Committee on Appropriations

Hal Rogers

Chairman Rogers Floor Statement on H.R. 2822, the FY 2016 Interior Appropriations Bill

2015/06/25

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers gave the following statement in support of H.R. 2822, the Fiscal Year 2016 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill, on the House floor today:

"Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 2822, the Fiscal Year 2016 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill. 

"This legislation provides $30.17 billion in discretionary funding for programs that preserve and nurture our nation’s unique natural and cultural heritage. This fulfills our responsibility to the American taxpayers to provide funding for these important programs within a smart and sustainable budget.

"Our responsibility to the American taxpayers doesn’t end there, however. The people of this nation expect their government to act in a way that fosters economic development and job creation. This current Administration has been neglecting that duty, instead choosing to push a regulatory agenda that would create an environment hostile to economic growth, that would put our energy independence at risk, and that could cost thousands of hard-working Americans their jobs.

"So this bill takes the important steps to stop this harmful executive overreach. First and foremost, we limit funding for the Environmental Protection Agency – cutting its funding by 9 percent from last year. The bill also prohibits the EPA from implementing a litany of its egregious, expensive regulations, including applying new greenhouse gas regulations for power plants, updating existing ozone regulations, and changing the definitions of “navigable waters” and “fill material” – all of which could spell disaster for our economy.

"The bill also prevents the Bureau of Land Management from hampering economic growth by halting increases in oil and gas inspection fees, and from burdening ranchers with higher grazing fees.

"Provisions like these will help get the government out of the way of growth – preventing the overregulation and over-taxation of American business and industry, and keeping down manufacturing costs and utility bills for families across the country.

"In addition, this bill also focuses funding on other, important Department of the Interior and related programs. For instance, the bill creates a new $30 million program to help accelerate the reclamation of abandoned mine lands, boosting local community redevelopment.

"The bill also fulfills our moral and legal obligations to American Indians and Alaska Natives – increasing funding for programs that will help improve education systems, health facilities, and other infrastructure.

"And the bill prioritizes the prevention of and preparation for wildland fires, increasing funding for these programs bill-wide by $52 million.

"Overall, Mr. Speaker, we have a very fine appropriations bill before us today. I want to commend Chairman Calvert for his good work on this bill. He, the Ranking Member, and the Subcommittee have done a thorough job on this bill, and I am proud to support it. I also want to thank the staff for their work to bring this bill to the floor today.

"Before I close, I would like to take a moment to recognize one of my staff members, Mike Robinson, who will be moving on to greener pastures next week. Mike started working for me nearly 20 years ago and has had several tenures in my personal office. Four years ago, he joined the Appropriations Committee as Coalitions and Members Services Director. Many of my colleagues have gotten the chance to know Mike over these past four years. He has answered your questions, helped you offer amendments, and helped guide dozens of Appropriations bills to passage. He has been an integral part of the staff over the years, and we will miss him greatly when he departs. Thank you, Mike, for all of your hard work – we are very grateful.

"Mr. Speaker, this is an appropriations bill that puts our nation’s economy first. It preserves the role of the federal government, making sure the government is doing its job well – not in a way that intrudes into the lives of American businesses or the American people, but in a way that encourages our economy to grow and thrive. I urge my colleagues to support it today.

"Thank you, and I yield back."

 

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Chairman Calvert Floor Statement on H.R. 2822, the FY 2016 Interior Appropriations Bill

2015/06/25

House Appropriations Interior and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Ken Calvert gave the following statement  in support of H.R. 2822, the Fiscal Year 2016 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill, on the House floor today:

"Mr. Chairman, I’m pleased to bring to the floor H.R. 2822, the fiscal year 2016 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bill. 

"As we begin, I want to personally thank Chairman Rogers for his leadership and support.  Under his guidance, the Appropriations Committee is again setting the standard for getting things done in the House.  The Interior bill is the seventh appropriations bill to come to the floor so far this year.

"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 efforts and the collegiality that continues to be a hallmark of our Subcommittee’s deliberations.  Even though we may have differences of opinion within this bill, I greatly appreciate the Members’ constructive contributions—and I mean that sincerely.

"The Committee has made very difficult choices in preparing this bill.  As reported by the Appropriations Committee, the fiscal year 2016 Interior and Environment bill is funded at $30.17 billion which is $246 million below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $3 billion below the budget request. We have made a sincere effort to prioritize needs within our 302(b) allocation.  I would like to point out a few of the highlights.

"Again this year, the Committee has provided robust wildland fire funding.  Fire suppression accounts at the Department of the Interior and the Forest Service are fully funded at the ten-year average level.  The hazardous fuels program was increased by $75 million—to $526 million—in the fiscal year 2015 enacted bill and that increase has been maintained in this bill.

"This bill also continues critical investments in Indian Country—a non-partisan priority of the Subcommittee.  Building upon the bipartisan work of former Subcommittee Chairmen Mike Simpson, Jim Moran, and Norm Dicks, this bill continues to make investments in education, public safety, and health programs in Indian Country. Overall, funding for the Indian Health Service is increased by $145 million (or three percent), while funding for the Bureaus of Indian Affairs and Education is increased by $165 million (or six percent) from fiscal year 2015 levels—the largest percentage increase in this bill. 

"This bill provides full funding in fiscal year 2016 for the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program.  PILT payments are made to 49 of the 50 states, as well as to the District of Columbia, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

"The bill provides $2.7 billion for the National Park Service, including more than $60 million in new funding relating to the Centennial of the Park Service.  

"We have also addressed a number of priorities within the Fish and Wildlife Service accounts.  The bill funds popular cost-shared grant programs above fiscal year 2015 enacted levels.  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 de-listed.

"The bill provides $248 million for Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) programs that enjoy broad, bipartisan support.  Some Members would prefer more funding; others would prefer less funding for LWCF.  We have attempted to forge a middle ground that begins to return the emphasis of LWCF to its original intent of recreation, and State and local acquisitions. 

