August 10, 2018

Vehicle for Department of Defense and Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations

NOTEWORTHY

Background: The House passed H.R. 6157, the Department of Defense appropriations act for fiscal year 2019, on June 28, 2018, by a vote of 359-49. The House has not considered H.R. 6470, the House version of the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill on the floor. It is expected that the Senate will join the Senate Appropriations Committee versions of the Defense and Labor-HHS-Education bills together for consideration on the floor. Both bills passed the committee on 30-1 votes.

Floor Situation: The Senate may begin consideration of this bill the week of August 13.

Executive Summary: These bills provide discretionary budget authority for fiscal year 2019. Each bill conforms to its 302(b) allocation, and to the spending limits established in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.

Legislative text of the Senate’s version of each bill is available here: Defense bill text and report; and the Labor-HHS-Education bill text and report

The Senate Appropriations Committee has highlights of each bill on its website: Defense and Labor-HHS-Education.

CONSIDERATIONS ON THE BILL

The Department of Defense appropriations bill contains $607.1 billion in regular, non-emergency, non-OCO budget authority, an increase of $17.6 billion over fiscal year 2018 and $617 million more than the House bill. OCO budget authority in the bill totals $67.9 billion, an increase of $2.7 billion over fiscal year 2018 and $165 million less than the House bill. Budgetary resources in the bill total $675 billion.

The Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill contains $179.3 billion in regular, non-emergency budget authority, $2.2 billion more than both fiscal year 2018 and the House bill.

NOTABLE BILL PROVISIONS

Defense

Pay Raise and End Strength

Appropriates $144 billion for military pay and supports the 2.6 percent annual pay raise for all troops.

Increases active duty troop levels by 6,961 over fiscal year 2018 levels to 1,329,461 soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines.  

Operation and Maintenance

Appropriates $244.4 billion for operation and maintenance, a $5.8 billion increase over fiscal year 2018.

Funds an additional three Army security force assistance brigades and provides for 20 Combat Training Center readiness rotations. Increases funding for Navy facility sustainment, restoration, and modernization by $350 million and Air Force weapon systems sustainment by $352 million.

Provides $50 million for impact aid for local school districts with children of military service members, including disabled military children.

Procurement

Appropriates $147.8 billion for procurement of weapon systems and other acquisition programs, an increase of $1.3 billion over fiscal year 2018.

Appropriates $8.5 billion for 89 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, $0.8 billion and 12 aircraft above the president’s budget request:

  1. $4 billion for 48 F-35A fighters for the Air Force

  2. $2.6 billion for 24 F-35B fighters for the Marine Corps

  3. $1.9 billion for 17 F-35C fighters for the Navy

Appropriates $24 billion for shipbuilding to fully fund 13 new ships, including an additional Littoral Combat Ship and accelerates funding for several future ships.

Appropriates $2.5 billion for Army Abrams tank modification and upgrades.

Funds the National Guard and Reserve Equipment program at $900 million.

Appropriates $1.4 billion for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program.

Adds $300 million in funding for the Air Force’s light attack aircraft program.

Research and Development

Appropriates $96.3 billion for research and development, an increase of $7.1 billion above the fiscal year 2018 level.

Funds $2.2 billion in research and development for the new B-21 long-range strike bomber.

Increases science and technology funding by $1.8 billion. Increases funding above the president’s request in a number of areas identified as high priority for DOD, including cyberspace, artificial intelligence, hypersonic, and space capabilities.

Provides the Missile Defense Agency with funding and guidance for work on integrating its multi-domain systems into its battle management control system. The bill funds additional work on boost phase and laser defeat capability for MDA.

Funds $974 million in medical research not requested by the administration for medical research priorities including ALS, cancer, traumatic brain injury, chronic pain, orthotics, and prosthetics.

Allies and Partners

Appropriates $4.7 billion for the Afghanistan Security Forces Fund, equivalent to the level of funding for fiscal year 2018. This program provides military equipment, supplies, training, and facility repairs to the security forces of Afghanistan.

Appropriates $994 million to train and equip the vetted Syrian opposition and Iraq military forces to counter ISIS.

Appropriates $300 million for cooperative programs with Israel.

Labor-HHS-Education

Labor

The bill appropriates $12.1 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Labor, which is $91 million less than in fiscal year 2018.

It provides $3.5 billion for Training and Employment Services programs. Of this, $2.8 billion is for grants to states to carry out workforce training, and $93 million is for a program to help ex-offenders. Apprenticeship grants receive $160 million.

