear is that the longer Congress “fights” over how to keep the government open, the less time they will be have to work on tax reform.

In other FY18 funding news, White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney sent a letter to President of the Senate Mike Pence earlier this month notifying Congress that it is the President’s intention to exempt all military personnel accounts from sequestration in FY18, if sequestration is necessary. Mulvaney also writes that this action would mean that non-exempt accounts would then be subject to higher reductions to make up for this exemption.

Mulvaney’s letter to President of the Senate Pence:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/Letters/Military_personnel_exemption_senate_transmit.pdf

Status of FY18 Appropriations Spending Bills

Subcommittee House Action Senate Action
Agriculture Subcommittee: June 28

Full Committee: July 12

Subcommittee: July 19

Full Committee: July 20

Commerce Justice Science Subcommittee: June 29

Full Committee: July 13

Subcommittee: July 25

Full Committee: July 27

Defense Subcommittee: June 26

Full Committee: June 29

Floor: July 27

Energy & Water Subcommittee: June 28

Full Committee: July 12

Floor: July 27

Subcommittee: July 19

Full Committee: July 20

Financial Services Subcommittee: June 29

Full Committee: July 13

Homeland Security Subcommittee: July 12

Full Committee: July 18

Interior Subcommittee: July 12

Full Committee: July 18

Labor HHS Subcommittee: July 13

Full Committee: July 19

Legislative Branch Full Committee: June 29

Floor: July 27

Full Committee: July 27
MilCon-VA Subcommittee: June 12

Full Committee: June 15

Floor: July 27

Subcommittee: July 12

Full Committee: July 13

State Foreign Ops Subcommittee: July 13

Full Committee: July 19

Transportation HUD Subcommittee: July 11

Full Committee: July 17

Subcommittee: July 25

Full Committee: July 27

House to Vote on FY18 Appropriations Minibus in September

The House Rules Committee released the bill text and report language for an eight-bill appropriations minibus this week. Amendments are due by next Friday 8/25 at 10:00 am. The eight bills included in the minibus are: Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science, Financial Services, Homeland Security, Interior-Environment, Labor-HHS-Education, State-Foreign Operations, and Transportation-HUD.

The Rules Committee will meet the week of September 4th to grant a rule to provide a structured amendment process for floor consideration of the minibus. The rule will not make in order amendments that have offsets or transfers between bills (e.g. members cannot transfer funds from an account in the Agriculture division to an account in the Interior division).

The notice from the Rules Committee also mentioned that they struck a provision from the FY18 Financial Services Appropriations bill that would ensure Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients are eligible to be employed by the federal government.

The House Rules Committee also plans to use a self-executing rule to roll the text of the four appropriations bills passed in July (Defense, Energy & Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction-Veterans Affairs) into the eight-bill minibus creating a 12 bill omnibus for final vote.

While this movement by the House Rules Committee is a good indication that they have the 218 votes needed for passage on the floor, the omnibus isn’t expected to go far in the Senate where 60 votes are needed. The Senate Appropriations Committee has marked up and approved six of its 12 annual spending bills, but it is unclear if any of these bills will see floor time in September. A continuing resolution (CR) is likely come September 30.

Eight-Bill Minibus Bill Text:

https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-115hr3354rh/pdf/BILLS-115hr3354rh.pdf

Eight-Bill Minibus Report Language:

https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CRPT-115hrpt238/pdf/CRPT-115hrpt238.pdf

Status of FY18 Appropriations Spending Bills

Subcommittee House Action Senate Action
Agriculture Subcommittee: June 28

Full Committee: July 12

Subcommittee: July 19

Full Committee: July 20

Commerce Justice Science Subcommittee: June 29

Full Committee: July 13

Subcommittee: July 25

Full Committee: July 27

Defense Subcommittee: June 26

Full Committee: June 29

Floor: July 27

Energy & Water Subcommittee: June 28

Full Committee: July 12

Floor: July 27

Subcommittee: July 19

Full Committee: July 20

Financial Services Subcommittee: June 29

Full Committee: July 13

Homeland Security Subcommittee: July 12

Full Committee: July 18

Interior Subcommittee: July 12

Full Committee: July 18

Labor HHS Subcommittee: July 13

Full Committee: July 19

Legislative Branch Full Committee: June 29

Floor: July 27

Full Committee: July 27
MilCon-VA Subcommittee: June 12

Full Committee: June 15

Floor: July 27

Subcommittee: July 12

Full Committee: July 13

State Foreign Ops Subcommittee: July 13

Full Committee: July 19

Transportation HUD Subcommittee: July 11

Full Committee: July 17

Subcommittee: July 25

Full Committee: July 27

Congress’ Fall “To Do” List

Members are back in their districts/states for the August recess, but when they return in September they face a pretty daunting “to do” list with only 12 legislative days to complete some of the items on the list. Raising the debt ceiling to avoid default while simultaneously approving a spending deal to avert a government shutdown will be hefty lifts for Republican leadership. And all of this comes on the heels of failing to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) so there is pressure on GOP leaders to demonstrate an ability to deliver on some campaign promises while they control both the Executive and Legislative branches of government.

FY18 Appropriations

The FY18 spending bills need to be passed and signed into law by September 30, or Congress needs to pass a continuing resolution (CR) before then in order to avoid a government shutdown. Deep rifts over spending priorities could lead to a shutdown, but the more likely scenario is a short-term CR extending funding for the government for a few months, possibly through mid-December, at current funding levels. The CR could also include must-pass items such as a reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program and a raise in the debt limit.

The House Rules Committee posted a notice to members on its website this week informing them that they intend to take up the eight remaining FY18 appropriations bills in a single bill when they return from recess in September. They are likely to take up the bill the first week when they return. House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX) said that the committee will issue a deadline for amendment submission prior to the end of the August recess. The eight remaining bills are likely to be combined on the floor with the “security-bus” the House passed before the recess, effectively creating an FY18 omnibus spending bill. While the eight new bills will be subject to a limited number of amendments during floor consideration in September, the four bills already passed by the House would not be amended. Even though the House could potentially finish all of their FY18 spending bills before the end of the fiscal year, many members and staff still anticipated needing a CR to avoid a shutdown at the end of September. And if the House FY18 omnibus bill were enacted into law, the topline spending level of $1.13T and the defense discretionary spending level would break the caps set by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA) triggering automatic spending cuts, or sequestration.

