H.R. 3082 House Amendments: House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.R. 3082—Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011

H.R. 3082

House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.R. 3082—Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011

Date
December 8, 2010 (111th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

The House is scheduled to consider amendments to H.R. 3082 on Wednesday, December 8, 2010, under a same-day, martial law rule.  H.R. 3082 was initially introduced as the FY 2010 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act and approved in the House by a vote of 415-3 on July 10, 2009.  The bill was approved in the Senate on November 17, 2009; however, the bill was not signed by the president because funding for the agencies was ultimately provided through H.R. 3288, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010.  H.R. 3082 is now being further amended and used as the vehicle for a one-year Continuing Resolution (CR) to provide discretionary funding for government activities through FY 2011.  The final version of the 423-page CR was not made available until 8:00 a.m. the morning of December 8, the same day the bill is scheduled to be considered.

Bill Summary

The Continuing Resolution (CR) would provide $1.089 trillion in discretionary funding for government operations through FY 2011.  The aggregate funding level is equal to FY 2010.  However, adjustments have been made to the 12 individual spending bills.  Presently, government operations are being funded at FY 2010 levels through a CR which is set to expire on December 18, 2010.

The bill also includes the text of S. 510, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.  The provision would amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to expand current registration and inspection authority for the Food and Drug Administration.  According to CBO, the bill would increase spending by $1.4 billion.  In addition, the food safety provision contains a number of mandates on individuals and entities that manufacture, process, pack, transport, distribute, receive, or hold food.  A full summary of the legislation is available below.

Lastly, the bill would also extend expiring authorizations for surface transportation and aviation programs through September 30, 2011.

DIVISION A—CONTINUING RESOLUTION FUNDING ADJUSTMENTS AND OTHER PROVISIONS

The bill would provide $1.089 trillion in discretionary funding for government operations through FY 2011. While the total funding level is the same as FY 2010, the legislation contains funding adjustments from FY 2010 levels for the 12 regular appropriations bills which the Democrats failed to pass.  Because a CBO cost estimate of the CR has not yet been released, the total spending levels contained in this analysis are based on information provided by the Democrat staff of the House Appropriations Committee.

Agriculture:  The bill would provide $22.58 billion in spending for Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA and Related Agencies.  This total represents a reduction of $724 million below the FY 2010 level. 

Commerce/Justice/Science:  The bill would provide $55.687 billion in spending for A Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies.  This total represents a reduction of $8.628 billion below the FY 2010 level.  The funding reduction is due in large part to the reduction in spending for the Census Bureau which will receive $6 billion less than FY 2010 and will have $1.7 billion in funds rescinded.

Defense:  The bill would provide $513 billion in regular Defense spending.  The bill represents an increase of only $4.9 billion above FY 2010 spending levels, which is $17 billion less than requested by the president.  The bill would reduce defense base closure funding by $5.1 billion.  The $4.9 billion increase would primarily be used to fund pay increases and to meet health benefit requirements.  The bill would create a $400 million Afghanistan Infrastructure Fund and provide an additional $150 million available for DoD’s Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO) for business development efforts in Afghanistan.  The measure would also include $159 billion for war operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, as the president requested.

Energy & Water:  The bill would provide $34.308 billion in spending for Energy and Water Development.  The bill represents an increase of $843 million above FY 2010 spending levels.  The bill would provide $7 billion for Atomic Energy Defense Activities for weapons activities, provided that $624 million be used to fund the controversial New START Treaty with Russia.

Financial Services:  The bill would provide $23.258 billion in spending for Financial Services and General Government.  The bill represents a reduction of $928 million below FY 2010 spending levels.

Homeland Security:  The bill would provide $42.535 billion in spending for Homeland Security.  The bill represents a reduction of $241 million below FY 2010 spending levels.  The bill would also extend the authority of certain expiring Homeland Security programs through FY 2011.

