June 17, 2014

H.R. 4660 – Vehicle for Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science, and Transportation-HUD Appropriations

 Noteworthy

Background: On May 22, 2014, the Senate Appropriations Committee reported S. 2389, the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015 by a 30-0 vote. On June 5, the Committee reported S. 2437, the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) appropriations bill by a 30-0 vote and S. 2438, the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) appropriations bill, by a 29-1 vote.

The House has passed its versions of CJS (321-87 on May 30) and THUD (229-192 on June 10). The House has debated, but not yet passed, its Agriculture bill.

Floor Situation: On Thursday, June 12, Majority Leader Reid filed cloture on the motion to proceed to H.R. 4660, the House CJS bill. The Senate is expected to begin consideration of the bill on Tuesday, June 17.

Executive Summary: The substitute amendment will contain three appropriations bills: Agriculture, CJS, and THUD. These bills contain a total of more than $126 billion in discretionary appropriations, including $100 million in disaster funding. The individual bill and report texts are available at the following links: Agriculture bill and report; CJS bill and report; and THUD bill and report.

Considerations on the Bill

The Agriculture appropriations bill includes $20.575 billion in nonemergency discretionary appropriations ($305 million below the House bill, an increase of $435 million over the president’s budget, and $90 million below 2014 funding). The bill also includes $100 million in disaster funding. CBO reports that the bill contains $803 million in fiscal year 2015 changes in mandatory programs (CHIMPS) that would reduce 10-year outlays by $46 million. The House bill contains $2.1 billion in 10-year CHIMPS that would reduce 10-year outlays by $1.7 billion. The House bill does not contain any disaster funding.

The Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill includes discretionary appropriations of $51.2 billion, equal to the House bill, a $1 billion increase over the president’s budget and $398 million below 2014 funding. The discretionary funding is made up of $5 billion of security funding and $46.2 billion in nonsecurity funding. The bill also contains mandatory funding of $317 million. The bill does not contain any disaster funding. CBO reports that the bill contains $10.9 billion in fiscal year 2015 CHIMPS that would reduce 10-year outlays by $182 million, identical to the House bill.

The Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill includes discretionary appropriations of $54.4 billion, an increase of $2.4 billion over the House level, $3.58 billion over 2014 funding, and $3.47 billion over the president’s budget. The bill does not contain disaster funding or net CHIMPS.

Together, the three bills provide over $126 billion in discretionary appropriations and $100 million in disaster relief funding.

Notable Bill Provisions

Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015

The Agriculture appropriations bill includes $20.575 billion in nonemergency discretionary appropriations ($305 million below the House bill, an increase of $435 million over the president’s budget, and $90 million below 2014 funding). The bill also includes $100 million in disaster funding.

The bill also includes $803 million in fiscal year 2015 CHIMPS that would reduce 10-year outlays by $46 million. The House bill contains $2.1 billion in 10-year CHIMPS that would reduce 10-year outlays by $1.7 billion. The House bill does not contain any disaster funding.

Notable programs include:

Disaster Funding – The bill provides $100 million in disaster relief for the Emergency Watershed Protection Program ($85 million) and the Emergency Conservation Program ($15 million). These amounts were not included in the president’s budget request or the House bill.

Agricultural Marketing Service – The bill provides $1.27 billion, $17 million above the 2014 enacted level, $1.2 million below the president’s budget request, and equal to the House level.

Farm Service Agency – The bill provides $1.193 billion, $5 million above the 2014 enacted level, $50 million over the president’s budget request, and $18.5 million below the House level.

Farm Loans – The bill provides $3.5 billion in farm ownership loans, $925 million above the 2014 enacted level, equal to the president’s budget request, and equal to the House level. The bill also provides $2.65 billion in farm operating loans, $50 million less than the 2014 enacted level, equal to the president’s budget request, and equal to the House level.

Natural Resources Conservation Service – The bill provides $849 million, $24 million above the 2014 enacted level, $35 million above the president’s budget request, and $19 million below the House level.

Rental Assistance – The bill provides $1.1 billion, $16.5 million below the 2014 enacted level, $5 million above the president’s budget request, and $5 million above the House level.

Rural Energy for America Program – The bill provides $1.35 million in loan subsidy, $2.15 million below the 2014 enacted level, $8.65 million below the president’s budget request, and $2.15 million below the House level.

Healthy Foods, Healthy Neighborhoods Initiative – The bill provides no funding, equal to the 2014 enacted level, $13 million below the president’s budget request, and equal to the House level.

Rural Water and Waste Disposal Loans – The bill provides $1.25 billion in both direct and guaranteed loans, $40 million less than the 2014 enacted level, $50 million above the president’s budget request, and $34.7 million below the House level.