Job Corps receives $1.7 billion, level with last year. The report notes enrollment has fallen and directs DOL to report quarterly on Job Corps efforts to increase enrollment.

The bill appropriates $150 million for Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessments, a program that aims to reemploy people receiving unemployment insurance benefits quickly and reduce improper payments out of the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.

The Employee Benefits Security Administration receives $186.5 million, including funds toward the administration’s request for $5.5 million to update its ERISA Filing and Acceptance System.

The bill continues to provide such sums as necessary to carry out the statutory authorities of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation – guaranteeing benefit payments if qualified defined-benefit plans fail or close.

The Wage and Hour Division, which oversees the Fair Labor Standards Act and related laws, receives $229 million, an increase of $1.5 million from last year.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration would receive $556.8 million, an increase of $4 million above fiscal year 2018.

The bill funds the Mine Safety and Health Administration level with last year, at $373.8 million, with up to $2 million for mine rescue work.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics receives $615 million, or $3 million more than last year.

Veterans Employment and Training Service activities receive $300 million, or $5 million more than in fiscal year 2018.

Health and Human Services

Discretionary funding for the Department of Health and Human Services totals $90.1 billion, an increase of $2.3 billion from fiscal year 2018. The bill restricts abortion funding by upholding the Hyde domestic abortion ban and the Weldon conscience protection amendment.

Health Resources and Services Administration

Allocates $1.6 billion to the Bureau of Primary Health Care, of which $200 million must be used by community health centers to address mental and behavioral health and substance use disorders.

Funds the Bureau of Health Professions at $1.1 billion, with a $2 million increase in funding for Area Health Education Centers to improve health services in insufficiently served areas.

Provides Maternal and Child Health with $924.8 million. The majority of the funds, $655 million, are targeted at the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant to reduce infant mortality and improve health care access for mothers and their families.

Appropriates $2.3 billion to the HIV/AIDS Bureau.

The National Cord Blood Inventory is funded at $15.3 million.

The Office of Pharmacy Affairs receives $10.2 million.

Appropriates $318.8 million to rural health programs, with $120 million for opioid abuse. 

The Office for the Advancement of Telehealth receives $25.5 million, an increase of $2 million.

Funds the Title X Family Planning program at $286.5 million, restricts funds for abortions, and requires all pregnancy counseling to be “nondirective.”

Funds Child’s Hospitals GME at $325 million, an increase of $10 million, to support the 58 freestanding children’s teaching hospitals that provide pediatric medical training. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Appropriates $7.9 billion to the CDC.

Allocates $1.5 billion to the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, which was created after 9/11 to protect against and respond to public health hazards.

Provides $5 million in new funding to address infectious diseases associated with opioid abuse.

National Institutes of Health 

Funds NIH at $39.1 billion, an increase of $2 billion from fiscal year 2018 levels.

  1. $2.3 billion for Alzheimer’s research. 

  2. $429.4 million for the BRAIN Initiative, which supports innovative technologies aimed at better understanding the human brain.

  3. $120 million to support research for a universal flu vaccine, a $20 million increase from fiscal year 2018 funding levels.

  4. $500 million to research opioid addiction and pain therapy and create alternatives to opioids.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Funds SAMHSA at $5.7 billion, an increase of $580 million from the fiscal year 2018 level.

Increases funding for mental health programs by $79 million above fiscal year 2018 levels for a total of $1.6 billion.

Provides $1.5 billion for grants to states to combat opioid abuse. This appropriation replaces the $500 million in funding expiring from 21st Century CURES. Requires SAMHSA to submit reports on how the funds are used by the states and an evaluation of the program.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

AHRQ is funded at $334 million.  

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Maintains the $75 million new investment from fiscal year 2018, funding Medicare appeals at $182 million. 

Funds Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control at $765 million, an increase of $20 million, which is expected to save the Treasury more than $10.2 billion over the course of 10 years.

Obamacare: Appropriates no new funds for Obamacare in fiscal year 2019.

  1. Restricts funding for Obamacare’s Risk Corridor Program.

  2. Requires CMS to notify Congress before any ACA-related data or grant opportunities are made public.

  3. Continues the requirement for HHS to conduct an analysis of Obamacare’s impact on eligibility for certain discretionary programs.

Administration for Children and Families 

Provides Victims of Trafficking programs $26.8 million. Funding for the Unaccompanied Alien Children Program is maintained at the fiscal year 2018 funding level of $1.3 billion, which is $200 million above the president’s request. Requires HHS to report to Congress monthly, at a minimum, with updated cost estimates and policy changes that may impact the program.