Interior & Environment:  The bill would provide $32.272 billion in spending for Interior, Environment and Related Agencies.  The bill represents an increase of $32 million above FY 2010 spending levels.  The bill authorizes the Secretary of Interior to transfer funds to reorganize the former MMS and establish the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement

Labor/HHS/Education:  The bill would provide $170.272 billion in spending for Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education.  The bill represents an increase of $6 billion above FY 2010 spending levels.  The funding includes $5.7 billion to bail out the shortfall in the Pell Grant Program.  The bill would the discretionary portion of the maximum Pell Grant award at $4,860 which, combined with a mandatory supplement of $690, will support a $5,550 maximum Pell Grant in fiscal year 2011.  In addition, the bill would include $550 million request by the president to fund the Race to the Top program.  The bill would also authorize the transfer of $750 million from the Prevention and Public Health Fund to begin to carry out provisions of ObamaCare.  The Fund was created by the so-call “Affordable Care Act” to increase federal spending on prevention and public health under the new health care law. 

Legislative Branch:  The bill would provide $4.654 billion in spending for the Legislative Branch.  The bill represents a reduction of $2 million below FY 2010 spending levels.

Military/Veterans:  The bill would provide $75.168 billion in spending for Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies.  The bill represents a reduction of $1.4 billion below FY 2010 spending levels.  The bill would also extend the authority of a number of programs, including military construction projects and U.S. contribution to the NATO Security Investment Program.

State/Foreign Operations:  The bill would provide $51 billion in spending for State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs.  The bill represents an increase of $2.236 billion above FY 2010 spending levels.   The bill would also extend the authority of a number of programs, including authority to hire personnel serving in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan.  The bill provides $700 million for the for the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Capability Fund (PCCF), which was funded for FY 2009 and FY 2010 in the FY 2009 supplemental, but did not receive an appropriation in the regular FY 2010 appropriations act.

Transportation/HUD:  The bill would provide $64.9 billion in spending for State Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies.  The bill represents a reduction of $3 billion below FY 2010 spending levels.  The bill would rescind approximately $1.5 billion for high-speed rail projects and $630 million for certain highway projects.

Federal Pay Freeze:  The legislation would freeze pay for federal agency employees (except military personnel) for two years, from January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2012.

Pro-Life Riders:  According to the Congressional Pro-life Caucus, the bill contains language continuing all limitation amendments included in the FY10 Appropriations Acts.  Thus, current pro-life funding limitations (sometimes referred to as riders) would be continued under the pending CR.

Guantanamo Bay Detainees:  The bill would prohibit funding for the transfer to or release to or within the U.S. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed or any other Guantanamo detainee held on or after June 24, 2009 who is not a U.S. citizen or member of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Iran Sanctions Compliance:  The bill would prohibit funds from being obligated in contravention of the Iran Sanctions Act.

DIVISION B—SURFACE TRANSPORTATION EXTENSION

The bill would extend federal highway and surface transportation programs and authorize the appropriation of funding from the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) for through FY 2011.  The existing federal transportation programs and spending authority under the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: a Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) will expire on December 31, 2010.

DIVISION C—AIRPORT AND AIRWAY EXTENSION

The bill would extend through FY 2011 the authorities of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which are currently set to expire December 31, 2010.  The bill would extend the Airport and Airway Trust Fund through September 30, 2011, including taxes on aviation fuel, domestic and international ticket taxes, and taxes on cargo shipped by air.  Currently, these taxes are set to expire December 31, 2010.  The bill would authorize to be appropriated $3.7 billion for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) for FY 2011.

DIVISION D—FOOD SAFETY

The bill would amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to expand current registration and inspection authority for the Food and Drug Administration. 

Small Business Compliance:  The bill would exempt certain small employers from some of the requirements of the bill, such as registration of food facilities, standards for produce safety, and hazard prevention plans. 

Registration of Food Facilities:  The bill would require biennial facility registration. The Secretary is authorized or required to suspend and/or reinstate registrations.   

Hazard Prevention Plans:  The bill would require the owner, operator, or agent in charge of a facility to develop a written hazard prevention plan. 

Performance Standards:  The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall, at least every two years, review and evaluate relevant health data to determine the most significant food borne contaminants. Based on the review and evaluation, the Secretary shall issue contaminant-specific and science-based guidance documents, actions levels, or regulations.

Produce Safety:  The bill would establish safety standards for produce. Within one year of enactment, the Secretary is required to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking for science-based minimum standards for the safe production and harvesting of those fruits and vegetables that are raw agricultural commodities. 

Inspection Resources for Domestic Facilities, Foreign Facilities, and Ports of Entry:  The bill would require the Secretary of HHS to allocate inspection resources according to the "known safety risks" of the food and countries involved, among other factors.     

Inspections of Records:  The bill would amend current law to create an additional trigger for inspection.

