The Continuing Resolution (CR) will provide funding at the current rate of operations for the government through December 9, 2016. It also includes the full year Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill, $1.1 billion in emergency funding to fight and prevent the spread of the Zika virus, $500 million in grants to help states recover from recent floods, and $37 million to help fight the nation’s opioid epidemic.
Chairman Rogers made the following statement on the legislation:
“This is a necessary bill that will keep the government open and operating, provide resources for our service members and veterans, and address critical needs across our country related to the Zika virus, the opioid epidemic, and the recent, disastrous floods.
“I have said many times before, a continuing resolution is a last resort. But, it is what we must do to fulfill our congressional responsibility to keep the lights on in our government. This legislation is a good compromise, and I am pleased the House has voted today to send it to the President’s desk.”
House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers today commented on the release of legislation that continues funding for the federal government beyond the end of the fiscal year on September 30.
The Continuing Resolution (CR) provides funding at the current rate of operations for the government through December 9, 2016. It also includes $1.1 billion in emergency funding to fight and prevent the spread of the Zika virus, contains the full-year, FY 2017 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill, and provides $500 million in grants to help families and communities affected by recent floods to rebuild and recover.
Chairman Rogers made the following statement on the legislation:
“This Continuing Resolution will keep the government open for business in the short term, avoiding a damaging shutdown, while Congress continues the necessary work on the annual Appropriations bills. The resolution is not perfect, but it is clean, responsible, and will ensure we meet our nation’s current, critical needs.
“It includes funding for our troops and vets for the entire next fiscal year – providing the resources our military needs to keep our nation secure, and the programs and services our vets need and deserve. It directs $1.1 billion in emergency funding to fight the Zika virus, which has already spread onto our shores and caused harm and heartache to thousands of people. And it includes much-needed relief for victims of recent flooding, providing $500 million to help families and communities suffering from this terrible disaster to rebuild and recover.
“While this is not the preferable way to fund the government, and there are several additional items I would have like to see included, the bottom line is that it is essential that we keep the government open and provide these vital funds. I support this legislation, and it can and should be approved by Congress and sent to the President as soon as possible.”
House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers today released the following statement in response to the announcement that the Department of Health and Human Services has directed an additional $76.6 million to fight the Zika virus – a move that the Chairman and the Republican-led House have been calling for.
“As we’ve seen around the globe and now within our own borders, the Zika virus is a deadly and devastating epidemic that must be stopped in its tracks. That is why the House has twice passed responsible, immediate funding legislation for vaccine development, mosquito control, and public health efforts. These much needed funds have been blocked at every turn by Democrats in the Senate, with the backing of the Obama White House.
“In addition, for over six months we have been calling on the Administration to use every existing resource at their disposal to address this crisis. Our calls have been met with little action, while the White House continues to cast aspersions and blame at others for lack of funding.
“It is clear yet again, with the announcement today, that federal agencies do indeed have existing funds available within their budgets that can be redirected to fight Zika. This has been the case all along, and it is disappointing that it has taken this long for this action to occur.
“I commend the Administration for finally moving forward with additional existing funding to fight this epidemic. And, if more resources are needed, I urge the Senate Democrats and the White House to approve the legislation already passed by the House, so that these funds to prevent and stop the spread of the Zika virus can be used quickly, effectively, and responsibly.”
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, along with Senate Appropriations Chairman Thad Cochran and other senior members of the House and Senate committees, today sent a joint letter to President Obama urging White House action on Zika funding.
Senate Democrats today again blocked legislation that would immediately fund efforts to prevent and fight the spread of the Zika virus. Chairmen Rogers and Cochran wrote that given the critical need for these funds and absent the funding that was blocked today, the White House should “aggressively use funds already available to mount a strong defense against the virus.”
The full text of the letter is below:
July 14, 2016
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
Your Administration has asked Congress to provide additional resources to prepare for, and prevent, the spread of the Zika virus. We have responded by both supporting the reprioritization of existing resources and passing through our respective chambers legislation that would provide additional Zika response funding.
On February 18, 2016, we called upon your Administration to repurpose available funds to be spent immediately to fight the disease. On April 6, 2016, you did so through the use of existing authorities, repurposing $589 million for Zika response activities. Given the urgency of your request, we were surprised last week when Politico reported the following based on information shared by Administration officials: “The Obama administration has so far distributed only about one-sixth of the unspent Ebola funding that it diverted to combat the Zika virus.” This money is available immediately to prepare for and combat Zika, yet is seemingly not being spent.