"Overall, funding for EPA is reduced by $718 million (or 9 percent) from fiscal year 2015 enacted levels.  Members from the Great Lakes region will be pleased to know that the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is maintained at the fiscal year 2015 enacted level of $300 million.  Rural water technical assistance grants and many categorical grants—including radon grants—are level funded at the fiscal year 2015 enacted level. 

"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 address the Endangered Species Act (ESA) provisions in this bill.  We have no interest in interfering with science or letting any species go extinct.  But, we are concerned about Federal regulatory actions lacking in basic fairness and common sense.  The provisions in this bill address problems created by an ESA driven—not by science—but by court orders that drain limited agency resources, and force the Department to cut corners to meet arbitrary deadlines.  Nowhere is this more evident than with sage-grouse.

"States are rightfully concerned that a listing, or unnecessarily restrictive Federal land use plans, will jeopardize existing conservation partnerships with States and private landowners. These partnerships are necessary to save both the sage-brush ecosystem and local economies. 

"So long as sage-grouse are not under imminent threat of extinction, cooperative conservation must be given a chance to work.  That is why this bill maintains a one-year delay on any decision to list sage-grouse, along with full funding to implement conservation efforts. 

"House consideration of this bill is the next step in a long legislative process.  I hope over the coming months we’ll come together—as we do each year—to find common ground.  In that spirit, I look forward to continuing to work with Ms. McCollum and the Members of the House on both sides of the aisle.

"In closing, I want to thank the staff on both sides for their hard work on this bill. On the minority side, I’d like to thank Rick Healy, Rita Culp, and Joe Carlile, as well as Rebecca Taylor.  They have played an integral role in the process and their efforts are very much appreciated.

"On the majority side, I’d like to thank the Subcommittee staff—Kristin Richmond, Jackie Kilroy, Betsy Bina (By-na), Jason Gray, Darren Benjamin, and Dave LesStrang.  I’d also like to thank Ian Foley, Rebecca Keightley, Alexandra Berenter, and Tricia Evans on my personal staff for their great work. 

"Mr. Chairman, this is a good bill and it deserves the support of the Members of this body."

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Appropriations Committee Approves the Fiscal Year 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services Funding Bill

2015/06/24

The House Appropriations Committee today approved the draft fiscal year 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services (LHHS) funding bill on a vote of 30-21. 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 $153 billion in discretionary funding, which is a reduction of $3.7 billion below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $14.6 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, as well as activities to ensure Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid services are efficient, effective, and accountable to those Americans they serve. While making these important investments, the bill reduces funding in lower-priority areas, and cuts ineffective or wasteful programs and agencies.

The legislation also contains several policy provisions to improve government oversight, protect the rights of all Americans, and bolster economic growth. These provisions will rein in unnecessary regulatory overreach that ties the hands of employers and undermines job creation, maintain longstanding life policies and constitutional protections, and ensure that taxpayer dollars are being appropriately spent. In addition, the legislation defunds existing ObamaCare programs and prohibits any new discretionary funding from being used to further implement ObamaCare. 

“The funding in this bill is targeted to programs that are proven to produce results. The American people rely on these investments for life-saving research, protection from deadly outbreaks and bio-attacks, safe workplaces, and effective education systems,” House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said. “In addition, great efforts were made to ensure none of the funding in the bill is spent wastefully or inappropriately. This includes terminating unnecessary programs, trimming back lower-priority areas, and preventing tax dollars from going toward extreme, intrusive regulations that have a net negative effect on this nation.”

“This is a fiscally responsible bill that reduces discretionary spending by nearly $4 billion. At the same time, by carefully reprioritizing where taxpayer dollars are spent, the bill increases funding for important programs that benefit the American people. Specifically, funding is targeted to the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, special education, Head Start, and a number of programs aimed at helping Native American youth. And through the inclusion of several important policy provisions, we have taken steps to rein in the excessive overreach of the Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board,” LHHS Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole said. “This bill reflects the values and priorities of the American taxpayer, setting us on a path that will reduce the deficit while funding programs that make meaningful differences in the lives of Americans.”

The following amendments to the FY 2016 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. Roybal-Allard – The amendment designates $750,000 in funding within the Children and Families Services Programs account to be used for a Child Poverty Study. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Kilmer – The amendment adds report language urging the Department of Education to provide clear and timely guidance to local school districts on how to calculate tax rates for the purposes of receiving certain types of federal aid. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Harris – The amendment prohibits funding to implement or enforce a National Labor Relations Board ruling that allows certain groups of employees within a larger company to form separate unions. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Kaptur – The amendment adds report language directing the Secretary of HHS, in consultation with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), to provide a report on certain prescription drug costs for Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA, as well as comparisons of these costs to other countries. In addition, it directs HHS to review and report on steps taken to competitively reduce prescription drug costs since 2001. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote. 

The bill was adopted on a vote of 30-21.

For a summary of the bill, please visit:

http://appropriations.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=394272

For the text of the bill, please visit:

http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-114hr-sc-ap-fy2016-laborhhs-subcommitteedraft.pdf

For the bill report, please visit:

http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/hrpt-114-hr-fy2016-laborhhsed.pdf

 

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RESCHEDULED: Full Committee Markup - FY 2016 Agriculture Appropriations Bill

2015/06/22

Purpose: FY 2016 Agriculture Appropriations Bill Read More

Full Committee Markup - FY 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Bill

2015/06/19

Purpose: FY 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Bill Read More

Appropriations Committee Approves Fiscal Year 2016 Financial Services Bill

2015/06/17

The House Appropriations Committee today approved the fiscal year 2016 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill on a vote of 30-20. The bill provides annual funding for the Treasury Department, the Judiciary, the Small Business Administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and several other agencies.

The bill totals $20.2 billion in funding – $1.3 billion below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $4.8 billion below the President’s budget request. With this funding, the legislation prioritizes critical national programs to enforce U.S. laws, maintain a fair and efficient judicial system, and help small businesses grow. In order to make these targeted investments, the bill reduces or eliminates lower-priority programs and cuts funding to poor-performing agencies – including an $838 million reduction to the Internal Revenue Service.