There are about a dozen conservatives in the House who won’t vote for most spending bills and also don’t want to increase the debt ceiling without corresponding spending cuts. That means that Republicans will need support from Democrats to both raise the debt ceiling and keep the government funded. Democrats will require a spending deal in return for their votes. The White House is pushing a deal that would lift the caps set by the Budget Control Act of 2011 in return for funding for the President’s proposed border wall with Mexico.

Status of FY18 Appropriations Spending Bills

Subcommittee House Action Senate Action
Agriculture Subcommittee: June 28

Full Committee: July 12

Subcommittee: July 19

Full Committee: July 20

Commerce Justice Science Subcommittee: June 29

Full Committee: July 13

Subcommittee: July 25

Full Committee: July 27

Defense Subcommittee: June 26

Full Committee: June 29

Floor: July 27

Energy & Water Subcommittee: June 28

Full Committee: July 12

Floor: July 27

Subcommittee: July 19

Full Committee: July 20

Financial Services Subcommittee: June 29

Full Committee: July 13

Homeland Security Subcommittee: July 12

Full Committee: July 18

Interior Subcommittee: July 12

Full Committee: July 18

Labor HHS Subcommittee: July 13

Full Committee: July 19

Legislative Branch Full Committee: June 29

Floor: July 27

MilCon-VA Subcommittee: June 12

Full Committee: June 15

Floor: July 27

Subcommittee: July 12

Full Committee: July 13

State Foreign Ops Subcommittee: July 13

Full Committee: July 19

Transportation HUD Subcommittee: July 11

Full Committee: July 17

Subcommittee: July 25

Full Committee: July 27

 

Debt Ceiling

The debt ceiling is currently at the limit of $19.8T. The previous extension of the debt limit expired on March 15, and the Treasury Department has been using “extraordinary measures” to continue paying the nation’s bills since then. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has set a deadline of September 29 for Congress to raise the debt ceiling.

Health Care Reform

While Congressional Republicans want to use the August recess to talk about tax reform, their constituents are pressing them to stay focused on healthcare. Republicans are divided over whether to give up on health care reform or to continue the battle while also pursuing changes to the tax code. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said this week that there is a change the Senate could revive the measure to repeal and replace “Obamacare,” but acknowledged that the window for that is rapidly closing. McConnell noted that Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) is working on a bipartisan approach that would involve subsidies for insurance companies. But he cautioned that Democrats would have to support some “real reforms” in the measure so that it isn’t just an insurance company bailout.

Tax Reform

Republican leaders announced last month that they plan to start hearings on a tax bill in September with the hope of holding a House vote in October and a Senate one in November. White House Director of Legislative Affairs, Marc Short reiterated that timeline this week when he said that the Trump Administration sees a bill to overhaul the tax code passing the House in October and being cleared by the Senate the following month. But this week Senate Majority Leader McConnell refused to put a timeline on tax reform. Learning from his experience with deadline for repealing Obamacare, McConnell is concerned about setting artificial deadlines that are “unrelated to the reality of the complexity of legislating.”

In order to move forward with tax reform, the House and Senate have to pass an FY18 budget resolution with reconciliation instructions that will prevent Democrats from filibustering their legislation in the Senate. House Republicans have been divided over their FY18 budget resolution and were unable to pass the measure before they left for the August recess. The Senate has yet to do an FY18 budget resolution. And the looming deadlines to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling in the tight House and Senate September floor schedules doesn’t leave much time for consideration of FY18 budget resolutions on the floor.

The biggest problem for Republicans is agreeing on the scope of their potential tax package. An increasing number of Republicans want to scale back the goal of comprehensive reform in favor of narrower tax cuts as they view the latter as more achievable. Others, like Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT), House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-WI), and the White House, are still calling for comprehensive tax reform. Some Republicans are also calling for parts of the tax-reform package to be retroactive having some changes take effect as early as January 2017. This would add to the cost of tax reform and lawmakers would need to find more ways to pay for those retroactive cuts. In the end, Republicans may have to settle for a simple tax cut rather than a sweeping overhaul like some had imagined.

FY18 Appropriations Update

When the House and Senate reconvene after the August recess, the House is scheduled to be in session 12 days and the Senate 17 days before the end of the fiscal year. Senators of both parties have acknowledged the need for passing another stopgap continuing resolution (CR) when they return in September. The CR would likely extend current funding levels into the new fiscal year.

The House passed a $790B “securitybus” appropriations bill before leaving for the August recess. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) executed a procedural move on that bill that sets it up for potential action on the Senate floor. However, the bill violates the 2011 Budget Control Act and would trigger sequestration. Senate Appropriations Ranking Democrat Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said the four-bill minibus would not get the 60 votes needed for passage on the floor. A new bipartisan budget deal may be needed to raise spending limits in order for any FY18 appropriations bills to have a chance of passing in the Senate.

Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) suggested an appropriations bill plan for after the August recess in which three minibus bills with four titles each would be brought to the Senate floor under a structured rule. Lankford said he had discussed the idea with leadership.

Status of FY18 Appropriations Spending Bills

Subcommittee House Action Senate Action
Agriculture Subcommittee: June 28

Full Committee: July 12

Subcommittee: July 19

Full Committee: July 20

Commerce Justice Science Subcommittee: June 29

Full Committee: July 13

Subcommittee: July 25

Full Committee: July 27

Defense Subcommittee: June 26

Full Committee: June 29

Floor: July 27

Energy & Water Subcommittee: June 28

Full Committee: July 12

Floor: July 27

Subcommittee: July 19

Full Committee: July 20

Financial Services Subcommittee: June 29

Full Committee: July 13

Homeland Security Subcommittee: July 12

Full Committee: July 18

Interior Subcommittee: July 12

Full Committee: July 18

Labor HHS Subcommittee: July 13

Full Committee: July 19

Legislative Branch Full Committee: June 29

Floor: July 27

MilCon-VA Subcommittee: June 12

Full Committee: June 15

Floor: July 27

Subcommittee: July 12

Full Committee: July 13

State Foreign Ops Subcommittee: July 13

Full Committee: July 19

Transportation HUD Subcommittee: July 11

Full Committee: July 17

Subcommittee: July 25

Full Committee: July 27

 

FY18 Budget and Appropriations Update

FY18 Budget Resolution Pushed Off Until September

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-WI) is now promising a vote on an FY18 budget resolution in early September when the House returns from its August recess. The FY18 budget resolution is crucial to Republican plans for tax reform this fall. It has been stalled due to internal Republican disagreements. House Budget Committee Chairwoman Diane Black (R-TN) said this week that scrapping the border adjustment tax would make it easier for her to get support for the FY18 budget resolution. Earlier this week, Speaker Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) issued a joint statement on tax reform in which they wrote that they “are now confident that, without transitioning to a new domestic consumption-based tax system, there is a viable approach for ensuring a level playing field between American and foreign companies and workers, while protecting American jobs and the U.S. tax base.  While we have debated the pro-growth benefits of border adjustability, we appreciate that there are many unknowns associated with it and have decided to set this policy aside in order to advance tax reform.”