Tracking and Tracing Food and Recordkeeping:  The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall improve the capacity of FDA to track and trace foods in the event of an outbreak. Within 270 days of enactment, the Secretary is required to establish pilot projects to explore and evaluate methods to prevent or mitigate a food borne illness outbreak.

Fee Collection:  The bill would authorize the FDA to collect export certification fees and user fees paid by domestic facilities subject to a reinspection or food recall and fees paid by importers participating in the voluntary qualified importer program or subject to reinspection.

Funding for Food Safety:  This section would authorize such sums as may be necessary for fiscal years 2011 through 2014 for activities of FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Center for Veterinary Medicine, and related field activities in the Office of Regulatory Affairs. In addition, the Secretary is required to increase the field staff of these three entities with a goal of not fewer than 17,800 government employees. 

Voluntary Qualified Importer Program:  The bill would require the Secretary of HHS (1) to establish, a voluntary program to expedite review and importation of foods from qualified importers and (2) to issue applicable program guidance.

Surveillance:  The bill would require the Secretary of HHS to enhance food borne illness surveillance systems.  Appropriations are authorized for these activities at $24 million annually for fiscal year 2011-15.  The Secretary shall conduct an assessment of state and local food safety and defense capacities and shall subsequently develop and implement strategies to enhance these capacities.  Food safety capacity grants are reauthorized at $19.5 million for fiscal year 2010 and such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 2011 through fiscal year 2015.

Food Safety Integrated Centers of Excellence:  The bill would require the Secretary of HHS and the CDC Director to designate five "Integrated Food Safety Centers of Excellence" at selected state health departments to serve as resources for federal, state, and local public health professionals.  Such sums as necessary are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this provision.

Foreign Supplier Verification Program: The bill would require each importer to establish risk-based foreign supplier verification activities that: (1) assures that imported food is not adulterated or misbranded and (2) complies with the program of hazard analysis and preventive controls or the produce safety requirements.

Inspection of Foreign Food Facilities:  The bill would authorize the Secretary of HHS to enter into arrangements and agreements with foreign governments to facilitate the inspection of foreign facilities registered.

Foreign Offices of the Food and Drug Administration:  The Secretary of HHS would be required to establish FDA offices in foreign countries selected by the Secretary.

Training State, Local, Territorial, and Tribal Food Safety Officials:  The bill would require the Secretary to set standards and administer training and education programs for employees of state, local, territorial, and tribal food safety authorities.  There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as necessary for fiscal year 2011 and fiscal year 2015.  The bill would create a new "National Food Safety Training, Education, Extension, Outreach and Technical Assistance Program." The Secretary of Agriculture shall award competitive grants at such sums as necessary to carry out the program.

Grant Program for Food Safety:  The bill would authorize grants to states, localities, territories, Indian tribes, and certain nonprofit entities for food safety examinations, inspections and investigations, and building laboratory capacity.  Congress shall authorize the appropriation of such sums as necessary are for grants from fiscal year 2011 through fiscal year 2015.

Food and Agriculture Coordinating Councils:  The bill would require the Secretary of Homeland Security to report on the activities and progress of the Food and Agriculture Government Coordinating Council and the Food and Agriculture Sector Coordinating Council in facilitating public-private partnerships, facilitating information exchange, developing best practices for coordinated preparedness and response, and means to protect the U.S. economy and public health in the event of a food or agricultural incident.

Building Domestic Capacity:  The bill would establish a number of assessment and reporting requirements regarding domestic capacity to prevent or address food safety threats.

Sanitary Transportation of Food:  The bill would require the Secretary of HHS to promulgate regulations to require shippers to use sanitary transportation practices that prevent the adulteration of food.

Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Management:  The bill would require the Secretary of HHS to develop and to make available to local educational agencies (LEAs) guidelines to manage the risk of food allergy and anaphylaxis in schools and early childhood education programs.  It would authorize the Secretary to award non-renewable food allergy management incentive grants, which is authorized for $30 million for fiscal year 2011, and such sums as may be necessary for each of four succeeding fiscal years.

Decontamination and Disposal Standards and Plans:  The bill would require the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide support and technical assistance to state, local, and tribal governments in preparing for, assessing, decontaminating, and recovering from an agriculture or food emergency.

Building Foreign Government Capacity:  The bill would require the Secretary of HHS to develop a comprehensive plan to increase the regulatory capacity of foreign governments and their respective food industries.

Smuggled Food:  The bill would require the Secretary of HHS to improve the identification of smuggled food and to take steps to prevent its entry. 

Background

Last spring, Democrat leaders in the House failed to approve a budget for the upcoming fiscal year for the first time since the passage of the Budget Act of 1974.  Instead of approving a federal budget for FY 2011, Democrats ”deemed” a $1.121 trillion budget enforcement resolution that was never passed in the House.  Similarly, the Democrat-led Congress failed to approve any of the 12 regular annual appropriations bills to provide discretionary funding for the federal government.  As a result of the Democrats’ failure to approve a budget or any appropriations bills, the federal government is currently being funded by a Continuing Resolution (CR) which was approved last week.  The House approved the CR by a vote of 239—178.  The bill was then signed into law and provides discretionary funding for government operations at FY 2010 levels through December 18, 2010.

Cost

 Division A:

According to the House Appropriations Committee, the CR would provide $1.089 trillion in discretionary funding through FY 2010 levels.  However, a CBO cost estimate of the legislation was not available as of press time.

Division D:

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that spending, subject to appropriations, would increase by $1.4 billion.  In addition, the legislation contains a number of mandates on individuals and entities that manufacture, process, pack, transport, distribute, receive, or hold food. 

Additional Information

Possible Mmber Concerns - Division A

Excessive Spending:  Some Members may be concerned that this $1.09 trillion legislation continues the unsustainable, high rates of spending passed by the Democrat majority for FY 2010.  This includes the higher baselines in many federal agency budgets that have been bolstered by unnecessary and ineffective “stimulus” dollars.  Rather than continue the same profligate spending, Republicans have pledged to return discretionary government spending to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels.  Returning discretionary spending to FY 2008 levels would save at least $100 billion in the first year alone and reduce deficits and debt by more than $900 billion in the next ten years.  Some Members may be concerned that continuing spending at FY 2010 levels is irresponsible and unsustainable given the fiscal state of the U.S.

Broken Process:  Some Members may be concerned that the final version of this 423-page bill was not made available until 8:00 a.m. the morning of December 8, the same day the bill is scheduled to be considered.  Without time to properly read or review the legislation, Members will be forced to vote on the bill before it is thoroughly vetted.  In addition, House Democrats have inserted completely unrelated food safety and transportation legislation into the CR.  Because Democrats failed to pass a budget or a single spending bill for FY 2011, the House will now consider a sweeping funding and authorizing bill with a price tag of $1.1 trillion with less than 24 hours to review the legislation.

ObamaCare Funding:  The bill would authorize the transfer of $750 million from the Prevention and Public Health Fund to begin to carry out provisions of ObamaCare.  The Fund was created by the so-call “Affordable Care Act” to increase federal spending on prevention and public health under the new health care law.  Some Members have expressed concerns that the fund amounts to little more than a slush fund for implementing ObamaCare.

START Treaty:  The bill provides $624 million to fund the controversial New START Treaty with Russia.  Some Members have expressed concerns that the treaty limits future U.S. missile defense options and could compromise U.S. sovereignty with the creation of an independent Bilateral Consultative Commission that could imposes restrictions on missile defense programs.

Pell Grant Spending:  The bill includes $5.7 billion in funding to bail out the shortfall in the Pell Grant Program.  Some Members maybe concerned that the Pell Grant Program was recently expanded with the passage of the “Affordable Care Act” (ObamaCare) at an estimated cost of $22 billion.

 Possible Member Concerns - Division D

Some members may be concerned that the bill would increase the prices of food and increase the size of government without improving food safety. 

Higher Prices:  The bill would levy fees on facilities and exporters.  Consumers will end up paying these fees in the form of higher food prices.

More Government Workers:  The fees will be used to increase the number of government employees more than 17,800 employees.

Safer Food?:  The Congressional Research Service says the United States has the world’s safest food, but will hiring more federal employees and increase prices make food any safer?  Several food-borne outbreaks, such as spinach, jalapeno, and peanut butter, have occurred recently.  However, according to The Washington Post reporting of the peanut outbreak, the company responsible for distributing the affected peanuts—Peanut Corporation of America— conducted internal tests that showed its product had salmonella, but it chose to distribute it anyway.