The House passed a conference report that would provide an additional $1.1 billion in emergency supplemental funding to continue to prepare for, and prevent, Zika both domestically and internationally. It is unfortunate that Democrats have blocked action on this legislation in the Senate. The conference report provides the same amount of funding that every Senate Democrat previously supported. It fully funds vaccine research, and increases funding for mosquito spraying and eradication, Zika surveillance, and advanced development of treatments and diagnostics. The conference agreement provides the same access to health services as your supplemental request, contains no new prohibition on any health service, and expands access to health services in Puerto Rico beyond your initial request.
If Senate Democrats continue to block consideration of Zika legislation, we urge you to aggressively use funds already available to mount a strong defense against the virus. We also note that the fiscal year 2016 appropriations bills allow the Administration access to additional funds. The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services has transfer authority that can be used as an additional source for Zika preparedness. The previous Secretary did not hesitate to use this authority to support the failing Affordable Care Act Exchanges. The Secretary of State also has authority to reprogram funding to provide additional foreign assistance to address the Zika virus outside the United States.
We urge you to use available funding now to ensure our nation is prepared.
Rep. Hal Rogers, Chairman, House Appropriations Committee
Sen. Thad Cochran, Chairman, Senate Appropriations Committee
Rep. Tom Cole, Chairman, House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services
Sen. Roy Blunt, Chairman, Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services
Rep. Kay Granger, Chairwoman, House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations
Sen. Lindsey Graham, Chairman, Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations
For a PDF of the letter, please click here.
The House today approved the fiscal year 2017 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill. The legislation includes funding for the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Forest Service, the Indian Health Service, and various independent and related agencies.
In total, the bill provides $32.1 billion, $64 million below the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $1 billion below the President’s budget request. Included is $480 million to fully fund “Payments in Lieu of Taxes” (PILT) – which provides funds to local communities with federal land to help offset losses in property taxes – and $3.9 billion for the Department of the Interior and Forest Service to prevent and combat devastating wildfires. The bill also includes funding to help address the problem of lead in drinking water across the United States.
In addition, the legislation contains policy provisions to stop bureaucratic regulatory overreach that harm U.S. industries and hinder economic and job growth.
“This is a balanced bill that invests in federal programs to help address critical current needs and to guarantee a brighter future for our nation, and I’m proud that the House approved it today. It will rein in the federal bureaucracy to stop many harmful and unnecessary regulations that destroy economic opportunity and kill jobs. And it will fund programs to promote the responsible use of our natural resources, fight devastating wildfires, and improve the quality of life for families across the country,” House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said.
For a summary of the bill, please visit: http://appropriations.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=394564
For the text of the bill, please visit:
For the bill report, please visit:
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers today released the following statement after the Committee approved the Fiscal Year 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill, the twelfth and final bill for the 2017 appropriations cycle:
“Today and over the past several months, the Appropriations Committee honored regular order, considering and approving every single one of the 12 annual appropriations bills. We held over a hundred hearings and marked up each one in subcommittee and full committee, with an open and thorough amendment process that let all voices be heard. I’m proud that we are fulfilling our congressional duty on behalf of the American people and funding the government responsibly. I look forward to continuing to move forward on these critical bills to get them through the House and Senate and signed into law.”Read More
The House Appropriations Committee today approved the draft fiscal year 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services (LHHS) funding bill. The legislation includes funding for programs within the Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Education, and other related agencies.
In total, the draft bill includes $161.6 billion in discretionary funding, which is a reduction of $569 million below the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $2.8 billion below the President’s budget request. Funding within the bill is targeted to proven programs with the most national benefit, including medical research, public health, and biodefense. The bill also includes new funding for a comprehensive approach to combatting the nation’s opioid epidemic, and to prevent and fight the spread of the Zika virus. To make these investments, the legislation saves taxpayer dollars by cutting funding in lower-priority areas, including ineffective or wasteful programs.
In addition, the legislation contains several policy provisions to improve government oversight and to block the Administration’s unnecessary and harmful regulations that hurt economic growth. The legislation also defunds existing ObamaCare programs and prohibits any new discretionary funding from being used to further implement ObamaCare.
“This is the 12th and final Appropriations bill to be considered by the Committee this year. It follows the responsible lead of the legislation before it – investing in proven, effective programs, rolling back over‑regulation and overreach by the Administration that kills American jobs, and cutting spending to save hard‑earned taxpayer dollars,” House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said. “It includes critical funding for health and disease research, pandemic preparedness, and jobs and education programs. These are investments that will help improve American lives now, and keep us on the path for a healthier and more productive future.”
