H.R. 3055 - Senate-Passed FY2020 Minibus
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by Causes | 11.18.19
The House amended the version of H.R. 3055 that the Senate passed in October on an 84-9 vote, so we've transferred the Senate's initial version of the bill below. The current version of H.R. 3055 can be seen here.
(UPDATED - 10/30/19): This bill is going to be amended by the Senate to serve as the legislative vehicle for a “minibus” appropriations package providing $206.283 billion to fund roughly one-third of the non-defense discretionary budget. It includes funding under four of the 12 appropriations bill, including Commerce, Justice, Science; Agriculture; Interior & Environment; and Transportation, Housing & Urban Development. It originally passed the House as a $383 billion minibus funding the agencies included in the current bill, plus Military Construction & Veterans Affairs. A breakdown of the current bill’s provisions can be found below.
COMMERCE, JUSTICE, SCIENCE
This section would provide $70.833 billion in discretionary funding — an increase of $6.715 billion — for the federal government’s commerce, justice, and science-related activities through the Departments of Commerce and Justice, plus an extra $2.5 billion for the 2020 Census.
The Commerce Dept. would be provided with $15.2 billion in funding for FY2020, an increase of $3.8 billion from the prior year. Among the agencies that’d get funding include:
- Census Bureau: would receive $7.558 billion to fund the 2020 Decennial Census.
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA): $5.337 billion, an increase of $64.2 million, would go to climate research, improvements in weather forecasting, the reduction of harmful algal blooms, and fisheries management.
- U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO): $3.451 billion to protect ideas and innovation.
- National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST): $1.04 billion, an increase of $53 million, for research advance U.S. competitiveness, economic growth, and cybersecurity.
The Dept. of Justice would receive a total of $32.446 billion, an increase of $1.51 billion from the prior year. Of the total, $2.7 billion would be provided for state and local law enforcement and crime prevention grant programs, including:
- $545 million for the Byrne JAG program, which is the primary grant program for state and local law enforcement agencies.
- $517 million to combat the opioid, meth, and substance abuse epidemic.
- $500 million for Violence Against Women Act programs.
- $315 million for Juvenile Justice grants.
- $214 million for initiatives to address sexual assault kit and other DNA evidence backlogs.
Other law enforcement agencies receiving funding under this section include:
- $9.953 billion for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), an increase of $376 million.
- $3.3 billion for the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), including $1.9 billion for federal prison detention expenses.
- $2.783 billion for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), an increase of $95 million.
- $2.278 billion for U.S. Attorneys and the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices, an increase of $66 million.
- $100 million would be provided to fully fund the STOP School Violence Act.
The Science section of this bill would provide funding for the following agencies:
- National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA): $22.75 billion would be provided for NASA in FY2020, an increase of $1.25 billion from the prior year, to support human and robotic space exploration. Of the total, $6.2 billion would go to exploration activities, an increase of $1.2 billion from the prior to advance development of NASA’s human exploration program, such as the effort to return to the Moon by 2024.
- National Science Foundation (NSF): $8.317 billion would be provided for the NSF, an increase of $149 million, to provide for basic research across scientific disciplines and to support the development of effective STEM programs.
This section of the bill would provide $23.1 billion in FY2020 discretionary funding for U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) programs and would authorize $128.6 billion in funding for mandatory nutrition programs at estimated levels.
Food and Nutrition Programs: This section would provide discretionary and mandatory funding for USDA’s food and nutrition programs, including:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): $69.163 billion in required mandatory funding would be provided to fund the program through FY2020.
- Child Nutrition Programs: $23.6 billion in mandatory funding, which would provide free or reduced-price school lunches and snacks for children who qualify for the program.
- Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC): $6 billion in discretionary funding, a decrease of $75 million — which is based on USDA enrollment estimates and won’t prevent eligible participants from getting benefits.
Additionally, this section of the bill would direct the USDA to identify approaches to avoid the “lunch shaming” of school children with unpaid school meal fees.
Rural Development: This section would provide $3.1 billion funding, of which $400 million would be dedicated for rural water and waste developments. It’d provide for the development of rural broadband, and finance $6.94 billion in loans for rural phone & electric infrastructure, and $24 billion in loan authority for rural housing & rental assistance. Rural business and industry programs would have access to $1 billion in grants and loans to promote small business growth in rural areas.
Food & Drug Administration (FDA): This section would provide $3.148 billion in discretionary funding, an increase of $80 million from the prior year. Total funding, including revenue from user fees, would amount to $5.76 billion. It would provide targeted increases for blood supply safety, foodborne illness outbreak responses, and advancing reviews of generic drugs.
International Programs: This section would provide $2.1 billion for international food aid, including $1.716 billion for Food for Peace grants and $210.255 million for the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition program which aim to reduce famine and enhance food security overseas.
INTERIOR & ENVIRONMENT
This section would provide a total of $38.050 billion in FY2020 funding, an increase of $917 million from FY2019, for the Dept. of the Interior, the U.S. Forest Service, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Bureau of Indian Affairs and other agencies.
Dept. of the Interior (DOI): A total of $13.717 billion would be provided for the DOI and the agencies under its jurisdiction, including:
- Bureau of Indian Affairs & Bureau of Indian Education (BIA/BIE): This section would provide $3.13 billion in funding for BIA & BIE, an increase of $50.5 million from the prior year.
