Previewing the Rest of the Senate’s Spending Bills
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by Causes | 8.25.18
On Thursday, the Senate approved its latest “minibus” spending package which contained the eighth and ninth of the 12 appropriations bills that Congress enacts to fund various government agencies ― and it could pass another minibus with the final three spending bills as soon as the coming week.
While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) hasn’t yet scheduled procedural votes to start consideration of another minibus bill, he could do so once senators have finished their consideration of a slate of 16 nominations to begin the coming week.
Here’s a look at the three remaining bills, which passed the Senate Appropriations Committee on an aggregate vote of 87-6.
Homeland Security: Funding for the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) would total $55.15 billion, an increase of $611 million from the prior year. The bill passed the Senate Appropriations Committee on a 26-5 vote and includes the following provisions:
- The Trump administration’s $1.8 billion budget request for construction of the border wall system would be fully funded.
- Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) budget would grow by $134 million to a total of $7.21 billion for FY2019.
- The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) would receive funding to hire 1,450 more personnel to staff checkpoints and mitigate wait times, along with 50 additional canine teams.
Commerce, Justice, Science: Funding for the Justice and Commerce Departments, along with science-related agencies, would total $62.995 billion for FY2019 ― an increase of $3.4 billion from the prior year. The bill passed the Senate Appropriations Committee on a 30-1 vote and includes the following provisions:
- The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) would receive $21.3 billion in funding, of which $6.4 billion would go to scientific research and $5.3 billion to exploration activities.
- The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) would see its budget grow by $15 million to a total of $9.415 billion, while the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) would see an increase of $44 million to a total of $2.23 billion.
- Justice Department grants for state and local law enforcement and crime prevention programs would total $2.87 billion.
State and Foreign Operations: The State Department would receive a total of $54.4 billion in FY2019 funding for its diplomatic and international assistance programs. The bill passed the Senate Appropriations Committee on a 31-0 vote and would include the following provisions:.
- Global health programs would total $8.8 billion, of which $6 billion would be focused on HIV/AIDS assistance and another $1.5 billion focused on maternal and child health programs in addition to combating malaria.
- International security assistance would total $8.8 billion, of which $5.9 billion would go to financing foreign military equipment and $1.4 billion to international drug trafficking prevention efforts.
- The Countering Russian Influence Fund would grow by $50 million from the prior year to a total of $300 million.
- Existing prohibitions on funding for abortion in foreign aid would be continued.
Tell your senators what you think of these appropriations bill and share your thoughts below!
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: iStock / pgiam)
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