“This bill achieves its goal of reducing discretionary spending by more than half a billion dollars, all the while prioritizing where funding is needed the most. Several important programs through the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health that benefit many Americans receive a substantial increase in funding, often well beyond the amount the President requested in his budget,” LHHS Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole said. “More specifically, the bill includes additional funding dedicated to the Zika response effort, which gives the CDC director the ability to respond more quickly to the fight against Zika. Furthermore, this bill continues to fund numerous programs that many Americans rely on including Head Start, special education, community service, and Native American programs for well-being. This bill reflects the values and priorities of the American taxpayer. It will make a difference and improve the welfare of the American people,” Cole continued.
The following amendments to the FY 2017 LHHS Appropriations bill were adopted by the full committee today:
Rep. Cole – The amendment makes technical and non-controversial changes to the bill and report. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
Rep. Kaptur – The amendment adds report language directing the CDC to coordinate with other agencies and States on the public health effects of algal-blooms. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
Rep. Ryan – The amendment adds report language directing the Bureau of Labor Statistics to conduct a study on the impacts of free trade agreements on the U.S. labor market. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
Rep. Harris – The amendment specifies that any federal funding provided in any act of law may only be used to provide In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) treatments if such treatments do not result in the destruction of viable human embryos before embryo transfer. The amendment was adopted on a vote of 29-21.
Rep. Lee – The amendment adds report language requesting a Department of Education study on the adverse impacts of school segregation. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
The bill was adopted on a vote of 31-19.
For a summary of the bill, please visit:
For the text of the bill, please visit:
For the bill report, please visit:
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers today spoke on the House floor in support of H.R. 5538, the Fiscal Year 2017 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill.
The text of his statement follows:
Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 5538, the Fiscal Year 2017 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill.
This legislation provides nearly $32.1 billion for agencies charged with managing and protecting our natural resources and our federal lands, as well as Native American programs and other independent agencies.
Within this total, $3.9 billion is dedicated to fighting devastating wildfires – fully funding the 10-year average and increasing funding for programs that help prevent fires from happening in the first place.
The bill increases funding for our commitments to American Indians and Alaska Natives – addressing public safety, health, and education, among other important services.
For rural communities that have nontaxable federal lands – and as a result face huge budget shortfalls that would hurt local government functions – the bill provides full funding for the Payments in Lieu of Taxes program.
This legislation also makes good use of the congressional power of the purse – cutting the EPA by $164 million and slashing its regulatory programs to help stop the Administration’s heavy-handed, onerous regulatory agenda.
Communities across the country rely on coal and other energy production for good jobs, and hard-working Americans expect reasonable energy bills to take care of their families. Relief from the EPA’s job-killing regulations is paramount to the economic growth that our country desperately needs right now – so I’m proud that the bill takes the necessary steps to cut this red tape.
This includes prohibiting funds to change the definitions of “waters” under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act or to enforce the proposed Stream Buffer rule. The legislation also bars the EPA from implementing new greenhouse gas regulations on power plants, and provides flexibility for states to implement new ozone standards.
In all, this is a balanced bill that invests taxpayer dollars in the right priorities and protects against the Administration’s harmful regulatory policies – helping to ensure a brighter future for our nation.
I urge my colleagues to vote “aye” on H.R. 5538.
Thank you, and I yield back.Read More
Mr. Chairman, I’m pleased to bring to the floor H.R. 5538, the Fiscal Year 2017 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bill.
As we begin, I want to personally thank Chairman Rogers for his leadership and support. I also want to thank my good friend and our ranking member, Ms. McCollum, for her partnership and work on this bill. Finally, I want to thank each of our Subcommittee Members for their assistance and hard work on the legislation before us.
The fiscal year 2017 Interior and Environment bill is funded at $32.095 billion which is $64 million below the FY16 enacted level and $1 billion below the budget request.
The Committee has provided robust wildland fire funding in this bill. Fire suppression accounts are again fully funded at the ten-year average level—which rose by $133 million from last year. The Committee has also addressed concerns about forest health and active forest management, and provided a $30 million increase for hazardous fuels.
This bill also makes critical investments in Indian Country. Overall, funding for the Bureaus of Indian Affairs and Education is increased by $72 million (or three percent), while funding for the Indian Health Service is increased by $271 million (or six percent) from fiscal year 2016 levels. This is the largest increase in this bill.
The bill also provides $2.9 billion for the National Park Service, including more than $65 million in new funding to address the maintenance backlog and other priorities related to the Park Service Centennial.