Rural Electrification and Telecommunications Loans – The bill provides $6.19 billion in both direct and guaranteed loans, equal to the 2014 enacted level, $845 million above the president’s budget request, and equal to the House level.

Domestic food Programs – The bill provides $6.6 billion for WIC, $93 million less than the 2014 enacted level, $200 million less than the president’s budget request, and equal to the House level. The bill also contains mandatory spending, including $20.5 billion for child nutrition programs and more than $82 billion for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps).

Foreign Assistance – The bill provides $1.65 billion in foreign assistance food programs, equal to the 2014 enacted level, $66 million above the president’s budget request, and $13 million below the House level.

Food and Drug Administration – The bill provides $2.589 billion for FDA salaries and expenses, $36.6 million above the 2014 enacted level, $13 million above the president’s budget request, and $14.5 million above the House level.

Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015

The CJS appropriations bill includes discretionary appropriations of $51.2 billion, equal to the House bill, a $1 billion increase over the president’s budget, and $398 million below 2014 funding. The discretionary funding is made up of $5 billion of security funding and $46.2 billion in nonsecurity funding. The bill also contains mandatory funding of $317 million. The bill funds the Department of Commerce at $8.56 billion, $375 million above the 2014 enacted level, $191 million below the president’s budget request, and $325 million above the House level. The bill funds the Department of Justice at $28 billion, $260 million above the 2014 enacted level, $23 million above the president’s budget request, and $245 million below the House level.

The bill does not contain any disaster funding. CBO reports that the bill contains $10.9 billion in fiscal year 2015 CHIMPS that would reduce 10-year outlays by $182 million, identical to the House bill.

Section 528 – Transfer of Guantanamo detainees

Prohibits the use of funds to transfer to the United States Khalid Sheikh Mohammed or any other Guantanamo detainee.

Section 529 – Construction of facilities

Prohibits the use of funds to construct or modify facilities in the United States for the purpose of receiving Guantanamo detainees.

Notable programs include:

Census Bureau – The bill provides $1.15 billion, $204 million above the 2014 enacted level, $62 million below the president’s budget request, and $175 million above the House level.

Patent and Trademark Office – The bill provides $3.458 billion, which is the expected level of patent user fees to be collected in fiscal year 2015. This is $434 million above the 2014 enacted level, equal to the president’s budget request and the House level.

National Institute of Standards and Technology – The bill provides $900 million, $50 million above the 2014 enacted level, equal to the president’s budget request, and $44 million above the House level.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – The bill provides $5.42 billion, $105.4 million above the 2014 enacted level, $68.7 million below the president’s budget request, and $82.8 million above the House level.

U.S. Attorneys – The bill provides $1.95 billion for U.S. attorney salaries and expenses, $6 million above the 2014 enacted level, $5 million below the president’s budget request, and $21 million below the House level.

U.S. Marshals Service – The bill provides $2.8 billion for salaries and expenses, construction, and federal prisoner detention. This is $62 million above the 2014 enacted level, equal to the president’s budget request, and $14 million below the House level.

Federal Bureau of Investigation – The bill provides $8.39 billion for salaries and expenses, counterintelligence, national security, and construction. This is $42 million above the 2014 enacted level, $38 million above the president’s budget request, and $83 million below the House level.

Drug Enforcement Administration – The bill provides $2 billion, equal to the 2014 enacted level and the president’s budget request, and $30 million below the House level.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – The bill provides $1.2 billion, $22 million above the 2014 enacted level, equal to the president’s budget request, and $7 million above the House level.

Federal Prison System – The bill provides $6.91 billion for salaries, expenses, buildings, and facilities, $50 million above the 2014 enacted level, $15 million above the president’s budget request, and $61 million below the House level.

State and Local Law Enforcement Activities – The bill provides $2.26 billion for this assistance, $11 million below the 2014 enacted level, $10 million above the president’s budget request, and $97 million below the House level. Assistance includes grants for Community Oriented Policing Services ($224 million), grants to state and local law enforcement ($1.15 billion), and funding for Office on Violence Against Women programs ($430 million).

National Aeronautics and Space Administration – The bill provides $17.9 billion, $253.5 million above the 2014 enacted level, $439.4 million above the president’s budget request, and $4 million above the House level.

National Science Foundation – The bill provides $7.26 billion, $83 million above the 2014 enacted level, equal to the president’s budget request, and $139 million below the House level.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – The bill provides $365 million, $1 million above the 2014 enacted level, $531,000 below the president’s budget request, and $1 million above the House level.

International Trade Commission – The bill provides $85 million, $2 million above the 2014 enacted level, $1.5 million below the president’s budget request, and $1 million below the House level.

Legal Services Corporation – The bill provides $400 million, $35 million above the 2014 enacted level, $30 million below the president’s budget request, and $50 million above the House level.

Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015

The THUD appropriations bill includes discretionary appropriations of $54.4 billion, an increase of $2.4 billion over the House level, $3.58 billion over 2014 funding and $3.47 billion over the president’s budget. The bill does not contain disaster funding or net CHIMPS.

The bill funds the Department of Transportation at $18.1 billion in discretionary appropriations ($1.3 billion above the House level) and $53.6 billion in limitations on obligations (for contract authority that is authorized in the highway bill). The Department of Housing and Urban Development is funded at $36 billion, which is $860 million below the president’s budget request, $3.2 billion above the 2014 enacted level, and $1.1 billion above the House level.

Notable programs include:

Federal Aviation Administration – The bill provides $15.86 billion in total resources for the FAA. This includes discretionary appropriations of $12.38 billion and contract authority of $3.48 billion. The $15.86 billion is $126 million above the 2014 enacted level, $580 million above the president’s budget request, and $134 million above the House level.

Federal Highway Administration – The bill provides $40.26 billion, all of this as contract authority and equal to the 2014 enacted amount and House level.

Amtrak – The bill provides $1.39 billion as a grant to Amtrak. This is equal to the 2014 enacted level, $200 million above the House level, and $1 billion below the president’s budget request. The president’s budget proposed restructuring the way Amtrak receives its subsidy, but the proposed amount for fiscal year 2015 funding to Amtrak was $2.45 billion.

Federal Transit Administration – The bill provides $11.1 billion in total resources for the FTA. This includes discretionary appropriations of $2.46 billion and obligation limitations of $8.6 billion. The $11.1 billion is $309 million above the 2014 enacted level, $6.6 billion below the president’s budget request, and $563 million above the House level. Funding provided includes $150 million in grants to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – The bill provides $834 million for NHTSA ($135 million in discretionary appropriations and $700 million in contract authority), which is $15.5 million more than the fiscal year 2014 level, $16.5 million less than the budget request, and $10 million above the House level.

TIGER Grants – The bill provides $550 million for grants to state and local governments to support a wide variety of transportation options, including roads and bridges, railroads, transit systems, and port infrastructure. This amount is $50 million less than the 2014 enacted level, $700 million less than the president’s budget request (which classified it as mandatory spending), and $450 million above the House level.

National Transportation Safety Board – The bill provides $104 million, $1 million above the 2014 enacted level, $1 million above the president’s budget request, and $1 million above the House level.

Federal Housing Administration – The bill contains a limitation on guaranteed loans of $430 billion, equal to the House bill.

Government National Mortgage Association – The bill contains a limitation on guaranteed loans of $500 billion, equal to the House bill.

Section 8 Tenant-Based Rental Assistance – The bill provides $19.56 billion, $385 million above the 2014 enacted level, $483 million below the president’s budget request, and $206 million above the House level.

Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance – The bill provides $9.75 billion, $171 million below the 2014 enacted level, equal to the president’s budget request, and equal to the House level.

Public Housing – The bill provides $4.5 billion for the Public Housing Operating Fund, $75 million above the 2014 enacted level, $125 million below the president’s budget request, and $75 million above the House level. The bill provides $1.9 billion for the Public Housing Capital Fund, $25 million above the 2014 enacted level, $25 million below the president’s budget request, and $125 million above the House level.

Community Development Block Grant – The bill provides $3 billion, $10 million below the 2014 enacted level, $220 million above the president’s budget request, and $20 million above the House level.

HOME Investment Partnerships Program – The bill provides $950 million, $50 million below the 2014 enacted level, equal to the president’s budget request, and $250 million above the House level.

Homeless Assistance Grants – The bill provides $2.145 billion, $40 million above the 2014 enacted level, $261 million below the president’s budget request, and $40 million above the House level.

Administration Position

A Statement of Administration Policy was released on June 17 supporting the Agriculture-CJS-THUD package.

Cost

In total, the three bills provide more than $126 billion in discretionary appropriations and $100 million in disaster relief funding. CBO reports that each bill is within its 302(b) budget authority allocation. The Agriculture bill contains an additional $100 million in disaster funding that might appear to cause it to breach its cap, but Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray would use existing authority to revise those caps with the 2015 disaster funding allowance.

Under the Budget Control Act, disaster funding is capped each year at a rolling average of the previous 10 years’ disaster funding (not counting the highest and lowest years) plus any of the previous year’s allowance that was unused (provided that funds cannot be carried over for two fiscal years). As of OMB’s last sequester report, the disaster allowance is $6.593 billion, but that may increase by $6.517 billion in the next update if Congress does not appropriate any of the remaining $6.517 billion in fiscal year 2014 disaster allowance.

Amendments

The amendment situation is unclear at this time.