Joint Statement on Tax Reform:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/07/27/joint-statement-tax-reform

FY18 Appropriations

House

The House voted 235-192 this week to pass HR 3219, the Make America Secure Appropriations Act. Five Republicans (Amash-MI, Duncan-TN, Jones-NC, Massie-KY, and Sanford-SC) voted against the bill and five Democrats (Bishop-GA, Crist-FL, Gottheimer-NJ, O’Halleran-AZ, and Sinema-AZ) voted for the bill. The “security-bus” included the FY18 Defense, Energy & Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction-Veterans Affairs spending bills. The $790B bill also included $1,571,239,000 for the Department of Homeland Security to construct physical barriers along the southwest border of the United States in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and in San Diego, California. Democrats opposed the measure stating that it could never become law because the defense funding level exceeds the cap set by the 2011 Budget Control Act. If enacted as is, it would trigger sequestration. Democrats also opposed the inclusion of funding for the border wall, and were angered that Republicans stripped a provision from the bill that was approved on a bipartisan basis during committee consideration. The provision would have repealed the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force within eight months of the bill being signed into law, and would have required Congress pass another AUMF to continue the campaign against ISIS. While the bill passed the House, it will be difficult for it to get the 60 votes needed in the Senate for passage.

Senate

The Senate Appropriations Committee took up three FY18 spending bills this week and reported them out of committee. The committee will not hold any markup sessions next week.

Commerce, Justice, Science

The Senate Appropriations Committee marked up its FY18 Commerce, Justice, Science spending bill today and reported it out by a vote of 30-1. The $56.4B bill, which is $3.2B below FY17 enacted levels and $4.4B above the President’s FY18 budget request, funds the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Justice, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, and other agencies.

The bill funds the Department of Commerce at $9.16B ($76.4M below FY17) including $495 for the International Trade Administration ($2M above FY17), $254M for the Economic Development Administration, $3.5B for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, $944M for the National Institute of Standards and Technology ($8M below FY17 and $219M above the President’s FY18 budget request), $5.6B for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ($85.1M below FY17), and $1.52B for the Bureau of the Census ($51M above FY17 and $24M above the President’s FY18 budget request).

The bill funds the Department of Justice at $29.1B ($121M above FY17 and $740M above the President’s FY18 budget request) including $9B for the Federal Bureau of Investigation ($213M above the President’s FY18 budget request), $2.5B for the Drug Enforcement Administration ($50M above FY17), $2.8B for the United States Marshals Service, $2.1B for the Executive Office for United States Attorneys and the 94 U.S. Attorneys offices, $7.1B for the Federal Prison System, $2.3B for state and local law enforcement and crime prevention grant programs, and $3.64B distribution from the Crime Victim Fund ($1.06B above FY17).

The bill also funds NASA at $19.5B ($124M below FY17 and $437M above the President’s FY18 budget request), the National Science Foundation at $7.31B ($151M below FY17 and $658M above the President’s FY18 budget request), $385M for the Legal Services Corporation (equal to FY17), $91.5M for the International Trade Commission (equal to FY17 and $3.9M above the President’s FY18 budget request), and $57.6M for the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

Senate FY18 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Summary

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/news/majority/committee-approves-fy2018-commerce-justice-science-appropriations-bill

Senate FY18 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Bill Text

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/FY2018%20Commerce%20Justice%20Science%20Appropriations%20Bill,%20S1662.pdf

Senate FY18 Commerce, Justice, Science Report Language

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/FY2018%20Commerce%20Justice%20Science%20Appropriations%20Bill,%20Report%20115-1391.pdf 

Legislative Branch

The Senate Appropriations Committee marked up its FY18 Legislative Branch spending bill and reported it out on a unanimous vote of 31-0. The bill provides $3.171B in discretionary budget authority. An additional $1.319B is reserved for the House. Total funding accommodated in the bill is $4.490B, which is $50M more than the FY17 enacted level and $192M less than the President’s FY18 budget request. The bill provides $899.8M for the U.S. Senate ($28.6M above FY17). The increase provides for investments in Senate cybersecurity capabilities and training to Senators and their staff. The bill also maintains the Member pay freeze first implemented in 2009. The bill also provides $422.5M for the U.S. Capitol Police ($29.2M above FY17), $454.0M for the Architect of the Capitol ($38.9M above FY17 and $125.8M below the President’s FY18 budget request), $638.9M for the Library of Congress ($6.9M above FY17 and $48.8M below the President’s FY18 budget request), $562.8M for the Government Accountability Office (GAO) ($18.3M above FY17 and $27.9M below the President’s FY18 budget request), $48.1M for the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) ($1.6M above FY17 and $1.8M below the President’s FY18 budget request), and $117M for the Government Publishing Office.

Senate FY18 Legislative Branch Appropriations Summary

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/news/majority/fy2018-legislative-branch-appropriations-bill-approved

Senate FY18 Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill Text

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/FY2018%20Legislative%20Branch%20Appropriations%20Bill,%20S1648.pdf

Senate FY18 Legislative Branch Report Language

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/FY2018%20Legislative%20Branch%20Appropriations%20Bill,%20Report%20115-137.pdf

Transportation HUD

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved its FY18 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies appropriations bill this week by a unanimous vote of 31-0. The $60.058B bill funds the Department of Transportation, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and other related agencies. The bill is $2.407B above FY17 enacted levels and $12.385B more than the President’s FY18 budget request.

The bill provides $19.47B in discretionary funding for the Department of Transportation ($978M above FY17), of which $550M is for TIGER Grants ($50M above FY17), $44.97B is from the Highway Trust Fund for the Federal-Aid Highways program ($968M above FY17), $16.97B is for the FAA ($563M above FY17), $1.1B for the FAA Next Generation Air Transportation System, $1.974B for the Federal Railroad Administration ($122M above FY17), $12.129B for the Federal Transit Administration ($285M below FY17), $577.6M for the Maritime Administration ($55M above FY17), $908.6M for NHTSA, $744.8M for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration ($68M of this is to complete the modernization of border facilities to improve inspections along the Southern border), and $272M for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. The bill also blocks the administration from pursuing privatization of the air traffic control system and rejects the President’s proposals to reduce the FAA workforce, raises the cap on the Passenger Facility Charge from $4.50 to $8.50, eliminates the Contract Weather Program, consolidates offices and leases, and prevents the construction of new facilities.

The bill provides $40.244B for the Department of Housing and Urban Development ($1.4B above FY17), of which $6.85B is for Community Planning and Development programs ($47M above FY17), $2.456B for homeless assistance programs, and $160M to combat lead hazards ($15M above FY17).

Senate FY18 Transportation HUD Appropriations Summary

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/news/majority/committee-advances-fy2018-transportation-hud-appropriations-bill

Senate FY18 Transportation HUD Appropriations Bill Text

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/FY2018%20Transportation,%20HUD%20Appropriations%20Bill,%20S1655.pdf 

Senate FY18 Transportation HUD Report Language

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/FY2018%20Transportation,%20HUD%20Appropriations%20Bill,%20Report%20115-138.pdf

Status of FY18 Appropriations Spending Bills

Subcommittee House Action Senate Action
Agriculture Subcommittee: June 28

Full Committee: July 12

Subcommittee: July 19

Full Committee: July 20

Commerce Justice Science Subcommittee: June 29

Full Committee: July 13

Subcommittee: July 25

Full Committee: July 27

Defense Subcommittee: June 26

Full Committee: June 29

Energy & Water Subcommittee: June 28

Full Committee: July 12

Subcommittee: July 19

Full Committee: July 20

Financial Services Subcommittee: June 29

Full Committee: July 13

Homeland Security Subcommittee: July 12

Full Committee: July 18

Interior Subcommittee: July 12

Full Committee: July 18

Labor HHS Subcommittee: July 13

Full Committee: July 19

Legislative Branch Full Committee: June 29
MilCon-VA Subcommittee: June 12

Full Committee: June 15

Subcommittee: July 12

Full Committee: July 13

State Foreign Ops Subcommittee: July 13

Full Committee: July 19

Transportation HUD Subcommittee: July 11

Full Committee: July 17

Subcommittee: July 25

Full Committee: July 27

FY18 Appropriations Update

House of Representatives

The House will consider a four-bill “Security-bus” appropriations package on the House floor next week. The bill, HR 3219, the Make America Secure Appropriations Act), includes the FY18 Defense, Military Construction-Veterans Affairs, Legislative Branch, and Energy & Water spending bills. The bill will also include$1.6B for a southwest border wall. But it will not include language that was added in committee in an amendment offered by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) that would have required Congress to authorize military operations in Iraq and Syria. The amendment had been approved in committee with bipartisan support.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) predicted that members would offer hundreds of amendments and that votes would go late into the night. Some conservatives are threatening to withhold their support for the measure, asking for greater clarity on the FY18 budget resolution and tax reform before they lend their support to this bill.

Homeland Security

The House Appropriations Committee marked up its $44.3B FY18 Homeland Security spending bill this week. The bill is $1.9B above FY17 enacted levels. The bill was approved by a vote of 30 to 22.

The bill includes $13.8B for Customs and Border Protection ($1.6B above FY17), $7B for Immigration and Customs Enforcement ($619.7M above FY17), $10.5B for the U.S. Coast Guard ($31.7M above FY17), $7.2B for the Transportation Security Administration ($159.8M below FY17), $1.8B for Cybersecurity and Protection of Communications, $2B for the U.S. Secret Service ($101M below FY17), and $7.3B for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The bill also includes $1.6B for physical barrier construction along the U.S. southern border and $6.8B for disaster relief and emergency response activities. The legislation does not fund most Citizen and Immigration Services (CIS) activities, as these are funded outside the appropriations process. However, the bill does contain $131M for E-Verify. The bill does not include an increase in TSA passenger fees nor a redirection of Brand USA Travel Promotion fees (both of which were included in the President’s FY18 budget request).

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

  • Carter – The amendment made technical and other noncontroversial changes and additions to the report. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
  • Aderholt– The amendment adds bill language prohibiting use of ICE funding to pay for an abortion or require anyone to perform or facilitate an abortion. The amendment was adopted on a vote of 29-21.
  • Newhouse– The amendment adds bill language changing the H-2-A seasonal agriculture worker program from seasonal to year round. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
  • Herrera Beutler– The amendment adds bill language that would grant lawful permanent resident status in the U.S. to Charlie Gard and his family for the purposes of medical treatment. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
  • Wasserman-Schultz– The amendment adds bill language changing the statute of limitations on the recovery of FEMA Public Assistance Grants. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

House FY18 Homeland Security Bill Text:

https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/homeland_07.11.17_xml.pdf

House FY18 Homeland Security Report Language:

https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/23916.pdf

Interior and Environment

The House Appropriations Committee marked up its $31.4B FY18 Interior and Environment spending bill this week and reported out of committee by a vote of 30 to 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 provides $31.4B, $824M below the FY17 enacted level and $4.3B above the President’s budget request. The bill funds wildland firefighting and prevention programs at $3.4B ($334M below FY17), $465M for the “Payments In Lieu of Taxes” (PILT) program, $7.5B for the EPA ($528M below FY17), $2.9B for the Bureaus of Indian Affairs and Education ($10M above FY17), $5.1B for the Indian Health Service ($97M above FY17), $213M for the Office of Surface Mining ($40M below FY17), $1.2B for the Bureau of Land Management ($46M below FY17), $2.9B for the National Park Service ($64M below FY17), $5.2B for the U.S. Forest Service, $1.5B for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ($38M below FY17), $1B for the U.S. Geological Survey ($46M below FY17), $885 for the Smithsonian Institution ($22M above FY17), $145M for the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities ($5M below FY17), $16.6M for the Eisenhower Memorial Commission, $275M for the Land and Water Conservation Fund ($125M below FY17), and $11M for the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (same as FY17).

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

  • Calvert– The Manager’s amendment makes technical and noncontroversial changes to the bill and report. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
  • Harris– The amendment limits funds for activities related to wind turbines less than 24 nautical miles from the State of Maryland shoreline. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
  • Aderholt– 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.
  • Stewart– The amendment makes changes to bill language regarding the management of wild horses and burros. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

House FY18 Interior Bill Text:

https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/fy18_interior_xml.pdf

House FY18 Interior Report Language:

https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/23918.pdf

Labor, Health and Human Services, Education

The House Appropriations Committee marked up its $156B FY18 Labor HHS Education spending bill this week and reported it out of committee by a vote of 28 to 22.