The bill provides $480 million to fully fund “Payments in Lieu of Taxes” (PILT) in fiscal year 2017.
We have also addressed a number of concerns within the Fish and Wildlife Service. The bill continues funding for popular cost-shared grant programs. It also provides additional funds to combat international wildlife trafficking; protects fish hatcheries from cuts and closures; continues funding to fight invasive species; and reduces the backlog of species that are recovered but not yet delisted.
The bill provides $322 million for Land and Water Conservation Fund programs that enjoy broad, bipartisan support.
Funding for EPA is reduced by $164 million from fiscal year 2016 enacted levels. Again this year, there is a great deal of concern over the number of regulatory actions being pursued by EPA in the absence of legislation and without clear congressional direction. For this reason, the bill includes a number of provisions to stop unnecessary and damaging regulatory overreach by the agency.
Before closing, I’d like to make an additional point about the challenges facing Flint, Michigan, and other communities across the country addressing lead in drinking water. This is an issue of great concern to Committee members. It is not a partisan issue.
What occurred in Flint has called greater attention to aging infrastructure and the need for prudent management and oversight of water systems. This bill provides targeted investments and prioritizes resources that will help the EPA and Michigan respond to Flint, and help other States and communities address the needs of their water systems.
The bill provides an increase of $207 million above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. It also includes $50 million for the new Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation (WIFIA) program which may be leveraged through direct Federal loans or loan guarantees to fund $3 to $5 billion worth of water infrastructure projects nationwide.
In addition, the bill provides increases for State grants for improved State oversight and operations of drinking water systems, and for communities to work on integrated plans for pipe replacement. The bill also directs the GAO to assess the number of lead service lines by State.
Lastly, the Committee is taking an additional step to provide relief to communities like Flint by including bill language that allows States to use State Revolving Fund dollars to forgive a portion of a community’s outstanding loans. This, and the other steps taken in this bill, will have a real impact.
Mr. Chairman, this is a good bill and it deserves Members’ support.
The House Appropriations Committee today approved the fiscal year 2017 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill.
The legislation targets funding to U.S. foreign policy priorities, including programs that will address instability around the world. The bill focuses funding on the protection of American embassies and consulates, and support for the security of U.S. allies and partners – particularly those in strategic and vulnerable areas, including countries in the Middle East, Latin America, and Africa, and European countries facing Russian aggression. The bill also provides critical humanitarian aid to war-torn and impoverished areas around the globe and dedicates funds to address health threats overseas before they reach the United States. In addition, the legislation contains strong oversight measures and reductions to nonessential or lower-priority international programs to protect and save taxpayer dollars.
In total, the bill provides $52 billion in both regular discretionary and Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding. This total is $595 million below the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $691 million below the President’s request for these programs. Within this amount, OCO funding totals $14.9 billion, equal to the fiscal year 2016 enacted level, which will support operations and assistance in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other areas of conflict and instability around the globe.
“Radical ideologies and threats to the American way of life continue to emerge around the globe, and it is essential that the United States continue a robust, multi-pronged plan to fight our enemies. This must include a strong national defense, increased homeland security, and effective diplomatic strategies,” Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said. “This bill will responsibly fund our security and diplomatic activities to advance this goal, provide support to our allies, and ultimately make our world safer and more humane.”
State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee Chairwoman Kay Granger said:
“In an increasingly dangerous and rapidly changing world, this national security bill prioritizes programs to ensure the security of the United States and our allies. ISIL and other terrorist organizations are a constant threat to Americans and our way of life. At the same time, we see Iran providing support to terrorists, China attempting to expand its territory, Russia continuing to take an aggressive posture toward its neighbors, and North Korea behaving in a dangerously unpredictable way. That is why we must use all the tools we have available to assert American leadership – through a strong national defense, as well as by supporting effective diplomatic and development programs,” Chairwoman Granger said. “This bill prioritizes funding for embassy security, democracy assistance, our strategic partners such as Israel, Jordan, and Ukraine, and life-saving health and humanitarian programs. Further, the bill spends less than last year by terminating or scaling back lower-priority programs and redirects those funds to higher priorities that promote our national security.”
The following amendments to the bill were adopted by the full committee today:
Rep. Granger – The manager’s amendment makes technical and noncontroversial changes to the bill and report. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
Rep. Dent – The amendment modifies the quorum requirement for the Export-Import Bank Board through September 30, 2019. This is needed for the Bank to approve certain transactions as three of the five Board positions are currently vacant. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
The bill was approved on a voice vote.
For a summary of the bill, please visit:
For the text of the bill, please visit:
For the bill report, please visit:
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