- Bureau of Land Management (BLM): $1.399 billion in funding would go to the BLM, an increase of $53 million from the year prior. Funds would go to administering energy and minerals programs while investing in public land management.
- National Park Service (NPS): $3.36 billion in funding would be provided to NPS, up $133 million from the prior year to address a backlog of construction, maintenance, and operate new park units.
- U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS): $1.63 billion would be provided for the FWS, an increase of $52.7 million from the prior year. Within the total, increased funding would be available for the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants program and the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, while operation of fish hatcheries would be maintained. The prohibition on listing the greater sage grouse as an endangered species would continue.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): This section would provide $9.011 billion in funding for the EPA, an increase of $161 million from the prior year. The Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds would receive $2.675 billion in grants, an increase of $319 million from the prior year. Funding for State and Tribal Assistance Grants would be increased by $116 million, including $0 million to help states address PFAS contamination and remediation.
U.S. Forest Service: A total of $7.471 billion in FY2020 funding would be provided to the U.S. Forest Service, including increased funding for fighting wildfires. Hazardous fuels reduction would receive a $19 million increase to help prevent catastrophic wildfires, particularly in the wildland-urban interface.
Wildland Fire Management: A total of $5.167 billion in funding would be provided, an increase of $1.22 billion from the prior year. It would include a $2.25 billion in cap-adjusted fire suppression funds for the Forest Service and DOI.
TRANSPORTATION, HOUSING & URBAN DEVELOPMENT
This section of the bill would provide a total of $74.3 billion in discretionary funding for the Departments of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development — an increase of $3.2 billion from the year prior.
Transportation: This section would provide $86.6 billion in funding and user fees to fund transportation safety agencies and related infrastructure investments, including:
- $1 billion for TIGER or BUILD grants to invest in national infrastructure, evenly divided between urban and rural areas.
- $49 billion in budgetary resources for the Federal Highway Administration.
- $17.7 billion in budgetary resources for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fully fund air traffic controllers, engineers, maintenance technicians, safety inspectors, and operational support personnel.
- $2.8 billion for the Federal Railroad Administration, including $2 billion for Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor and National Network to continue service for all current routes.
- $13 billion for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).
- $972 million for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and $679 million for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Housing & Urban Development (HUD): This section would provide $56 billion in total budgetary resources for HUD, an increase of $2.3 billion from the prior year. Increases are targeted toward continuing assistance for elderly and disabled beneficiaries of rental assistance programs. HUD’s rental assistance programs would receive the following amounts:
- $23.8 billion in Tenant-Based Rental Assistance through Section 8.
- $12.6 billion for project-based Section 8.
- $8.6 billion for HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development (an increase of $917 million) which would include $3.3 billion for Community Development Block Grants; $2.8 billion for Homeless Assistance Grants; $1.3 billion for the HOME Investment Partnership Program; and $330 million for Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS.
Argument in favor
This bipartisan appropriations package funds important domestic agencies for FY2020, providing certainty and avoiding a potential shutdown or uncertainty created by relying on a continuing resolution. While it’s not perfect, the four bills it includes all passed the Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously.
Packaging four appropriations bills into one “minibus” package that totals more than $200 billion is a nightmare for transparency. This bill is too bipartisan: it will allow the Trump administration to to fund a number of its priorities without providing enough funding for Democratic priorities.
Agencies funded under the following appropriations categories: Commerce-Justice-Science; Agriculture-Rural Development-FDA; Interior-Environment; and Transportation-Housing and Urban Development.
Cost of House Bill H.R. 3055
A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.
In-Depth: Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) introduced this bipartisan “minibus” spending package that provides discretionary FY2020 funding for a number of domestic agencies:
“Together, these four measures account for nearly one-third of all non-defense discretionary spending. Consistent with the bipartisan budget agreement, they contain no new poison pills. And, I would caution my colleagues on both sides of the aisle against pursuing poison pill amendments if we are able to proceed today. If we are to make any progress on Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations bills we must be true to our commitment, enshrined in the terms of the budget agreement, to refrain from such provisions.”
Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) added:
“In short, this bill contains four good, bipartisan measures that I urge all members to support. I thank Chairman Shelby for his leadership and support in getting these bills to the Senate floor. We only have four short weeks before the continuing resolution we are operating under expires. We need to do our work, and do it quickly, so we can enact all 12 appropriations bills into law. These four bills are a good start.”
The Senate Appropriations Committee passed each of these bills on bipartisan votes, including:
- Agriculture, FDA, Rural Development passed on a 31-0 vote.
- Commerce, Justice, Science passed on a 31-0 vote.
- Interior & Environment passed on a 31-0 vote.
- Transportation, Housing & Urban Development passed on a 31-0 vote.
Before the bipartisan, bicameral budget deal was struck, House Democrats passed several FY2020 appropriations bills in party-line votes. When asked about the Senate’s first appropriations package, House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) reportedly said “it doesn’t do the job. It’s a step.”
Of Note: The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019 outlined spending levels for FY2020 and FY2021 and was enacted after passing bipartisan votes of 284-149 in the House and 67-28 in the Senate. It included a handshake agreement by Democrats and Republicans to not introduce poison pills into the FY2020 process.
- Senate Appropriations Committee Majority Press Release
- Senate Appropriations Committee Majority Press Release II
- Senate Appropriations Committee Minority Press Release
Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: iStock.com / liveslow)
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