In addition, the bill includes several important policy provisions to rein in Administration overreach, cut bureaucratic red tape, and protect the rights of the American people. For example, the legislation includes provisions to stop the IRS from further implementing the individual mandate under ObamaCare, to protect the right to free speech and political involvement, and to prohibit the Federal Communications Commission from implementing a net-neutrality order.

“This bill covers a wide swath of programs that enable our federal government to do its job. From preserving an open and fair judicial system, to investing in small businesses that help our economy grow, this bill does a great deal of good work, and I am proud to support it today,” Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said. “The legislation also finds ways to rein in wasteful spending, targeting underperforming agencies for cuts that are both functional and commensurate with their actions.”

“Every day, Americans are making tough decisions about their own budgets and rightfully expect federal agencies to do the same. While it reflects a very tight budget, this bill makes investments to support economic growth and job creation through our small businesses, and to protect our citizens by strengthening the enforcement of laws and the administration of justice,” said Financial Services Subcommittee Chairman Ander Crenshaw. “In addition, the bill reduces funding for nonessential areas, and holds the Administration and the Internal Revenue Service more accountable to the taxpayer.”

The following amendments to the bill were adopted by the full committee today:

Rep. Crenshaw – The manager’s amendment makes technical and non-controversial changes to the bill and report. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Crenshaw – The amendment prohibits funding for the Financial Stability Oversight Council to designate non-banks as “systemically important financial institutions,” thereby imposing new regulations on their activities, without allowing non-banks to change their business practices prior to final designation. The amendment was adopted on a vote of 31-19.

Rep. Fattah – The amendment restores mail delivery standards to the July 1, 2012 level. The amendment was adopted on a vote of 26-23.

Rep. Culberson – The amendment prohibits funding for the IRS to audit a faith-based 501(c)3 organization, unless the audit is approved the IRS Commissioner.  The amendment was adopted on a vote of 30-19.

Rep. Womack – The amendment prohibits funding for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to issue a final rule on the use of arbitration until the Bureau conducts a thorough study. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Quigley – The amendment adds report language encouraging GSA to incorporate bird safe materials and design features for GSA-owned federal buildings. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Harris – The amendment stops the FCC  “joint sales agreements” rule for fiscal year 2016, which will allow local media outlets to continue to share equipment and advertising between stations. The amendment was adopted on a vote of 38-11.

Rep. Harris – The amendment prohibits funding for abortions through OPM-negotiated “multi-state qualified health plans” offered under Obamacare. The amendment was adopted on a vote of 29-18.

Rep. Palazzo – The amendment prohibits the District of Columbia from using federal or local funds to implement or enforce the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act. The amendment was adopted on a vote of 28-22.

The bill was approved on a vote of 30-20.

For a summary of the bill, please visit: http://appropriations.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=394251

For the text of the bill, please visit:

http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-114hr-sc-ap-fy2016-fservices-subcommitteedraft.pdf

For the bill report, please visit:

http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/hrpt-114-hr-fy2016-fservices.pdf

 

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Appropriations Committee Releases the Fiscal Year 2016 Agriculture Appropriations Bill

2015/06/17

The House Appropriations Committee today released the fiscal year 2016 Agriculture Appropriations bill, which will be considered in subcommittee tomorrow. The proposed legislation funds important agricultural and food programs and services, including food and medical product safety, animal and plant health programs, rural development and farm services, marketplace oversight, and nutrition programs.

The bill totals $20.65 billion in discretionary funding, which is $175 million lower (1 percent) than the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $1.1 billion below the President’s budget request. Including both discretionary and mandatory funding for various nutrition programs, the overall bill totals $143.9 billion. The legislation targets this funding to national programs that have the most benefit to the American people and the U.S. economy, while reducing inefficient, wasteful, or lower-priority programs and agencies. In addition, the bill contains several policy provisions to rein in regulatory overreach, such as unnecessary red tape that harms the livelihoods of farmers and ranchers and that impedes growth in vital U.S. industries. 

“This bill prioritizes funding on programs that support the health of our rural communities, the ability of our farmers and ranchers to put safe, cost-effective food on our tables, and the advancement and reliability of drugs and medical devices that save lives,” House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said. “And by stopping harmful and excessive regulations, the legislation also ensures that our food, drug, and financial industries remain the best in the world – helping to keep our nation strong and prosperous.”

“The engine that drives the American economy is not necessarily built in factories but grown on American farms,” said Agriculture Subcommittee Chairman Robert Aderholt. "This bill puts resources to work in areas that not only help farmers, ranchers, and growers everywhere, but also supports rural economic development and infrastructure.”

Bill Highlights:

The legislation focuses investments in programs that bolster U.S. agriculture, support rural communities, maintain food and drug safety, ensure sound markets, and provide nutrition for children, families, and seniors. In total, the bill provides $143.9 billion in both discretionary and mandatory funding – $3.2 billion below the President’s request and $3.8 billion below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level. Discretionary funding alone in the bill is $20.65 billion, $175 million below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level.

Agricultural Research The bill provides $2.7 billion for agriculture research programs, including the Agricultural Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. This funding will support research to help mitigate and stop devastating crop diseases, improve food safety and water quality, and combat antimicrobial resistance. This also includes important research investments in U.S. land-grant colleges and universities.

Animal and Plant Health – The legislation includes $871 million – $15 million above the President’s budget request and approximately the same as the fiscal year 2015 enacted level – for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. This funding will support programs to help control or eradicate plant and animal pests and diseases that can be crippling to U.S. producers. The increase will help address harmful outbreaks of citrus greening and highly pathogenic avian influenza.   

Conservation Programs – The bill provides $840 million to help farmers, ranchers, and private forest landowners conserve and protect their land. This includes $6 million in infrastructure rehabilitation funding to help small communities meet current safety standards for watershed projects.

