H.R. 2112 Conference Report: The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012

H.R. 2112

The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012

Sponsor
Rep. Hal Rogers

Date
November 17, 2011 (112th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Thursday, November 17, 2011, the House is scheduled to consider the conference report accompanying H.R. 2112, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2012, under a rule.  The bill was introduced on June 3, 2011, by Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) as the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2012. On June 16, 2011, the bill was approved in the House by a vote of 217-203. The legislation was amended in the Senate and approved by a vote of 69-30 on November 1, 2011.  On November 3, 2011, the House approved a motion to instruct conferees and on November 14, 2011, House and Senate conferees reported the underlying legislation.

Bill Summary

The conference report on H.R. 2112 would provide a total of $128 billion in discretionary appropriations to provide funding for three FY 2012 appropriations bills: Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science, and the Transportation-Housing and Urban Development.  In addition, the legislation would provide short-term appropriated funding for discretionary government operations at current levels through December 16, 2011.  Under a continuing resolution (CR) approved at the end of FY 2011, discretionary appropriations are set to expire on November 18, 2011.

 

Known as the “Mini-bus,” the conference report would provide $128 billion in non-emergency discretionary budget authority for three appropriations bills, including $19.77 billion for Agriculture appropriations, $52.74 billion for Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS), and $55.55 billion for Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (THUD).  In addition, the legislation includes $2.3 billion in emergency disaster relief funding which is not subject to statutory discretionary spending caps under the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA).  The conference agreement for the three bills upholds the non-emergency base discretionary level of $1.043 trillion as agreed to in the BCA.

 

Division A - Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration Appropriations

 

TITLE I—Agricultural Programs

 

Farm Services Agency:  The bill would provide $1.198 billion for the Farm Services Agency, which administers the USDA's farm commodity, credit, conservation, disaster and loan programs, for salaries and expenses.  The appropriation is a reduction of $158 billion or 11 percent below the president’s request.

Agricultural Research Service Salaries and Expenses: The bill would provide $1.1 billion for the salaries and expenses of the Agricultural Research Service, which administers programs that facilitate the marketing of U.S. agricultural products, including food, fiber, and specialty crops.  The appropriation is a reduction of $38 million or 3.4 percent below last year and $43 billion or 4 percent below the president’s request.

National Institute of Food and Agriculture: The bill would provide $1.2 billion for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), a reduction of $12 million below last year and $2 million below the president’s request.  NIFA was established by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 to “be an independent, scientific, policy-setting agency for the food and agricultural sciences, which will reinvigorate our nation's investment in agricultural research, extension, and education.”

Food Safety and Inspection Services:  The bill would provide $972 million for Food Safety and Inspection Services, a reduction of $34.5 million or 3.4 percent below last year and $39.3 million or 3.9 percent below the president’s request.  According to the Appropriations Committee, “This funding level will continue critical meat, poultry, and egg product inspection and testing activities, and supports an expansion of a poultry inspection pilot project that will lead to improving food safety.”

Animal and Plant Health:  The bill would provide $819 million for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), a reduction of $47 million below last year and $17 million below the president’s request.  According to the Committee on Appropriations, the bill would also allow the agency to have access to emergency funding should an unexpected agricultural threat emerge over the course of the year.

 

TITLE II—Conservation Programs

Conservation Operations:  The bill would provide $828 million for the USDA's conservation operations, a reduction of $42 million below last year and $70 million below the president’s request.

Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations:  The bill would provide $15 million for Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations, a reduction of $2.9 million or 16.5 percent below FY 2011.

 

TITLE III—Rural Development programs

Rental Assistance:  The bill would provide $904 million for the USDA's Rural Rental Assistance Program, a reduction of $49 million or 5 percent below last year and $2 million below the president’s request.  The program provides monetary support for households to pay the Housing and Community Facilities Program’s subsidized rent.

Rural Cooperative Assistance Grants: The bill would provide $25 million for Rural Cooperative Assistance Grants, a reduction of $5 million or 17 percent below last year and $10 million or 30 percent below the president’s request.  According to the USDA, the program is responsible for “establishing and operating centers for cooperative development to improve the economic condition of rural areas by developing new cooperatives and improving operations of existing cooperatives.”

 

TITLE IV—DOMESTIC FOOD PROGRAMS

WIC: The bill would provide $6.61 billion for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), a reduction of $115 million or 1.7 percent below last year and $771 million or 10 percent below the president’s request. 

Commodity Assistance Program: The bill would provide $242 million for the Commodity Assistance Program, a reduction of $4 million below last year and $7 million or 23 percent below the president’s request.

 

TITLE V—FOREIGN ASSISTANCE AND RELATED PROGRAMS

International Food and Child Nutrition Grants: The bill would provide $184 million for the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program Grants, a reduction of $15 million below last year.

Food for Peace Title II Grants:  The bill would provide $1.4 billion USAID Food for Peace Title II grants, a reduction of $31 million or 2 percent below last year and $224 million or 14 percent below the president’s request.