Maintains the fiscal year 2018 funding level of $5.2 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant.

Funds the Head Start program at $10.1 billion.

Administration for Community Living

The Administration for Community Living is funded at $2.2 billion.

Provides $300,000 in new funding to launch the Family Caregiver Council, as required by the RAISE Family Caregivers Act the president signed into law this year.

Office of the Secretary

The Office of the Secretary is allocated $3 billion.

Appropriates $562 million for Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, an increase of $25 million.

Appropriates $285 million for Pandemic Influenza, an increase of $35 million.

Appropriates $735 million for Project BioShield, an increase of $25 million.

Education

The bill appropriates $71.4 billion for the Department of Education, which is $541 million more than in fiscal year 2018.

Out of the $16.6 billion that the bill appropriates for education programs for the disadvantaged, $15.9 billion is for Title I grants to local educational agencies. 

The Impact Aid program, which provides supplemental funding to school districts that lose tax revenue due to the presence of federal property, receives $1.4 billion. 

The bill funds the School Improvement Program at $5.3 billion, including $1.2 billion for Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants, which fund activities that make schools safe and supportive learning environments or improve teaching through technology. The committee report states that school-based mental health services, programs to prevent bullying, harassment and violence, and similar school safety programs are allowable uses for SSAE grants.

In the innovation and improvement account, the charter school program receives $445 million for new starts and expansions. Of this, $7.5 million is reserved for grants to develop charter schools in rural areas with high-poverty.

The safe schools and citizenship education account is funded at $190.8 million. Specifically, it provides $95 million for School Safety National Activities, with up to $5 million reserved for Project SERV grants that help schools recover from violent or traumatic events.

The bill appropriates $13.5 billion for special education programs, including $12.4 billion for grants to states for educating children with disabilities. 

Career and technical education programs for secondary school students and adults receive $1.2 billion.

The bill provides $22.5 billion in discretionary funding for the Pell grant program, the same as in fiscal year 2018. Under the bill, the maximum discretionary award is $5,135, an increase of $100 from last year. The mandatory add-on award is $1,060. That brings the total maximum Pell award a student could receive in the 2019-2020 award year to $6,195. The bill rescinds $600 million in unobligated discretionary Pell grants. It also lowers by $39 million the fiscal year 2019 mandatory funding provided in current law that helps support the Pell grant program.

The Federal Work-Study program is funded at $1.1 billion.

The bill continues a program from the fiscal year 2018 omnibus by providing $350 million for student loan forgiveness for certain borrowers who would be eligible for the public service loan forgiveness program except they were enrolled in an ineligible loan repayment plan.

Appropriates $1.7 billion for the Department of Education to manage student aid programs, including meeting administrative and loan servicing costs.

Other higher education programs receive $2.3 billion in total funding, which is $14 million more than last year. The appropriation includes $286 million for historically black colleges and universities, $74 million for historically black graduate institutions, and $32 million for curriculum and faculty development at tribally controlled colleges and universities. It includes $1 billion for the federal TRIO programs.

The National Center for Education Statistics receives $110 million. Activities to carry out the National Assessment of Educational Progress receive $159 million.

The bill appropriates $125 million, or $8 million more than fiscal year 2018, for the Office of Civil Rights. The report directs OCR to report quarterly on the complaints it investigated, closed, and resolved.

Related Agencies

The Social Security Administration receives $12.9 billion in discretionary funding. Included in this amount is $1.7 billion in program integrity funding to prevent Social Security disability program fraud, abuse, and improper payments. It is expected that this funding will save $9 billion over 10 years in improper payments in the Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid programs.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting receives $445 million in advance appropriations for fiscal year 2021.

The National Labor Relations Board receives $274 million.

The bill provides $242 million, a $2 million increase, for the Institute for Museum and Library Services.

ADMINISTRATION POSITION

A statement of administration policy is not yet available. In the SAP for the Senate version of the first minibus, H.R. 5895, the administration expressed support for “timely consideration of appropriations legislation” and the defense spending cap for fiscal year 2019, but expressed disagreement with the non-defense spending cap in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.

COST

The Department of Defense appropriations bill contains $607.1 billion in regular, non-emergency, non-OCO budget authority, an increase of $17.6 billion over fiscal year 2018 and $617 million more than the House bill. OCO budget authority in the bill totals $67.9 billion, an increase of $2.7 billion over fiscal year 2018 and $165 million less than the House bill. Budgetary resources in the bill total $675 billion.

The Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill contains $179.3 billion in regular, non-emergency budget authority, $2.2 billion more than both fiscal year 2018 and the House bill.