Farm Service Agency (FSA) The legislation provides $1.5 billion for FSA, which is approximately the same as the fiscal year 2015 level and the President’s budget request. This funding will support the various farm, conservation, and emergency loan programs, and will help American farmers and ranchers with the implementation of the farm bill.

Rural Development The bill provides a total of $2.5 billion for rural development programs, which is $86 million above the fiscal year 2015 enacted level. These programs help create an environment for economic growth by supporting basic rural infrastructure, providing loans to increase opportunities for rural businesses and industries, and helping balance the playing field in local rural housing markets.

  • Business and Industry Loans – The legislation includes a loan level of $920 million –the same as the fiscal year 2015 enacted level – for the rural business and industry loan program. This funding will help small businesses in rural areas, many of which face unique challenges due to local economic conditions.
  • Rural Infrastructure – The legislation includes responsible investments in infrastructure needs to help rural areas of the country access basic utilities. This includes $1.25 billion – the same as the fiscal year 2015 enacted level – for rural water and waste program loans, and $474 million for grants and costs, an increase of $9 million above current levels. In addition, $6.2 billion is provided for rural electric and telephone infrastructure loans, the same level as fiscal year 2015.
  • Rural Housing Loans and Rental Assistance – The bill provides a total of $24 billion in loan authority for the Single Family Housing guaranteed loan program, which is equal to the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and the President’s request. In addition, the bill includes $900 million in direct loans – the same as the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and the President’s request. These loans provide low-income rural families – many of whom would have few loan options for purchasing a home because of their geographical location – with home loan assistance. In addition, $1.2 billion, an increase of $79 million above current levels, is provided for rental assistance for affordable rental housing for low-income families and the elderly in rural communities.

Food Safety and Inspection Service The legislation includes $1 billion for food safety and inspection programs – approximately the same as the 2015 enacted level. These mandatory inspection activities help ensure the safety and productivity of the country’s $186 billion meat and poultry industry, and keep safe, healthy food on American tables. The funding provided will maintain more than 8,000 frontline inspection personnel for meat, poultry, and egg products at more than 6,400 facilities across the country. 

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) The FDA receives a total of almost $2.6 billion in discretionary funding in the bill, an increase of $30 million over the fiscal year 2015 enacted level. Total funding for the FDA, including revenue from user fees, is $4.6 billion – $106 million above fiscal year 2015. Within this total, food safety activities are increased by $41.5 million, and medical product safety activities are increased by $4.2 million. 

The bill also includes a policy provision delaying the implementation of a new menu labeling regulation by a year, to give restaurants, local supermarkets, grocery stores, and similar retail establishments adequate time to comply with the law.

Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) – Included in the bill is $250 million for the CFTC, the same as the 2015 enacted level and $72 million below the President’s budget request. 

International Programs – The legislation contains $1.8 billion for overseas food aid and to promote U.S. agricultural exports. This includes $1.4 billion – a $17 million increase above the President’s request – for “Food for Peace” grants, and the requested level for the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition program. These programs seek to reduce chronic hunger and increase food security by providing American-grown food, transported by U.S. ships, to foreign countries in need of aid.

Food and Nutrition Programs – The legislation contains discretionary funding, as well as mandatory funding required by law, for food and nutrition programs within the Department of Agriculture. This includes funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and the Child Nutrition programs. The bill also includes a policy provision that will ensure any new USDA Dietary Guidelines focus only on food and nutrients and have a sound scientific evidence base.

  • Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) The bill provides $6.5 billion in discretionary funding for WIC, which is $139 million below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and the President’s request. The reduction reflects USDA’s estimates of declining enrollments in the program, and will not prevent any eligible participant from receiving benefits. The legislation also includes $55 million for management information systems and for states to transfer from paper vouchers to a more efficient electronic benefit transfer (EBT) system that will help identify waste or abuse within the program.
  • Child nutrition programs – The bill provides for $21.5 billion in required mandatory funding – which is outside the discretionary funding jurisdiction of the Appropriations Committee – for child nutrition programs. This is $207 million above the fiscal year 2015 enacted level. This funding will provide free or reduced-price school lunches and snacks for 30.3 million children who qualify for the program. The bill continues existing provisions that allow schools demonstrating a financial hardship to seek an exemption from the whole grain nutrition standards, and prevents the implementation of further sodium reduction standards until the latest scientific research establishes the reduction is beneficial for children.
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – The bill provides for $81.7 billion in required mandatory spending – which is outside the discretionary funding jurisdiction of the Appropriations Committee – for SNAP. This is $184 million below last year’s level and $2 billion below the President’s budget request, due to declining enrollment. The total includes $3 billion for the SNAP reserve fund, $2 billion below the President’s request, which is used to cover any unexpected participation increases. In addition, the bill includes provisions to increase congressional oversight of administrative activities and expenses, such as nutrition research and evaluations.

 

For the text of the subcommittee draft bill please visit: http://appropriations.house.gov/UploadedFiles/BILLS-114HR-SC-AP-FY2016-Agriculture-SubcommitteeDraft.pdf

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Appropriations Committee Approves Fiscal Year 2016 Interior and Environment Bill

2015/06/16

The House Appropriations Committee today approved the fiscal year 2016 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill, on a vote of 30-21. 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 includes $30.17 billion in base funding, a decrease of $246 million below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and a reduction of $3 billion below the President’s request. Included is $452 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 $3.6 billion for the Department of the Interior and U.S. Forest Service to prevent and combat devastating wildfires.   

In addition, the legislation contains several policy provisions to stop job-crushing bureaucratic red tape and regulations at federal agencies – such as the EPA – that stymie growth, hurt businesses both large and small, and damage the U.S. economy.

“This bill supports important Department of Interior and environment programs that protect and promote our natural resources within a responsible, sustainable budget,” Chairman Hal Rogers said. “The bill also preserves the role of the federal government – making sure that the government is doing its job well, while ensuring that it is not harmful or intrusive into the lives of the American people or our economy.”