 

TITLE VI—FDA and Related Programs

FDA:  The bill would provide $2.49 billion for the salaries and expenses of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), an increase of $50 million above last year and a reduction of $233 million below the president’s request.  In addition, the appropriation would provide $8.7 million for FDA buildings and facilities, a reduction of $1.2 million below last year and $4.2 million below the president’s request.  Funding for the FDA includes appropriations for the Center for the Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, the Office of Regulatory Affairs, the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, the Center for Veterinary Medicine, and Center for Toxicological Research. 

 

Division B - COMMERCE, JUSTICE, SCIENCE, AND RELATED AGENCIES

According to CBO, the conference report would provide $52.74 billion in non-emergency discretionary budget authority for programs funded through the Commerce, Science and Justice Appropriations bill.  According to the Committee on Appropriations, the conference report represents a decrease of $583 million below last year’s level, and a decrease of almost $5 billion below the president’s request.

Title I—Department of Commerce

Census Bureau:  The bill would provide $888 million for the Census Bureau, a reduction of $261 million form FY 2011 and $136 million below the president’s request.

EDA: The bill would provide $457 million for the Economic Development Administration (EDA), which is an increase of $174 million over FY 2011.  Funding for the EDA includes $200 million for disaster assistance in response to natural disaster declarations during fiscal year 2011. The EDA operates a number of taxpayer funded economic development programs.

NOAA:  The bill would provide $4.89 billion for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which is an increase of $305 million over FY 2011 and a reduction of $592 million from the president’s request.  The conference agreement does not establish a NOAA Climate Service as proposed by the Senate.

ITA:  The bill would provide $455 million for the International Trade Administration (ITA), which is $14 million above FY 2011 and $61 million below the president’s request.

NIST: The bill would provide $750.8 million for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), an increase of $727,000 above FY 2011 and a reduction of $250 million from the president’s request.

 

Title II—Department of Justice

According to CBO, the conference report would provide $27.4 billion in non-emergency discretionary budget authority for the Department of Justice (DOJ). According to the Committee on Appropriations, DOJ funding is an increase of $18 million above last year’s level and $1.3 billion below the president’s request.

FBI:  The bill would provide $8.1 billion for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is $191 million above FY 2011 and $42 million above the president’s request.  The bill includes increases for national security programs, investigations of computer attacks, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) programs, analyst training, and violent crime and gang reduction programs.  The remaining funds are divided between numerous crime enforcement and administrative programs, including white collar crime enforcement, gang and violent crime, records management, and intellectual property enforcement.

Prisons:  The bill would provide $6.6 billion for the Federal Prison System’s administration, an increase of $259 million above FY 2011 and a reduction of $182 million from the president’s request.

Detention Trustee:  The bill would provide $1.58 billion for the Office of the Federal Detention Trustee (OFDT), which is an increase of $64 million over FY 2011 and a reduction of $14 million from the president’s request.

Local Assistance: The bill would provide $2.2 billion for state and local law enforcement assistance grants, a reduction of $570 million below FY 2011 and $856 million below the president’s request.

DEA:  The bill would provide $2.03 billion for the Drug Enforcement Administration, which is an increase of $19 million over FY 2011 and a reduction of $7 million below the president’s request.  The bill includes an increase of $32 million for regulatory and enforcement efforts to combat prescription drug abuse, $12.5 million (by transfer) to assist states and communities with hazardous material clean-up at meth lab sites, and $10 million for temporary facilities for 100 additional staff at the Southern Border related to counternarcotics intelligence efforts

U.S. Marshals:  The bill would provide $1.19 billion for the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), which is an increase of $48 million over FY 2011 and a reduction of $70 million below the president’s request. 

BATF:  The bill would provide $1.15 billion for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, an increase of $39 million above FY 2011 and $4 million above the president’s request.

 

Title III—Science

According to CBO, the conference report would provide $24.8 billion in non-emergency discretionary budget authority for the for Science programs funded under Title II. Funding under Title II would represent a reduction of $476 million below FY 2011 and $1.6 billion below the president’s request.

NASA:  The bill would provide $17.8 billion for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), a reduction of $648 million below FY 2011 and $924 million below the president’s request.  Finding for NASA includes $3.8 billion for Space Exploration, which is $30 million below last year. This includes funding above the request for NASA to meet congressionally mandated program deadlines for the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and Space Launch System.  In addition the bill contains $4.2 billion for Space Operations, which is $1.3 billion below last year’s level.  The agreement continues the closeout of the Space Shuttle program for a savings of more than $1 billion.  The bill also provides $5.1 billion for NASA Science programs, which is $155 million above last year’s level.  The legislation also contains language prohibiting NASA or the Office of Science and Technology Policy from engaging in bilateral activities with China unless authorized by Congress.

National Science Foundation: The bill would provide $7.03 billion in funding for the National Science Foundation, an increase of $173 million above FY 2011 and a reduction of $733 million below the president’s request.

