H.R. 719

Continuing Appropriations Act, 2016

Committee
Appropriations

Date
September 30, 2015 (114th Congress, th Session)

Staff Contact
John Huston

Floor Situation

On Wednesday, September 30, 2015, the House will consider the Senate Amendment to H.R. 719, the Fiscal Year 2016 Continuing Appropriations Resolution, under a rule.

Bill Summary

H.R. 719 funds discretionary government operations through December 11, 2015, at the rate they were funded in fiscal year 2015, minus an across-the-board reduction of 0.2108 percent. This amounts to $1.017 trillion in annualized budget authority, which adheres to the current Budget Control Act (BCA) cap level. The across-the-board spending reduction does not apply to funds in the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO)/Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) fund ($74.75 billion), and other programs ($8.62 billion), including approximately $700 million in emergency funding for wildfire suppression.  Consequently, the bill provides a total of $1.099 trillion in annualized budget authority.   The funding in the Continuing Resolution is generally provided under the same authority and conditions, and to the same extent and manner, as in fiscal year 2015.

However, H.R. 719 enumerates a limited number of exceptions to the purposes, amount of funds, or other authorities that would be made available through its regular formula. Such exceptions are referred to as “anomalies.”  These provisions include:[1]

  • Language supporting claims processors for veterans’ disability claims at the rate necessary to address backlog;
  • Language allowing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) funding flexibility to maintain launch schedules for the Joint Polar Satellite System;
  • Language providing for funds for ongoing rental assistance contracts in the rural housing program;
  • Language accommodating the Small Business Administration increased flexibility to accommodate the increased demand for 7(a) small business loans;
  • Language allowing $625 million in transfers from VA to cover costs for completion of the Denver VA Replacement Medical Center; and,
  • Language allowing funding flexibility within the State Department to sustain assistance to Ukraine to counter external, regional aggression and influence.

The CR also extends expiring authorities for the following programs until December 11, 2015:[2]

  • The Internet Tax Freedom Act
  • E-Verify employment authorization program
  • EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program
  • Other specialty visa programs

The Senate Amendment to H.R. 719 also includes the text of the House-passed version of H.R. 719, the TSA Office of Inspection Accountability Act, which passed the House by voice vote on September 24, 2015.

H.R. 719 does not include funding restrictions on Planned Parenthood.

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[1] See Senate Appropriations, CR Section-by-Section analysis
[2] Id.

Background

Both the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations have reported all 12 annual appropriations bills.   The House has considered and passed six of these—the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies appropriations bill (H.R. 2028); the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies appropriations bill (H.R. 2029); the Legislative Branch appropriations bill (H.R. 2250); the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies appropriations bill (H.R. 2578); the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies appropriations bill (H.R. 2577); and the Department of Defense appropriations bill (H.R. 2685).[3]  The Senate has not acted on any of these measures.  Consequently, without action, funding for discretionary government operations expires on October 1, 2015.

On September 24, the Senate did not achieve the necessary three-fifths vote to invoke cloture on H.J.Res. 61, 47 to 52; a continuing resolution that did not include funding for Planned Parenthood. Subsequently, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made a motion to consider an alternate Senate amendment (S.Amdt. 2689) to provide temporary FY2016 continuing appropriations through December 11, which does not include funding restrictions for Planned Parenthood, in the form of a further Senate amendment to a different, unrelated measure pending before the Senate (TSA Office of Inspection Accountability Act of 2015, H.R. 719).[4]

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[3] See CRS Report—“Congressional Action on FY2016 Appropriations Measures, August 3, 2015 at Summary.
[4] See CRS Report, The FY2016 Continuing Resolution (H.R. 719), September 25, 2015.

Cost

The Congressional Budget Office estimates this bill authorizes discretionary spending authority of $1.099 trillion.

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact John Huston with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 6-5539.