$154 Billion FY19 “Minibus” for Public Lands, Public Housing, the EPA, IRS, & Agriculture Programs (H.R. 6147)
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What is H.R. 6147?
(Updated April 8, 2019)
(Updated 7/25/18) This legislation has been amended by the Senate to serve as “minibus” spending package containing $154.2 billion in FY2019 discretionary funding for four of the 12 individual appropriations bills: Interior & Environment; Financial Services & General Gov’t; Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development; and Agriculture. In its original form, the bill passed the House as a $59 billion minibus containing Interior & Environment and Financial Services & General Gov’t. A breakdown of the current bill’s sections and provisions can be found below:
INTERIOR & ENVIRONMENT
This section would provide a total of $35.853 billion in FY19 funding 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 $13.109 billion would be provided for the DOI, including full funding for the Payment in Lieu of Taxes program that compensates local governments with untaxable federal property in their jurisdiction for the lost revenue opportunity.
Bureau of Land Management (BLM): A total of $1.34 billion in FY19 funding would go to the BLM, an increase of $11 million from the year prior. Funds would go to administering energy and minerals programs while investing in public land management.
National Park Service (NPS): $3.21 billion in FY19 funding would be provided to NPS, up $13.4 million from the prior year to address a backlog of construction, maintenance, and operate new park units. That’d include $23 million for the Centennial Challenge grant program, which provides matching grants to address backlog maintenance and other needs in national parks.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS): A total of $1.57 billion would be provided for the FWS, a decrease of $19.7 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.
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS): A total of $1.148 billion in FY19 funding would be provided to USGS, equal to the prior year. Within the total, increased funding would go toward energy and mineral resources, mapping, natural hazards, and water resources.
Indian Health Service (IHS): This section would provide $5.77 billion in FY19 funding for the IHS, an increase of $234 million from the prior year. Within the total, additional funding would be focused on combating opioid abuse, suicide prevention, domestic violence prevention, and alcohol and substance abuse problems. Funds would also be included for infrastructure improvements to healthcare facilities and $115 million would go to staffing new facilities.
Bureau of Indian Affairs & Bureau of Indian Education (BIA/BIE): This section would provide $3.07 billion in FY19 funding for BIA & BIE, an increase of $11.4 million from the prior year. Increases from the prior year for human services and natural resource programs are continued as well as public safety and justice programs. Construction activities and projects would receive $359 million, an increase of $5 million.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): This section would provide $8.058 billion in FY19 funding for the EPA, equal to its funding for the prior year, including:
$2.86 billion for the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds program, an increase from the prior year.
$63 million would go to the Water Infrastructure Finance Act program, allowing billions in loans to finance water infrastructure.
An increase of $17 million for categorical grant programs which help states implement various environmental regulations.
An existing policy prohibiting the EPA from regulating certain types of lead ammunition and fishing tackle would be maintained.
U.S. Forest Service (USFS): This section would provide $6.29 billion in FY19 funding for the USFS, including increased funding to fight wildfire. A $5 million increase would be provided for hazardous fuels reduction.to prevent catastrophic wildfires in the wildland-urban interface.
Wildland Firefighting: This section would provide $4.345 billion to fight wildland fire, representing the 10-year average of fire suppression costs plus an additional $900 million in anticipation of regular funding being insufficient. Within the total, $724 million would go to the Forest Service and $176 million to the Dept. of the Interior.
FINANCIAL SERVICES & GENERAL GOV’T
This section of the bill would provide $23.688 billion in FY19 funding for the U.S. Treasury, the Judiciary, the Small Business Administration, several financial regulators, and other independent agencies.
Treasury Department: Funding for the Treasury Dept.’s various offices and entities would be broken down as follows:
$11.2 billion for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), of which $77 million would be focused on implementing tax reform. The IRS would be prohibited from rehiring former employees unless their past conduct & tax compliance is considered, targeting individuals for exercising their First Amendment rights, prohibit the targeting of groups based on ideology, or producing inappropriate videos and conferences.
$208.8 million, an increase of $8 million from the prior year, for departmental offices to manage a growing caseload associated with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S.
$159 milion for the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, which combats terrorism financing and administers economic and trade sanctions -- an increase of $17.2 million.
Judiciary: A total of $7.251 billion in discretionary FY19 funds would be provided, an increase of $140 million from the prior year, to allow for timely and efficient processing of federal cases, court security, and defender services.
Small Business Administration (SBA): The SBA would receive $699.3 million to provide assistance to small businesses, expand the economy, and promote job growth for unemployed & underemployed Americans. It’d fully fund business loans at $159.2 million, in addition to providing $130 million for Small Business Development Centers, $31 million for microloan technical assistance, $12.3 million for veterans outreach, and $11.5 million for the SCORE program.
General Services Administration (GSA): This section would allow the GSA to spend $9.63 bllion out of the Federal Buildings Fund to provide for rent payments for offices leased by the federal government, operations & maintenance at properties owned by government agencies while $1.08 billion would go to construction. Maintenance, repairs, and alterations would be fully funded.
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC): This section would provide $1.695 billion in funding for the SEC, an amount equal to the prior year. It’d provide targeted funding for economic analysis within the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis.
District of Columbia: This section would provide $703.2 million in federal payments to DC, which would fund public safety and security costs, support the DC court system and its offender supervision program.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC): The FTC would receive $309.7 million in FY19 funding, equal to the prior year.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC): The FCC would receive $333.1 million in FY19 funding, equal to the prior year.
Pay raises for the Vice President and senior political appointees would be prohibited.
Funding for grants or contracts to tax cheats and companies with felony criminal convictions would be prohibited.