 

Title IV—Related Agencies

The CJS appropriations bill includes $856 million in spending for a number of related agencies, which is a reduction of $61 billion below FY 2011 and $134 million below the president’s request.

Commission on Civil Rights: The bill would provide $9.1 million for the Commission on Civil Rights, which is responsible for investigating charges of citizens being deprived of voting and other civil rights.  The funding level is $188,000 below FY 2011.

EEOC: The bill would provide $360 million for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the government agency with jurisdiction over employment discrimination issues.  The funding is a $6 million reduction from FY 2011 and $25 million below the president’s request.

Legal Services: The bill would provide $346 million for the Federal Legal Services Corporation (LSC), a reduction of $58 million below FY 2011 and $104 million below the president’s request.  The program gives taxpayer funds to provide free civil legal aid for low-income individuals.  The program distributes the vast majority of its funding to nonprofit legal aid entities.  

 

Division C - Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD)

According to CBO, the conference report would provide $55.55 billion in non-emergency discretionary budget authority for programs funded through the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill.  According to the Committee on Appropriations, an increase of $183 million above last year’s level, and a decrease of $19.4 billion below the President’s request.  In addition, the legislation includes $1.7 billion in emergency disaster funding funding which is not subject to statutory discretionary spending caps under the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA). 

 

TITLE I—Department of Transportation

The conference agreement includes $17.9 billion in discretionary appropriations for the Department of Transportation for fiscal year 2012.

Federal Highway Administration: The bill would provide the Federal Highway Administration with authority to expend up to $39.9 billion collected from the Highway Trust Fund (HTF).  This is a reduction of $30.5 billion from the president’s request.  In addition, the agreement provides $1.66 billion for the Federal Highway Administration’s Emergency Relief (ER) program, which assists states in rebuilding federal highways that were damaged by major natural disasters, such as Hurricane Irene and the flooding of the Missouri River.

FAA: The bill would provide $12.5 billion for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), an increase of $137 million above FY 2011 and a reduction of $580 million below the president’s request.  According to the Appropriations Committee, agreement provides $3.35 billion for airports and $2.7 billion for facilities and equipment. The bill would restore the Block Aircraft Registry Request program (BARR) and prohibit future changes to the program. Also included is $878 million for FAA “NextGen” funding to ease congestion and reduce air traffic delays. In addition, the bill would include $144 million for the Essential Air Service program, and reins in the program by limiting funds to communities that received service during fiscal year 2010, or qualified for the program within 90 days prior to October 1, 2011.

Federal Railroad Administration: The bill would provide $1.6 billion for the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), an increase of $325 million above FY 2011 and a reduction of $6.6 billion below the president’s request.

Amtrak:  The bill would provide $1.41 billion for Amtrak, ad reduction of $65 million below FY 2011.  According to the Appropriations Committee, the agreement also includes policy reforms for Amtrak—requiring overtime limits on Amtrak employees to reduce unnecessary costs, and would reinstate a provision that prohibits federal funding for routes where Amtrak offers a discount of 50% or more off normal, peak fares. In addition, the agreement would not include funding for High Speed Rail or Intercity Passenger Rail Service.

D.C. Metro: The bill would provide $150 million in appropriations for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) to conduct capital improvements on their train system.  This represents the maximum appropriation possible under legislation passed in the 110th Congress to provide the system with $1.5 billion in federal aid over ten years for local train improvements.

 

TITLE II—Department of Housing and Urban Development

Management and Administration: The bill would provide $1.3 billion for HUD management and administration, an increase of $16 million or 1 percent over FY 2011 and a reduction of $18 million from the president’s request.

Tenant-Based Rental Assistance: The bill would provide $18.9 billion for the Tenant-Based Rental Assistance program, an increase of $535 million over FY 2011 and a reduction of $308 million below the president’s request. 

Community Planning and Development:  The bill would provide $6.7 billion for Community Development and Planning, a reduction of $730 million below FY 2011 and a reduction of $1.5 billion below the president’s request.  

Project-Based Rental Assistance: The bill would provide $9.3 billion for Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance, an increase of $75 million or 16 percent over FY 2011 and a reduction of $89 million from the president’s request.

Conforming Loan Limits—The bill would include an extension of higher limits on the amount of individual loans that the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) could guarantee.  The higher loan limits expired at the end of FY 2011, when the size of a mortgage that the FHA could buy or guarantee was reduced to $625,500, down from $729,750.  In addition, the formula for establishing limits for high-cost areas also fell from 125 percent to 115 percent of an area’s median home price.  The conference report would not increase the maximum loan limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These entities have been under public scrutiny for their questionable businesses practices and use of billions in federal bailout funds.

Cost

According to CBO, H.R. 2112 would provide $128 billion in discretionary budget authority for programs funded through the Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science, and the Transportation-Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill in FY 2012.  In addition, the legislation includes $2.329 billion in emergency disaster relief funding which is not subject to statutory discretionary spending caps under the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA).