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Summary of FY 2019 Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act

June 4, 2018
Press Release

This week, the House is expected to consider a three-bill "minibus" that includes the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies appropriations bills. A full summary of the legislation is included below. A PDF copy is available here.

 

Division A: Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies

While the Energy and Water division provides resources to improve water infrastructure, Republicans have written a partisan bill that cuts funding for energy efficiency and clean energy research programs, transformational energy technology efforts, and nuclear nonproliferation programs and includes a number of harmful, controversial policy riders.

The Energy and Water division totals $44.7 billion, $1.5 billion above FY 2018 enacted and $8.2 billion above the President’s budget request.

Army Corps of Engineers: $7.28 billion, which is $451 million above FY 2018 enacted and $2.5 billion above the President’s budget request.

  • Funding for Investigations is $128 million, which is $5 million above FY 2018 enacted and $46 million above the request.
  • Construction projects receive $2.3 billion, which is $238 million above FY 2018 enacted and $1.45 billion above the request.
  • Funding for Operations and Maintenance is $3.8 billion, $190 million above FY 2018 enacted and $1.7 billion above the request.
  • Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund projects receive $1.6 billion, $200 million above FY 2018 enacted, $635 million above the request, and $160 million above the FY 2019 target set by the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014.
  • The bill makes full use of the estimated receipts for the Inland Waterways Trust Fund.
  • The bill provides for six new study starts and five new construction projects.

Department of Interior/Bureau of Reclamation: $1.56 billion for water resources projects, which is $75 million above FY 2018 enacted and $498 million above the President’s budget request.

  • The bill provides $260 million in additional funding for drought relief projects, focusing on those authorized in the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act of 2016.
  • An additional $98 million is provided for rural water projects.                                                            

Department of Energy: $35.5 billion for energy and national security programs and environmental cleanup, which is $974 million above FY 2018 enacted and $5.3 billion above the President’s budget request. Funding for DOE programs includes:

  • $2.078 billion for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, which is $243 million below the FY 2018 enacted level and $1.89 billion above the request.
  • $6.6 billion for the Department of Energy Office of Science, which is $340 million above the FY 2018 enacted level and $1.2 billion above the President’s request.
  • $325 million for the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), which is $28 million below the FY 2018 enacted level. The President’s request proposed to eliminate the program.
  • $321 million for activities related to the electricity grid, including cybersecurity, $73 million above the 2018 enacted level and $164 million above the request.
  • $6.86 billion for environmental cleanup activities, which is $257 million below the 2018 enacted level and $268 million above the President’s request.
  • $11.2 billion for Weapons Activities, which is $538 million above the 2018 enacted level and $183 million above the President’s request.
  • $1.9 billion for Nuclear Nonproliferation, which is $146 million below the 2018 appropriated level and $39 million above the President’s request.
  • $1.78 billion for Naval Reactors, which is $169 million above the 2018 enacted level and equal to the President’s request.
  • Maintains the Department of Energy loan guarantee programs.

Other significant items:

  • The division provides $220 million to the Department of Energy and $47.7 million to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for licensing activities related to Yucca Mountain.  It also carries provisions prohibiting use of funds to take any action related to closure of Yucca Mountain; and funding for interim storage activities.

The division includes controversial riders hindering the Corps of Engineers’ ability to prevent water pollution:

  • Legislatively repeals the Waters of the United States rule and directs agencies to proceed as if the rule had never been issued.
  • Prohibits the Corps of Engineers from requiring permits for certain agricultural practices.

The division includes a rider allowing guns to be carried on all Corps of Engineers lands.

The division includes a rider prohibiting the Bureau of Reclamation from purchasing water in the State of California to supplement in-stream flow within a river basin that has had a drought in the past two years.

The division includes a rider prohibiting funds for certain operations of the Federal Columbia River Power System to prevent additional spill at dams on the Columbia and Lower Snake Rivers for fish passage of ESA-listed salmon.

The division includes a rider prohibiting funds to develop a National Ocean Policy, which would prevent federal agencies from coordinating with each other on fishing regulations, port and harbor issues, and many other maritime challenges.

 

Division B: Legislative Branch

The Legislative Branch division totals $3.81 billion excluding $1.07 billion in requested Senate items, $132.7 million above FY2018 enacted and $76 million below the request — but $24.9 million below agencies’ revised requests submitted following enactment of the FY2018 omnibus.