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 $156 billion in discretionary funding, which is a reduction of $5 billion below the FY17 enacted level. The bill provides $10.8B for the Department of Labor ($1.3B less than FY17), $77.6B for HHS ($542M less than FY17), $66B for the Department of Education ($2.4B less than FY17), $1B for the Corporation for National and Community Service (same as last year), $445M for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (same as last year), $249M for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ($25M less than FY17), and $12.5B for the Social Security Administration (same as last year). The bill includes some policy provisions prohibiting the NLRB from applying its revised “joint-employer” standard in new cases and proceedings and from exercising jurisdiction over Tribal governments. The legislation also contains several provisions to stop the implementation of ObamaCare – including prohibiting the use of any new discretionary funding to implement ObamaCare. Finally, several programs were terminated including:

  • Employment Service Grants ($671 million);
  • International Labor Affairs Grants ($60 million), consistent with the budget request;
  • CDC Climate Change program ($10 million), consistent with the budget request;
  • Economic Development Grants ($20 million), consistent with the budget request;
  • “Striving Readers” program ($190 million), consistent with the budget request;
  • Health Careers Opportunity Program ($14 million), consistent with the budget request; and
  • Overseas foreign language study program ($7 million), consistent with the budget request.

The following amendments to the FY 2018 LHHS Appropriations bill were adopted by the full committee:

  • Cole –The amendment makes technical and non-controversial changes to the bill and report. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
  • Harris– The amendment adds a provision prohibiting NLRB from enforcing the interpretation regarding “micro unions”/specialty healthcare. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
  • Stewart– The amendment adds a provision prohibiting the Department of Labor from enforcing the minimum wage rule on recreational operators on Federal lands. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

House FY18 Labor HHS Education Bill Text:

http://docs.house.gov/meetings/AP/AP07/20170713/106250/BILLS-115HR-SC-AP-FY2018-LaborHHS-LaborHHSFY2018.pdf

House FY18 Labor HHS Education Report Language:

https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/23920.pdf

State and Foreign Operations

The House Appropriations Committee marked up its $47.4B FY18 State and Foreign Operations spending bill this week and reported it out by voice vote.

The legislation funds the State Department, the United States Agency for International Development, and other international activities. In total, the bill provides $47.4 billion in both regular discretionary and Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding. This total is $10 billion below the FY17 enacted level, when counting additional funds provided in the Security Assistance Appropriations Act of 2017. Within this amount, OCO funding totals $12 billion, which supports operations and assistance in areas of conflict, such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. The bill provides $15.4B in base and OCO funding for the State Department ($2.6B less than FY17), $8.8B in base and OCO funding for International Security Assistance ($624M less than FY17), $1.5B for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) ($115M less than FY17), and $888M for multilateral assistance ($1.2B less than FY17). The bill also provides policy provisions on Syria, Egypt, Afghanistan, the Palestinian Authority, countering Russian influence and aggression, records management at State and USAID, Guantanamo Bay, assistance to foreign governments and local organizations, multi-year funding commitments, UN reform, North Africa strategy, the UN Arms Trade Treaty, OPIC anti-coal regulations, Mexico City Policy, and other anti-abortion measures.

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

  • Rogers – The manager’s amendment makes technical and noncontroversial changes to the bill and report. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
  • Dent – The amendment would modify the quorum requirement for the Export-Import Bank Board through September 30, 2019. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
  • Calvert –The amendment adds report language expressing disappointment with a recent UNESCO designation related to Israel. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

House FY18 State Foreign Operations Bill Text:

https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-115hr-sc-ap–stateforop-fy2018stateforeignoperationsappropriations.pdf

House FY18 State Foreign Operations Report Language:

https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/23926.pdf

Transportation HUD

The House Appropriations Committee marked up its FY18 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development spending bill this week. The committee approved a manager’s amendment and passed the bill by a vote of 31 to 20.

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 $56.5B in discretionary spending – $1.1B below FY17 and $8.6B above the President’s budget request. The bill includes $17.8B for the Department of Transportation ($646M above FY17) – $16.6B for the Federal Aviation Administration ($153M above FY17), $45B for the Federal-aid Highways Program ($968M above FY17), $2.2B for the Federal Railroad Administration ($360M above FY17), $11.75B for the Federal Transit Administration ($662M above FY17), $490.6M for the Maritime Administration ($31.9M below FY17), $927M for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ($15M above FY17), and $268M for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration ($3.7M above FY17). The bill eliminates the National Infrastructure Investment grants (also known as TIGER grants), which were funded at $500M in FY17. The bill funds the Department of Housing and Urban Development at $38.3B ($487M below FY17) and provides $6.6B for Community Planning and Development Programs ($209M below FY17).

House FY18 Transportation HUD Bill Text:

https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-115hr-sc-ap-fy2018-transhud-transportationhoushingandurbandevelopment.pdf

House FY18 Transportation HUD Report Language:

https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/23928.pdf

Senate

The Senate Appropriations Committee set temporary spending levels for their FY18 spending bills this week. The Senate funding levels would bust the caps set by the Budget Control Act for both defense and nondefense discretionary spending. Without a budget resolution in place, Appropriators decided to choose spending limits to get the FY18 process started. The committee set a $551B limit on defense (not counting Global War on Terrorism funds) and $518.5B for nondefense accounts. Those levels exceed the deficit law’s caps of $549 billion for defense and $515.4 billion for nondefense spending. 

Subcommittee FY17 Allocation House FY18 Senate FY18
Agriculture $20.877B $20.001B $20.525B
Commerce Justice Science $56.56B $53.935B $53.36B
Defense $516.1B $584.181B $513.1B
   OCO $76.6B $73.9B $82.1B
Energy & Water $37.771B $37.562B $38.4B
Financial Services $21.515B $20.231B $20.87B
Homeland Security $42.4B $44.3B $44.05B
   FEMA Disaster Relief $7.3B $6.8B ??
Interior $32.28B $31.456B $32.03B
Labor HHS Education $161.0B $157.938B $164.06B
Legislative Branch $4.44B $4.49B $4.49B
Military Construction-VA $82.38B $88.166B $88.21B
State Foreign Ops $36.59B $35.345B $30.41B
Transportation HUD $57.65B $56.512B $60.05B

 

Agriculture

The Senate Appropriations Committee marked up and passed out of subcommittee and full committee its FY18 Agriculture spending bill. The bill was approved by the full committee by a vote of 31 to 0. The bill provided $20.525B in funding, which is $325M below the FY17 enacted level. The bill funds Agriculture research at $2.55B, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service at $953.2M ($143.2M above the President’s budget request and $7M above FY17), the Natural Resources Conservation Service at $874.1M ($9.6M above FY17 and $108.1M above the President’s budget request), the Farm Service Agency at $1.521B, the Food Safety and Inspection Service at $1.038B ($6M above FY17), Rural Development at $675.3M, the Food and Drug Administration at $2.8B ($1M over FY17), WIC at $6.35B (level with FY17), SNAP at $73.612B ($4.868B below FY17), Child Nutrition Programs at $24.243B, Food For Peace grants at $1.6B, and the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program at $206.62M. The bill also includes a provision that seeks to address the ongoing economic challenges facing U.S. cotton producers by designating cotton as an “other oilseed” under Title I of the 2014 Farm Bill. This would allow cotton producers to participate in the Price Loss Coverage program.

Senate FY18 Agriculture Appropriations Summary

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/news/majority/fy2018-agriculture-appropriations-bill-gains-committee-approval

Senate FY18 Agriculture Appropriations Bill Text

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/FY2018%20Agriculture%20Appropriations%20Bill%20-%20S16031.pdf

Senate FY18 Agriculture Report Language

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/FY2018%20Agriculture%20Appropriations%20Bill,%20Report%20115-131.pdf

Energy & Water

The Senate Appropriations Committee marked up and passed out of subcommittee and full committee its FY18 Energy & Water spending bill. The bill was approved by the full committee by a vote of 30 to 1. The $38.4B bill is $629M above the FY17 enacted level and $4.1B above the President’s FY18 budget request. The bill funds the Department of Energy at $31.46B ($718M above FY17 and $3.6B above the President’s budget request), Nuclear Security at $13.7B ($747M above FY17), the Army Corps of Engineers at $6.2B ($190M above FY17 and $1.2B above the President’s budget request), the Bureau of Reclamation at $1.3B ($190M above the President’s budget request), Science Research at $5.55B ($158M above FY17), Environmental Cleanup at $6.6B ($214M above FY17), Energy Programs at $11.1B ($183M below FY17, but $3.6B above the President’s budget request), Fossil Energy Research and Development at $573M ($95M below FY17 and $293M above the President’s budget request), and Nuclear Energy Research and Development at $917M ($214M above the President’s budget request). The bill also includes a pilot program for consolidated nuclear waste storage and funding to allow DOE to store nuclear waste at private facilities that are licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Senate FY18 Energy & Water Appropriations Bill Summary

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/news/majority/senate-fy2018-energy-and-water-development-appropriations-bill-advances

Senate FY18 Energy & Water Appropriations Bill Text

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/FY2018%20Energy%20and%20Water%20Development%20Appropriations%20Act%20-%20S1609.pdf

Senate FY18 Energy & Water Appropriations Report Language

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/FY2018%20Energy%20and%20Water%20Development%20Appropriations%20Act%20-%20Report%20115-132.pdf

The Senate will mark up its FY18 Transportation HUD and Commerce Justice Science spending bills in subcommittee and full committee next week.

Status of FY18 Appropriations Spending Bills

Subcommittee House Action Senate Action
Agriculture Subcommittee: June 28

Full Committee: July 12

Subcommittee: July 19

Full Committee: July 20

Commerce Justice Science Subcommittee: June 29

Full Committee: July 13

Subcommittee: July 25

Full Committee: July 27

Defense Subcommittee: June 26

Full Committee: June 29

Energy & Water Subcommittee: June 28

Full Committee: July 12

Subcommittee: July 19

Full Committee: July 20

Financial Services Subcommittee: June 29

Full Committee: July 13

Homeland Security Subcommittee: July 12

Full Committee: July 18

Interior Subcommittee: July 12

Full Committee: July 18

Labor HHS Subcommittee: July 13

Full Committee: July 19

Legislative Branch Full Committee: June 29
MilCon-VA Subcommittee: June 12

Full Committee: June 15

Subcommittee: July 12

Full Committee: July 13

State Foreign Ops Subcommittee: July 13

Full Committee: July 19

Transportation HUD Subcommittee: July 11

Full Committee: July 17

Subcommittee: July 25

Full Committee: July 27

 

FY2018 Appropriations Update

House Appropriations Committee to Complete FY18 Appropriations Bills Next Week

House Appropriators held several subcommittee and full committee markups this week and are on track to have all 12 FY18 spending bills reported out of committee by the end of next week. Next week, House leadership will begin to whip a 12-bill omnibus spending package that would be considered on the House floor before the August recess. House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX) said that a 12-bill omnibus would proceed under a structured rule, which limits amendments when it is being debated on the House floor. We’ll know next week if House leadership has the votes to pass an omnibus measure.

Meanwhile, the House Appropriations Committee continues to work on its FY18 spending bills. Right now, they are writing the bills to a topline of $511B for nondefense discretionary and $621.5B for defense discretionary. The FY18 subcommittee allocations for their 12 FY18 spending bills are listed in the chart below (with FY17 allocations for comparison). The House’s FY18 spending plan busts current spending caps ($1.065T for FY18 – $549B for defense and $516B for non defense) and would need a change in budget law to avoid sequestration. The House budget increases defense spending (Defense and MilCon VA) at the expense of nondefense spending (Transportation-HUD, Labor HHS Education, and Financial Services). Any change to budget law would require 60 votes in the Senate, so it would have to be done on a bipartisan basis.

FY18 House Appropriations Subcommittee Allocations

Subcommittee FY17 Budget Authority FY18 Budget Authority
Agriculture $20.877B $20.001B
Commerce Justice Science $56.6B $53.935B
Defense $516.1B $584.181B
Energy & Water $37.771B $37.562B
Financial Services $21.515B $20.231B
Homeland Security $49.3B $51.121B
Interior $32.280B $31.456B
Labor HHS Education $161.0B $157.938B
Legislative Branch $4.44B $4.490B
MilCon VA $82.5B $88.166B
State Foreign Ops $53.07B $35.345B
Transportation HUD $58.58B $56.512B

Agriculture

The full House Appropriations Committee approved their $20B FY18 Agriculture Appropriations bill this week by voice vote. The legislation funds agricultural and food programs and services, including food and medical product safety, animal and plant health programs, rural development and farm services, agricultural trade, financial marketplace oversight, and nutrition programs. The bill is $876M below the FY17 enacted level and $4.64B above the President FY18 budget request.

Three amendments to the bill were adopted during full committee consideration:

Rep. Aderholt (R-AL) – The amendment makes technical and noncontroversial changes to the bill and report. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Womack (R-AR) – The amendment would require robust cost-benefit analysis by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and provide clarification regarding inter-affiliate swap transactions. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Newhouse (R-WA) – The amendment adds bill and report language to enable legal migrant farm workers to utilize certain farm labor housing. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
House FY18 Agriculture Appropriations Bill Text:

https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-115hr-fc-ap-fy2018-ap00-fy18agriculturebill.pdf

House FY18 Agriculture Appropriations Report Language:

https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/hrpt-115-hr_.pdf

Commerce, Justice, Science

The full House Appropriations Committee approved their $54B FY18 Commerce Justice Science (CJS) Appropriations bill this week by a vote of 31 to 21. The bill funds the Departments of Commerce and Justice, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and other related agencies. The bill is $2.6B below the FY17 enacted level and $4B above the President FY18 budget request.

Five amendments to the bill were adopted during full committee consideration:

Rep. Culberson (R-TX) – The manager’s amendment makes technical and noncontroversial changes to the bill and report. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Harris (R-MD) – The amendment prohibits implementing or enforcing a critical habitat designation for Atlantic Sturgeon in the Chesapeake Bay. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep Cartwright (D-PA) – amended by Rep. Culberson – The amendment requires risk assessments for certain IT purchases from Russia, North Korea, and Iran. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Harris (R-MD) –The amendment prohibits funding in the bill from being used to implement a new EEOC requirement making businesses report certain demographic information of employees. The amendment was adopted on a vote of 29-20.

Rep. McCollum (D-MN)/Rep. Cole (R-OK) – The amendment changes Justice Department funding designations for Native Americans. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

House FY18 Commerce Justice Science Bill Text:

https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/cjs_xml.pdf

House FY18 Commerce Justice Science Report Language:

https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/cjs.report.07.13.17.pdf

Energy & Water

The full House Appropriations Committee approved their $37.56B FY18 Energy and Water Appropriations bill this week by voice vote. The legislation provides annual funding for national defense nuclear weapons activities, the Army Corps of Engineers, various programs under the Department of Energy (DOE), and other related agencies. The bill is $209M below the FY17 enacted level and $3.65B above the President FY18 budget request. The only amendment adopted during the full committee markup was a manager’s amendment making technical and noncontroversial changes to the bill and report. The amendment was adopted on voice vote.

House FY18 Energy and Water Bill Text:

https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-115hr-fc-ap-fy2018-ap00-fy18energyandwaterdevelopmentappropriationsbill.pdf

House FY18 Energy and Water Report Language:

https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/hrpt-115-hr-p2.pdf

Financial Services and General Government

The full House Appropriations Committee approved their $20.231B FY18 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill this week by a vote of 31-21. The bill provides annual funding for the Treasury Department, the Judiciary, the Small Business Administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other related agencies. The bill is $1.284B below the FY17 enacted level and $2.483B below the President’s FY18 budget request. Funding for the IRS was cut by $149M from the FY17 enacted level. Under the legislation, the agency will also be subject to increased oversight and transparency. Several other policy provisions aimed at reducing regulations and financial requirements were also included.

Six amendments were adopted during full committee consideration:

Rep. Graves (R-GA) – The manager’s amendment makes technical and noncontroversial changes to the bill and report, and adds certain authorization language. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Moolenaar (R-MI) – The amendment adds language to define the term “pyramid promotion scheme” and limits funds for enforcement actions outside the definition. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Harris (R-MD) – The amendment prohibits funds for doctor-assisted suicide in the District of Columbia, and repeals the DC Death with Dignity Act. The amendment was adopted on a vote of 28-24.

Rep. Lowey (D-NY) – The amendment increases the Office of Government Ethics by $349,000 – equal to the Administration’s request. These funds are offset by a reduction in the Department of Treasury department-wide systems and capital investments program. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Young (R-IA) – The amendment Requires GSA to post National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) findings online for which the GSA Administrator has solicited public comment. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Aguilar (D-CA) – The amendment adds language allowing those individuals authorized to be employed under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to be eligible for employment by the federal government. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

House FY18 Financial Services Bill Text:

https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/6.28_fsgg_bill_xml.pdf

House FY18 Financial Services Report Language:

https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/fsgg.report.07.13.17.pdf

Homeland Security

The House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee marked up its $44.3B FY18 spending bill this week. The bill is $1.9B above FY17 enacted levels. The bill includes $13.8B for Customs and Border Protection ($1.6B above FY17), $7B for Immigration and Customs Enforcement ($619.7M above FY17), $10.5B for the U.S. Coast Guard ($31.7M above FY17), $7.2B for the Transportation Security Administration ($159.8M below FY17), $1.8B for Cybersecurity and Protection of Communications, $2B for the U.S. Secret Service ($101M below FY17), and $7.3B for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The bill also includes $1.6B for physical barrier construction along the U.S. southern border and $6.8B for disaster relief and emergency response activities. The legislation does not fund most Citizen and Immigration Services (CIS) activities, as these are funded outside the appropriations process. However, the bill does contain $131M for E-Verify. The bill does not include an increase in TSA passenger fees nor a redirection of Brand USA Travel Promotion fees (both of which were included in the President’s FY18 budget request). The bill will be marked up in full committee Tuesday.

House FY18 Homeland Security Bill Text:

https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/homeland_07.11.17_xml.pdf

Interior and Environment

The House Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee marked up its $31.4B FY18 spending bill this week. 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 provides $31.4B, $824M below the FY17 enacted level and $4.3B above the President’s budget request. The bill funds wildland firefighting and prevention programs at $3.4B ($334M below FY17), $465M for the “Payments In Lieu of Taxes” (PILT) program, $7.5B for the EPA ($528M below FY17), $2.9B for the Bureaus of Indian Affairs and Education ($10M above FY17), $5.1B for the Indian Health Service ($97M above FY17), $213M for the Office of Surface Mining ($40M below FY17), $1.2B for the Bureau of Land Management ($46M below FY17), $2.9B for the National Park Service ($64M below FY17), $5.2B for the U.S. Forest Service, $1.5B for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ($38M below FY17), $1B for the U.S. Geological Survey ($46M below FY17), $885 for the Smithsonian Institution ($22M above FY17), $145M for the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities ($5M below FY17), $16.6M for the Eisenhower Memorial Commission, $275M for the Land and Water Conservation Fund ($125M below FY17), and $11M for the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (same as FY17). The bill will be marked up in full committee next Tuesday.

House FY18 Interior Bill Text:

https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/fy18_interior_xml.pdf

Labor, Health and Human Services, Education

The House Labor, HHS, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee marked up its $156B FY18 spending bill this week. 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 $156 billion in discretionary funding, which is a reduction of $5 billion below the FY17 enacted level. The bill provides $10.8B for the Department of Labor ($1.3B less than FY17), $77.6B for HHS ($542M less than FY17), $66B for the Department of Education ($2.4B less than FY17), $1B for the Corporation for National and Community Service (same as last year), $445M for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (same as last year), $249M for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ($25M less than FY17), and $12.5B for the Social Security Administration (same as last year). The bill includes some policy provisions prohibiting the NLRB from applying its revised “joint-employer” standard in new cases and proceedings and from exercising jurisdiction over Tribal governments. The legislation also contains several provisions to stop the implementation of ObamaCare – including prohibiting the use of any new discretionary funding to implement ObamaCare. Finally, several programs were terminated including:

  • Employment Service Grants ($671 million);
  • International Labor Affairs Grants ($60 million), consistent with the budget request;
  • CDC Climate Change program ($10 million), consistent with the budget request;
  • Economic Development Grants ($20 million), consistent with the budget request;
  • “Striving Readers” program ($190 million), consistent with the budget request;
  • Health Careers Opportunity Program ($14 million), consistent with the budget request; and
  • Overseas foreign language study program ($7 million), consistent with the budget request.

The bill will be marked up in full committee next Wednesday.

House FY18 Labor HHS Education Bill Text:

https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/turn_4_xml.pdf

State and Foreign Operations

The House State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee marked up its $47.4B FY18 spending bill this week. The legislation funds the State Department, the United States Agency for International Development, and other international activities. In total, the bill provides $47.4 billion in both regular discretionary and Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding. This total is $10 billion below the FY17 enacted level, when counting additional funds provided in the Security Assistance Appropriations Act of 2017. Within this amount, OCO funding totals $12 billion, which supports operations and assistance in areas of conflict, such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. The bill provides $15.4B in base and OCO funding for the State Department ($2.6B less than FY17), $8.8B in base and OCO funding for International Security Assistance ($624M less than FY17), $1.5B for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) ($115M less than FY17), and $888M for multilateral assistance ($1.2B less than FY17). The bill also provides policy provisions on Syria, Egypt, Afghanistan, the Palestinian Authority, countering Russian influence and aggression, records management at State and USAID, Guantanamo Bay, assistance to foreign governments and local organizations, multi-year funding commitments, UN reform, North Africa strategy, the UN Arms Trade Treaty, OPIC anti-coal regulations, Mexico City Policy, and other anti-abortion measures. The bill will be marked up in full committee next Wednesday.

House FY18 State Foreign Operations Bill Text:

https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-115hr-sc-ap–stateforop-fy2018stateforeignoperationsappropriations.pdf

Transportation HUD

The House Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee marked up its FY18 spending bill this week. 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 $56.5B in discretionary spending – $1.1B below FY17 and $8.6B above the President’s budget request. The bill includes $17.8B for the Department of Transportation ($646M above FY17) – $16.6B for the Federal Aviation Administration ($153M above FY17), $45B for the Federal-aid Highways Program ($968M above FY17), $2.2B for the Federal Railroad Administration ($360M above FY17), $11.75B for the Federal Transit Administration ($662M above FY17), $490.6M for the Maritime Administration ($31.9M below FY17), $927M for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ($15M above FY17), and $268M for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration ($3.7M above FY17). The bill eliminates the National Infrastructure Investment grants (also known as TIGER grants), which were funded at $500M in FY17. The bill funds the Department of Housing and Urban Development at $38.3B ($487M below FY17) and provides $6.6B for Community Planning and Development Programs ($209M below FY17). The bill will be marked up in full committee Monday evening.

House FY18 Transportation HUD Bill Text:

https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-115hr-sc-ap-fy2018-transhud-transportationhoushingandurbandevelopment.pdf

Senate Appropriators Begin Considering FY18 Spending Bills

In contrast to the House Appropriations Committee, the Senate is moving considerably slowler and will not be able to mark up all of its spending bills before the August recess.

Military Construction-Veterans Affairs

The Senate Appropriations Committee marked up and unanimously approved its $88.9B FY18 Military Construction-Veterans Affairs spending bill in subcommittee and full committee this week. The bill is $6.1B above the FY17 enacted level, which includes a $4B increase for Department of Veterans Affairs programs and a $1.8B increase for military construction. The bill provides $9.5B to fund 214 military construction projects and $331M in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding for construction projects in direct support of military operations in the Middle East. The Department of Veterans Affairs is funded at $78.4B in discretionary funding, Arlington National Cemetery at $81M, the Armed Forces Retirement Home at $64.3M, the American Battle Monuments Commission at $79M and the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims at $33.6M.

Senate FY18 Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Bill Text

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/FY18%20MilCon-VA%20Bill%20S15572.pdf

Senate FY18 Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Report Language

https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/FY18%20MilCon-VA%20Report%20115-130.pdf

Status of FY18 Appropriations Spending Bills

Subcommittee House Action Senate Action
Agriculture Subcommittee: June 28

Full Committee: July 12

 
Commerce Justice Science Subcommittee: June 29

Full Committee: July 13

 
Defense Subcommittee: June 26

Full Committee: June 29

 
Energy & Water Subcommittee: June 28

Full Committee: July 12

 
Financial Services Subcommittee: June 29

Full Committee: July 13

 
Homeland Security Subcommittee: July 12

Full Committee: July 18

 
Interior Subcommittee: July 12

Full Committee: July 18

 
Labor HHS Subcommittee: July 13

Full Committee: July 19

 
Legislative Branch Full Committee: June 29  
MilCon-VA Subcommittee: June 12

Full Committee: June 15

Subcommittee: July 12

Full Committee: July 13

State Foreign Ops Subcommittee: July 13

Full Committee: July 19

 
Transportation HUD Subcommittee: July 11

Full Committee: July 17