“This bill represents difficult decisions to allocate resources to important federal programs, while operating under a tight budget caused by the Administration’s unwillingness to address our national debt,” Interior Subcommittee Chairman Ken Calvert said. “In addition, the bill takes meaningful steps to shield our economy and defend American jobs from the executive overreach of EPA regulators, provides significant funding for our national resources, and fulfills our commitment to the needs of Indian Country. And, as a Californian, I have seen firsthand how devastating earthquakes can be, so the bill prioritizes funding for the potentially-lifesaving Earthquake Early Warning System.”

The following amendments to the bill were adopted by the full committee today:

Rep. Calvert – The Manager’s amendment makes technical and non-controversial changes to the bill and report. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Reps. Visclosky –The amendment changes bill language requiring that all iron and steel used in water infrastructure projects be sourced within the United States. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Amodei – The amendment adds report language clarifying the process for products to be designated as “made in America.” The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Jenkins – The amendment prohibits funding for the EPA to implement or administer updates to existing ozone regulations. The amendment was adopted on a vote of 31-20.

Rep. Cole – The amendment prohibits funding to implement, administer, or enforce a final rule titled "Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands." The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Valadao – The amendment adds report language relating to the Delta Smelt and directs the Fish and Wildlife Service to complete a five-year status review of the species, as required by law. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote. 

The bill was approved on a vote of 30-21.

For a summary of the bill, please visit:

http://appropriations.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=394247

For the text of the bill, please visit:

http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-114hr-fc-ap-fy2016-ap00-interior.pdf

For the bill report, please visit:

http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/hrpt-114-hr-fy2016-interior.pdf

 

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Appropriations Committee Releases the Fiscal Year 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services Funding Bill

2015/06/16

The House Appropriations Committee today released the draft fiscal year 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services (LHHS) funding bill, which will be considered in subcommittee tomorrow. 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 $153 billion in discretionary funding, which is a reduction of $3.7 billion below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $14.6 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, as well as activities to ensure Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid services are efficient, effective, and accountable to those Americans they serve. While making these important investments, the bill reduces funding in lower-priority areas, and cuts ineffective or wasteful programs and agencies.

The legislation also contains several policy provisions to improve government oversight, protect the rights of all Americans, and bolster economic growth. These provisions will rein in unnecessary regulatory overreach that ties the hands of employers and undermines job creation, maintain longstanding life policies and constitutional protections, and ensure that taxpayer dollars are being appropriately spent. In addition, the legislation defunds existing ObamaCare programs and prohibits any new discretionary funding from being used to further implement ObamaCare. 

“This legislation continues our efforts to reduce wasteful spending, to stop harmful and unnecessary regulations that kill jobs and impede economic growth, and to make wise investments in proven programs on behalf of the American taxpayer,” House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said. “This bill fulfills these goals, funding cutting-edge medical research, education for disabled children, veterans’ programs, community health centers, Meals on Wheels, and charter schools. At the same time, the bill reflects careful consideration of every program, cutting the fat and making the most of every dollar.”

“This is a fiscally responsible bill that reduces discretionary spending by nearly $4 billion. At the same time, by carefully reprioritizing where taxpayer dollars are spent, the bill increases funding for important programs that benefit the American people. Specifically, funding is targeted to the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, special education, Head Start, and a number of programs aimed at helping Native American youth. And through the inclusion of several important policy provisions, we have taken steps to rein in the excessive overreach of the Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board,” LHHS Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole said. “This bill reflects the values and priorities of the American taxpayer, setting us on a path that will reduce the deficit while funding programs that make meaningful differences in the lives of Americans.”

Bill Summary:

Defunding ObamaCare – The legislation contains several provisions to stop the implementation of ObamaCare – including rescinding prior-year mandatory funds and prohibiting the use of any new discretionary funding to implement ObamaCare.

Protecting Life – The bill contains several provisions to protect life, including continuations of all longstanding restrictions on abortion funding that have been included in the legislation in prior years. The legislation also includes the text of the “Health Care Conscience Rights Act.”

Department of Labor (DoL) – The bill provides a total of $11.7 billion for DoL – $206 million below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $1.4 billion below the President’s request. 

  • Employment Training Administration (ETA) – The legislation provides the ETA with $9.5 billion – a decrease of $196 million (2 percent) below last year’s level and $1 billion (9.8 percent) below the President’s request. State and local workforce training and development programs are prioritized and maintained at fiscal year 2015 enacted levels. The bill also provides responsible, adequate funding for labor enforcement and benefit protection agencies to fulfill their core missions.
  • Job Corps – The bill provides $1.7 billion for Job Corps, which is the same as the fiscal year 2015 level. This program helps unemployed young Americans receive education, job training, and employment assistance.
  • Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) – The bill provides $271 million for VETS, which is $1.1 million above the fiscal year 2015 level and the same as the President’s request.
  • Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) – MSHA is funded at $371 million in the legislation, $4.9 million below the fiscal year 2015 level and $23.9 million below the budget request.
  • Reducing Harmful Red Tape – The legislation includes several provisions designed to help U.S. businesses create jobs and grow the economy by reducing or eliminating overly burdensome government regulations. Some of these include:
    • A provision providing flexibility in the H-2B program;
    • A provision prohibiting regulatory changes to the definition of the term “Fiduciary”;
    • A provision restricting the interpretation of laws and regulations governing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) “walkaround” inspections.

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) – The bill includes a total of $71.3 billion for HHS, an increase of $298 million above last year’s level and $3.9 billion below the President’s budget request. The legislation targets funds to proven programs with the most national benefit, while reducing spending in lower-priority areas.  Within this amount, the bill includes:

  • Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) The bill includes over $6 billion for HRSA – $299 million below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $413 million below the President’s budget request. The bill eliminates all funding for the controversial Family Planning Program, saving taxpayers nearly $300 million.