All departments and agencies would be required to link contracts that provide award fees to successful outcomes, and prohibit the use of funds to pay for award or incentive fees for contractors with below satisfactory performance.
Funds would be prohibited from being used to paint portraits of federal employees, including elected officials.
Agency inspectors general would be required to have timely access to agency documents and records.
A 1.9% pay increase would be provided for civilian federal employees for the 2019 calendar year, an equal raise to 2018.
TRANSPORTATION, HOUSING & URBAN DEVELOPMENT
This section of the bill would provide a total of $71.4 billion in discretionary funding for the Departments of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development — an increase of $1.1 billion from the year prior.
Transportation: This section would provide $26.6 billion in discretionary FY19 funding for the Dept. of Transportation (DOT), a decrease of $698 million from the prior year. That’d include:
$1 billion for BUILD grants (previously known as TIGER grants).
$3.3 billion in additional funding would be provided for highway programs, including $90 million to eliminate hazards at railway-highway grade crossing and $800 million for bridge repairs.
$46 billion in budgetary resources from the Highway Trust Fund for the Federal-aid Highways Program.
$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.
$1 billion for FAA Next Generation Air Transportation Systems (NextGen); $168 million for the Contract Towers program; and $750 million in additional funding for airport improvements.
$2.8 billion for the Federal Railroad Administration, including $1.9 billion to Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor and National Network to continue service for all current routes.
$13.5 billion for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), with grants totaling $9.9 billion from the Highway Trust Fund’s Mass Transit Account.
$956 million for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, $667 million for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and $275 million for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
Housing & Urban Development (HUD): This section would provide $44.5 billion in discretionary FY19 funding for HUD, an increase of $1.8 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:
$22.8 billion for tenant-based Section 8 vouchers;
$11.7 billion for project-based Section 8;
$7.5 billion for public housing;
$678 million for housing for the elderly;
$154 million for housing for persons with disabilities.
HUD’s Community Planning and Development programs would receive a total of $7.8 billion, an increase of $99 million from the prior year. Of the total, $3.3 billion would go to Community Development Block Grants, $2.6 billion to Homeless Assistance Grants, $1.4 billion for the HOME program, and $375 million to provide housing for people with AIDS.
Within the homeless assistance programs, $20 million would go to new family unification vouchers to prevent youth leaving foster care from becoming homeless. Another $80 million would be provided for grants and technical assistance to test comprehensive efforts to end youth homelessness in urban and rural areas. Additionally, $50 million would go to rapid rehousing for domestic violence victims, and $40 million for new HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers.
A total of $260 million would be allocated to combating lead hazards through grants to communities to protect children from lead poisoning, an increase of $30 million from the year prior.
This section of the bill would provide a total of $145.1 billion in FY19 funding to support the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, rural development, conservation, and nutrition programs — of which $121.8 billion would go to mandatory programs and $23.235 billion in discretionary funding. Overall funding would be $710 million below the prior year, in part to fewer individuals seeking nutrition assistance, while discretionary funds would rise by $225 million.
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): $73.219 billion in required mandatory funding would be provided, which is $794 million below the prior year.
Child Nutrition Programs: $23.184 billion in mandatory funding, which would provide meals for an estimated 30.7 million participants.
Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC): $6.15 billion in discretionary funding, a decrease of $25 million — which is based on USDA enrollment estimates and won’t prevent eligible participants from getting benefits.
Rural Development: This section would provide $3.8 billion in FY19 funding, of which $825 million would be dedicated for infrastructure investments. It’d provide for the development of rural broadband, and finance $1.25 billion in loans for water & electric infrastructure, $24 billion in rural housing & rental assistance, and $1 billion in loans for rural businesses.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA): This section would provide $2.97 billion in discretionary FY19 funding for the FDA, an increase of $159 million (the FDA gets another $2.5 billion in funding from user fees). It’d provide:
$88.5 million of medical product initiatives, including full funding for the Oncology Center of Excellence;
$70 million as authorized in the 21st Century Cures Act;
$66 million for opioid prevention efforts;
$15 million for food safety initiatives.
Agricultural Research: This section would provide $2.73 billion to support research conducted by the Agricultural Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Formulas used to determine research funding for land grant universities would be maintained at the prior year’s levels.
$1.716 billion would be made available for Food for Peace grants, which support the delivery of American-grown food to foreign countries experiencing chronic hunger crises.
The McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program would be funded with $210 million, including $15 million for the Local and Regional Food Aid Procurement at the Foreign Agriculture Service.
Argument in favor
This bipartisan spending package represents a genuine compromise on funding priorities from public housing and nutrition assistance programs to operating the National Parks and fighting wildfire. It’s not perfect, but it’s good enough.
This spending package doesn’t do enough to rein in excessive federal spending. Alternatively, it doesn’t do enough to fund many priorities of the federal agencies covered by this bill.
Beneficiaries of programs receiving funding under this bill; and federal agencies funded by this bill.
Cost of H.R. 6147
A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.
In-Depth: All four of the individual appropriations bills contained in this minibus all passed the Senate Appropriations with unanimous support, including:
The Agriculture bill on a 31-0 vote.
The Financial Services & General Gov’t bill on a 31-0.
The Interior & Environment bill on a 31-0 vote.
- The Transportation, Housing & Urban Development bill on a 31-0 vote.
Senate Appropriations Committee - Agriculture
Senate Appropriations Committee - THUD
Senate Appropriations Committee - Financial Services & General Gov’t
- Senate Appropriations Committee - Interior & Environment
Summary by Eric Revell(Photo Credit: DurkTalsma / iStock)
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