The division provides:

  • $1.23 billion for the U.S. House of Representatives, which is $32.1 million more than the 2018 enacted level. Within that total:
    • Members’ Representational Allowances receive $573.63 million, which is $11 million more than the 2018 enacted level. 
    • Committee operations and leadership offices receive the same amount as the 2018 enacted level, except that the Appropriations Committee receives $113,029 less than 2018.
  • $5.41 million for the Office of Compliance, which is $451,000 above the 2018 enacted level and $857,243 above the request (but equal to the revised request).
  • $456.4 million for the U.S. Capitol Police, which is $29.9 million more than the 2018 enacted level and equal to the request. 
  • $50.7 million for the Congressional Budget Office, which is $792,000 more than the 2018 enacted level and equal to the request.
  • $642 million for the Architect of the Capitol (excluding Senate items), which is $31.5 million more than the 2018 enacted level and $45.9 million below the budget request (but $2.3 million above the revised request).
  • $709.9 million for the Library of Congress, which is $40 million more than the 2018 enacted level and $37.2 million above the budget request (but $3.8 million above LOC’s revised request). Within that total:
    • $43.6 million is provided for the Copyright Office, which is $15.1 million more than the 2018 enacted level.
    • $125.7 million is provided for the Congressional Research Service (CRS), which is $6.4 million more than the 2018 enacted level.
    • $52.8 million is provided for the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), which is $1.3 million more than the 2018 enacted level.
    • $487.8 million is provided for the Library excluding Copyright, CRS and NLS, which is $17.2 million more than the 2018 enacted level.
  • $117 million for the Government Publishing Office, which is $68,000 below the 2018 enacted level and equal to the budget request.
  • $578.9 million for the Government Accountability Office, which is equal to the 2018 enacted level and $37.2 million below the request (but equal to the revised request). 
  • $5.6 million for the Open World Leadership Center Trust Fund, which is equal to the 2018 enacted level and $200,000 below the request.

The division includes a provision to prevent a Cost of Living Increase for Members of Congress for FY2019.

The division also includes a provision that eliminates the office of the former Speaker of the House. Currently, all former Speakers receive an office and budget for five years upon their retirement from Congress.

 

Division C: Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies

While the Military Construction-Veterans Affairs division makes many important investments, it does not sufficiently address the transition of community care for veterans from mandatory to discretionary funding after May 2019.

The division totals $96.920 billion, $4.179 billion above FY 2018 enacted and $131 million below the request.

  • Base: $95.998 billion, $4 billion above FY 2018 enacted and $131 million below the request
  • OCO: $921 million, $171 million above FY 2018 enacted and equal to the request

Military Construction: The division includes $10.332 billion, which is $131 million less than the President’s budget request, is provided for Military Construction programs. 

  • Total funding for Active Components is $7.983 billion, which is $897 million less than the request.
  • The total funding for Reserve Components is $467 million, which is $697 million less than the FY2018 enacted level and equal to the President’s request.
  • Family Housing construction is provided $1.583 billion, which is $173 million more than the FY2018 level and equal to the President’s request.
  • The division provides $322 million for the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) account, which is $12 million more than FY2018 level and $54 million more President’s budget request.
  • The division continues language preventing the transfer of detainees and prohibiting closure or realignment of Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. It also includes $69 million in OCO for a High-Value Detention Facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, available only if the facility is authorized in the FY 2019 National Defense Authorization Act.

Veterans Affairs: The division includes $85.349 billion in discretionary funding, which is $3.9 billion more than the 2018 level. 

  • As authorized by Congress in 2009, the VA medical services accounts are provided funding one year in advance, and the division includes the budget request of $75.551 billion in discretionary funding for the FY2020 advance appropriations for VA medical services.
  • The division includes $500 million for the current year budget request for Medical Community Care (non-VA Care), which is equal to the request level.  This is in addition to the FY 2019 advance appropriation provided in the FY 2018 law. 
  • The division provides $732 million for Medical and Prosthetic Research, which is $4.9 million more the FY 2018 enacted level and $10 million more the President’s request.
  • The division provides $1.127 million for Construction, Major Projects, which is $615 million more than the FY2018 enacted level and equal to the President’s request. 
  • The division includes $346 million for VA General Administration, which is $10 million more the FY2018 enacted level and $21 million below the President’s budget request.
  • The division includes $4.106 billion for VA Information Technology, which is $50 million more the FY2018 enacted level and $79 million below the President’s request.
  • The division honors the budget agreement and provides the second installment of the $2 billion infrastructure initiative, this funding will support $750 million for seismic correcting; $800 million for nonrecurring maintenance; $350 million for minor construction; $100 million for major cemetery construction. Between the regular account and the initiative includes $1.2 billion for seismic corrections.

Other Significant Items:

  • Electronic Health Records: Consistent with the enacted FY 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, the mark includes $1.207 billion for the acquisition of VA’s commercial Electronic Health Record. 
  • Veterans Medical Care: In Medical Care, the bill funds mental health at $8.6 billion; suicide prevention at $196 million; homeless assistance at $1.8 billion; and opioid treatment at $387 million.
  • Disability Claims Backlog: The bill continues monthly reporting requirements from regional offices on disability claims processing performance and quality reports on remediation efforts at the poorest performing regional offices.
115th Congress