    Within the total, the bill provides nearly $1.5 billion for Community Health Centers, which is the same as the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and the request. The bill also provides $265 million for the Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education program – equal to the fiscal year 2015 enacted level, and $165 million more than the request. Additionally, the legislation includes $102 million for the Healthy Start program – the same as the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and the budget request. 
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – The legislation includes a total of $7 billion for the CDC – $140 million above the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and equal to the budget request. This includes $6.1 billion in appropriated funds, as well as $914.3 million in transfers from the Prevention and Public Health (PPH) Fund.

    Within this total, the bill provides $70 million – $50 million above the fiscal year 2015 level and $2 million above the budget request – to expand efforts to combat prescription drug abuse. The bill also increases funding for CDC’s Public Health Preparedness and Response by $108 million over last year’s level – providing a total of $1.56 billion – to ensure that the Strategic National Stockpile and State and Local Preparedness capacity is adequate.  These programs provide supplies and response efforts in the event of a bioterror attack or pandemic disease emergency.
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) – The bill provides a total $31.2 billion for the NIH, $1.1 billion above the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $100 million above the President’s budget request.

    Within this funding, the legislation includes $165 million to support activities for the National Children’s Study, $480.6 million for Clinical and Translational Sciences Awards, and $311.8 million for Institutional Development Awards (IDeA) programs.

    The bill also provides increases for several targeted research initiatives, including $886 million, a $300 million increase, for an Alzheimer’s disease research initiative; $461 million, a $100 million increase, for an antibiotic resistance initiative; $150 million, an $85 million increase, for the Brain Research through Application of Innovative Neuro-technologies (BRAIN) initiative; and the full $200 million requested for the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI).
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) – The bill funds SAMHSA at $3.6 billion – $23 million above the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $21 million below the President’s budget request. The Substance Abuse Block Grant is funded at $1.8 billion – the same as the fiscal year 2015 level.

    The bill provides $45 million – a $13.1 million increase – for services that address prescription drug abuse and heroin use in high-risk communities. Criminal justice activities receive $78 million – equal to the fiscal year 2015 level – including $60 million (a $10 million increase) for drug court funding.

    The legislation maintains a prohibition on federal funds for the purchase of syringes or sterile needles, but allows communities with rapid increases in cases of HIV and Hepatitis to access federal funds for other activities, including substance use counseling and treatment referrals.
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) – The recommendation provides $3.3 billion for CMS management and operations, which is $344 million below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $919 million below the budget request. The bill does not include additional funding to implement ObamaCare programs, and prohibits funds for the new “Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight” and “Navigators” programs.
  • Administration for Children and Families (ACF) – The bill provides $17.8 billion in discretionary funding for ACF, which is $50 million above the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $1.9 billion below the President’s budget request. The Head Start program receives $8.8 billion, a $192 million increase, of which $150 million is targeted to Early Head Start and $42 million to a 0.5 percent Cost-of-Living Allowance (COLA) increase for Head Start Grantees. The Family Violence Prevention and Battered Women’s Shelters program is funded at $145 million – a $10 million increase.
  • Administration for Community Living (ACL) – The bill funds ACL at $1.9 billion, which is $261 million above the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $161 million below the President’s budget request. The bulk of the increase supports the transition programs under the “Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act” from the Department of Education to ACL, and the transfer of the Traumatic Brain Injury program from HRSA to ACL. The bill also provides $441 million – a $2.5 million increase – for Congregate Meals, and $220 million – a $3.5 million increase – for the Meals on Wheels program. 
  • The bill contains a provision ensuring any new HHS Dietary Guidelines focus only on food and nutrients and have a sound scientific evidence base.

Department of Education – The bill funds the Department of Education at $64.4 billion, which is $2.8 billion below the fiscal year 2015 level and $6.4 billion below the President’s budget request. The bill eliminates 19 duplicative, ineffective, or unauthorized education programs, and makes reductions to several other lower-priority programs.

  • Special Education – The bill includes $12 billion for IDEA special education grants to states, an increase of more than $500 million over the fiscal year 2015 enacted level, which will increase the federal share of special education funding to states from 16 percent to 17 percent.
  • Charter Schools Program – The bill includes an increase of $22 million over the fiscal year 2015 enacted level for grants to support the creation of new charter schools, for a total of $275 million.
  • Pell Grants – The maximum Pell Grant award is increased to $5,915, funded by a combination of discretionary and mandatory funds.
  • Impact Aid – The bill provides nearly $1.3 billion for Impact Aid, an increase of $10 million above the current enacted level.
  • Policy Provisions – The bill also includes several policy provisions, including prohibitions on the Department of Education from moving forward with regulations to establish a college ratings system, place new requirements on teacher preparation, define “gainful employment” and “credit hour,” and dictate how states must license institutions of higher education.
Other Related Agencies –
  • Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) – The bill includes $687.8 million for CNCS – maintaining funding for Senior Corps and AmeriCorps VISTA at the fiscal year 2015 level.  The bill also provides funding to maintain competitive AmeriCorps state and national grants.
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) – The bill provides an advance appropriation of $445 million for CPB for fiscal year 2018, which is the same level of advance funding provided in the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and the budget request. 
  • National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) – The bill includes $200 million for the NLRB – a decrease of $74.2 million (27 percent) below last year’s level and $78 million (28 percent) below the President’s budget request.

    In addition, the legislation includes several policy provisions to stop the NLRB’s harmful anti-business regulations that would impose additional and excessive costs on American businesses, increase job loss, and further hinder economic growth. Some of these provisions include: a prohibition on use of electronic voting in union elections; a prohibition on implementing new regulations on representation-case procedures; a prohibition on issuing new joint-employer standards; and a prohibition on exercising jurisdiction over Indian tribes.
  • Social Security Administration (SSA) – The bill provides $11.8 billion to administer SSA activities –an increase of $12 million over the fiscal year 2015 level – to ensure those served by the program receive efficient and timely assistance and services.

To view the draft bill, please visit: http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-114hr-sc-ap-fy2016-laborhhs-subcommitteedraft.pdf

 

 

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Subcommittee Markup - FY 2016 Agriculture Appropriations Bill

2015/06/15

Purpose: Mark Up Appropriations Bill, FY 2016 Read More

Subcommittee Markup - FY 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Bill

2015/06/12

Purpose: Mark Up Appropriations Bill, FY 2016 Read More

Full Committee Markup - FY 2016 Financial Service and General Government Appropriations Bill

2015/06/12

Purpose: FY 2016 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Bill Read More

House Passes Fiscal Year 2016 Defense Appropriations Bill

2015/06/11

The U.S. House today approved the fiscal year 2016 Defense Appropriations bill (H.R. 2685) on a vote of 278-149. The legislation funds critical national security needs, military operations abroad, and health and quality-of-life programs for the men and women of the Armed Forces and their families.

In total, the bill provides $578.6 billion in discretionary funding, an increase of $24.4 billion above the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $800 million above the President’s request. This includes $88.4 billion in Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) funding for war efforts and related costs, which is within the level assumed in the House and Senate budget conference agreement.

“Above all else, we must provide for the national defense of the United States. Nothing can exist – not our domestic government programs, not our private enterprise, and not our freedoms – without ensuring that basic need is met. Our national security is far too important to fall victim to political games. We cannot risk having an underfunded military during these uncertain times, and our troops deserve unfailing support as they lay their lives on the line,” Chairman Hal Rogers said. “This bill fulfills our responsibilities to properly fund programs for our warfighters, our military families, our national security, and for the success of our missions both now and in the future.”

For House adopted amendments to H.R. 2685, please visit:

http://appropriations.house.gov/UploadedFiles/06.11.15_FY_2016_Defense_Bill_-_Floor_Adopted_Amendments.pdf

For a bill summary, please visit:

http://appropriations.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=394214

For the text of the bill, please visit:

https://www.congress.gov/114/bills/hr2685/BILLS-114hr2685rh.pdf

For the bill report, please visit:

https://www.congress.gov/114/crpt/hrpt139/CRPT-114hrpt139.pdf

 

 

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Appropriations Committee Approves Fiscal Year 2016 State and Foreign Operations Bill

2015/06/11

The House Appropriations Committee today approved the fiscal year 2016 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill on a voice vote. The legislation funds the State Department and foreign assistance – prioritizing funding for American security efforts abroad, as well as critical humanitarian aid to areas facing war, conflict, and instability. The bill also supports activities to increase stability and security in areas such as the Middle East, Ukraine, and Latin America, and targets funds to embassy security, global health, refugee, and democracy programs. In order to make these focused investments, the bill reduces funds in nonessential or lower-priority areas.

In total, the bill provides $47.8 billion in both regular discretionary and Global War on Terror (GWOT) funding. This total is $1.4 billion below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $6.1 billion below the President’s request for these programs. Within this amount, GWOT funding totals $7.3 billion – $1.9 billion below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level – to support operations and programs in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, to provide emergency humanitarian relief, and to promote counterterrorism and stabilization efforts in critical areas around the globe. 

“This bill rightly prioritizes national security – providing critical aid to our strategic allies, securing key diplomatic outposts, and investing in programs that will grow democracy across the world. This funding will help find and defeat terrorists, prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons, support peacekeeping operations, and fight drug trafficking,” Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said. “The bill also helps build democracy worldwide – targeting funds to life-saving development, global health, and humanitarian aid programs.”

State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee Chairwoman Kay Granger said:

“This legislation is first and foremost a national security bill. We live in an increasingly dangerous world where terrorist groups threaten the United States, our allies and partners, and our way of life. We see Russia and China continuing to assert territorial ambitions against its neighbors, and the threat of a nuclear Iran and its support and financing of terrorists is real,” Chairwoman Granger said. “The United States must do more to lead on the world’s stage. This bill addresses challenges head-on and demonstrates our commitment to programs that promote global security and American prosperity.”

The following amendment to the bill was adopted by the full committee today:

Rep. Granger – The manager’s amendment makes technical and non-controversial changes to the bill and report. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

The bill was approved on a voice vote.

For a summary of the bill, please visit:

http://appropriations.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=394231

For the text of the bill, please visit:

http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-114hr-sc-ap-fy2016-stateforop-subcommitteedraft.pdf

For the bill report, please visit:

http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/hrpt-114-hr-fy2016-stateforop.pdf

 

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Full Committee Markup - FY 2016 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill

2015/06/11

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Defense Chairman Frelinghuysen Floor Statement on H.R. 2685, the FY 2016 Defense Appropriations Bill

2015/06/10

House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen today spoke on the House floor in support of H.R. 2685, the FY 2016 Defense Appropriations bill.

His statement follows:

"Mr. Chairman, as I rise to present to the House the Appropriations Committee’s recommendation for the fiscal year 2016 Department of Defense Appropriations bill, there are nearly 200,000 servicemen and women serving abroad, doing the work of freedom on every continent – (in the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Asia).

"And, many more are here at home serving in every one of our states – Active, Guard and Reserves – all volunteers! We are grateful to them and their families!

"They are certainly not all experts in some of the language and terms that will be part of our vocabulary during this debate over the next 36 hours -phrases like 'sequester' and 'continuing resolution,' 'BCA,' 'Overseas Contingency Account,' and 'Global War on Terrorism GWOT account.'

"But they have every expectation that they will have our united support for this bill whether they serve aboard a ship, fly through airspace or provide 'over-watch' on land to support a mission. 

"This legislation was developed after 12 hearings, many briefings, travel to the Middle East and Europe and countless staff hours with those who serve us, military and civilians, very much in mind.

"This is a product of a very bipartisan and cooperative effort, for which I thank my good friend, the Ranking Member Pete Visclosky. We are both fortunate to have committee members who are engaged and committed so much to this product. And we are grateful for the support of Chairman Rogers and Ranking Member Lowey.

"In total, the bill provides just over $578 billion in discretionary funding, an increase of $24.4 billion above the FY 2015 enacted level. This topline includes $88.4 billion in Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) funding for war efforts and is at the level assumed in the House-Senate budget conference agreement.

"I would point out our House total is very close to the number President Obama submitted in his FY ’16 budget request for national defense. Of course, the base funding recommendation is just over $490 billion, which reflect the budget caps enacted in 2011 as part of the Budget Control Act.

"To reach our reduced allocation, we reviewed in detail the President’s submission and found areas and programs where reductions were possible without harming military operations, warfighter readiness, or critical modernization efforts. And please be assured we made every dollar count.

"To do so, we’ve taken reductions from programs that have been restructured or terminated, subject to contract or schedule delays, contain unjustified cost increases or funding requested “ahead of need;” historical under-execution and rescissions of unneeded funds.

"Of course, our bill keeps faith with our troops and their families by including a 2.3 percent pay raise, a full percentage point above the President’s request.

"It also provides generous funding to (their) benefits and critical defense health programs.

"In another key area, this package contains robust funding to counter serious worldwide cyber threats – now an everyday occurrence.

"But I think we would all agree that the world is a much more dangerous, unstable and unpredictable place than it was in 2011 when the Budget Control Act was signed into law by President Obama.

"The budget caps developed back then could never have envisioned the emerging and evolving threats that we’re seeing today in the Middle East, North Africa, Asia, eastern Europe and elsewhere.

"So, to respond to current and future threats, and meet our Constitutional responsibilities to provide for the common defense, we developed a bill that adheres to current law and provides additional resources to avoid catastrophic cuts to military programs and people.

"Those additional resources are included in Title 9 – the Global War on Terrorism account. And that account has been carefully vetted to assure its war-related uses.

"Our Subcommittee scrubbed the President’s base budget request for this year and past budget requests and identified those systems and programs that are absolutely connected to our ongoing fight against threats presented by ISIL. Al Qaeda, al Nusra, the Korasan Group, Boko Haram and other radical terrorist organizations, including the Iranian Quds Force.

"We also projected what resources the military and intelligence community will need to meet the ongoing challenge of nation-state aggressors like Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and others.

"Not surprisingly, we have heard objections about the use of Title 9 to boost our topline national security spending in this bill. Frankly, I do not believe there is anyone on either side of the Capitol who believes this should be our first “Go-To” option. Rather, it’s a process we undertake as a last resort to make sure our troops can answer the call amid a worsening threat environment.

"Again, we have been very careful about what went into this Global War on Terrorism account. We resisted the temptation to simply transfer large portions of the base bill’s Operations and Maintenance accounts into GWOT. We painstakingly worked to provide the needed resources for the preparation of our forces in the field, wherever a crisis may exist or develop in the future, like the current unfolding disaster which is Iraq!

"In a recent Statement of Administration Policy, the White House asserted that GWOT funding – the old OCO account – is a 'funding mechanism intended to pay for wars…'

"I could not agree more and that’s why we reinforced GWOT funding to provide President Obama with funding he needs to lead us as our Commander-in-Chief.

"Within the GWOT account, I want to highlight two areas of critical importance: ISR and readiness. We believe that a strong Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capability is a critical component of the Global War on Terrorism. And yet, a succession of Combatant Commanders have testified that only a fraction of their ISR requirements are being met, in essence, leaving them blind to the enemy’s activities, movements and intentions.

"Accordingly, the GWOT account contains an additional $500 million above the President’s 2016 request to improve our ISR capabilities - procurement of additional ISR aircraft and ground stations, the training of ISR pilots and other personnel and the processing of ISR-derived data.  

"Likewise, we share the concern of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines about the erosion in overall readiness in the force.

"So to begin to re-invest in readiness, Title 9 includes an additional $2.5 billion above the President’s request for this purpose – to be distributed to all the services and to the Guard and Reserves. I would add that this sum must be detailed and justified to Congress 30 days before it is spent.

"Again, this bill is structured to give the President the tools he needs to act. For example, when he does finally develop a long-awaited, “complete” and comprehensive strategy to combat ISIL and other terror groups, we’ve provided in this bill the resources he will need to execute his plans.

"I think we’d all agree that America must lead and this bill enables that leadership.

"Mr. Chairman, I will allow myself a closing thought:

"The Washington Post recently editorialized on the Defense Authorization bill that 'there isn’t much bipartisan governance left in Washington, but if anything fits that description, it’s probably the annual defense' bill.

"Like the work of our predecessors, this measure has been developed with the full cooperation of Republicans and Democrats on our Committee with our excellent staff led by our Clerk Rob Blair and his minority counterpart, Becky Leggieri.

"Past Defense Subcommittee Chairmen Young, Dicks, Murtha and Lewis, and others, consistently reminded us that we are here for the defense of the nation and partisan politics has no place in a defense appropriations bill.

"As Members of Congress, our first duty is to 'provide for the common defence.' It is on our shoulders to make sure our troops can dominate any and every battlefield upon which they march.

"Make no mistake: we want to work with the President and this recommendation provides him with the tools he needs to fulfill his responsibilities as Commander-in-Chief!

"Mr. Chairman, this bill deserves bipartisan support and after many hours of productive debate, I look forward to a bipartisan vote outcome.

"Our troops deserve it. Our national security requires it. Our adversaries need to see it.

"I reserve the balance of my time."

 

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Subcommittee Markup - FY 2016 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Bill

2015/06/08

Purpose: Mark Up Appropriations Bill, FY 2016 Read More

Subcommittee Markup - FY 2016 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill

2015/06/03

Purpose: Mark Up Appropriations Bill, FY 2016 Read More

Full Committee Markup - FY 2016 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill

2015/06/03

Purpose: FY 2016 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill Read More

Subcommittee Markup - FY 2016 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill

2015/05/26

Purpose: Mark Up Appropriations Bill, FY 2016 Read More

Contact Information

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appropriations.house.gov


Membership

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