CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
H.R. 4899 is expected to be considered on the floor of the House under a closed rule. The legislation was introduced by Rep. David Obey (D-WI) on March 21, 2010.
H.R. 4899 appropriates for the Fiscal Year ending September 30, 2010, the following sums:
• $5.1 billion to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for disaster relief. $5 million of this amount would be for the DHS Office of Inspector General for audits and investigations related to disasters.
o In February, the White House requested that Congress provide $5.1 billion in supplemental funding for the Disaster Relief Fund. The Administration stated that the additional funding is needed before the end of March 2010 to provide ongoing response efforts to previous natural disasters. This total includes $1.2 billion for arbitration settlements from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
• $600 million to the Department of Labor for grants to states to provide youth summer employment programs.
o Some Members may be concerned that there is still $400 million in unspent funds for this program from the "stimulus," and the approved Fiscal Year 2010 Labor-HHS Appropriations bill included $924 million for this program.
• $174,000 to Joyce Murtha, the widow of the late Rep. John Murtha.
o This payment is a customary gratuity, equal to a Member's annual salary, which is paid to a Member's widow in the event of a death.
• $20 million to the Small Business Administration for free reductions and eliminations as well as loan guarantee costs provided for by the "stimulus" bill. In addition, it permits $40 million of the funds provided in the Fiscal Year 2010 omnibus appropriations law to be available for this program. This bill also extends the authorization for the loan guarantees through April 30, 2010.
o The "stimulus" reduced or eliminated fees for the 7(a) loan program, which provides long-term loans for business startups and for the 504 certified development company program, which provides growing businesses with financing for major fixed assets, such as land and buildings. It also authorized the SBA to guarantee up to 90% of qualifying small business loans originating under the 504 program, and to refinance such loans.
Note: Funding in the bill is designated as "emergency" spending, and thus would not be subject to the Democrats' statutory PAYGO requirements. Many Members may believe that this is just another example of Democrats' PAYGO standards failing to curb spending or control the deficit.
The bill does, however, include some unobligated spending rescissions:
• $111.5 million from the Department of Commerce's digital-to-analog converter box program;
• $44 million from the Department of Transportation's "Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save" program-the so-called "cash for clunkers" program;
• $361.8 million from the Department of Agriculture's WIC program; and
• $102.7 million from the Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Programs.
According to CBO, most of these rescinded funds were never going to be spent and would have otherwise gone back to the Treasury to reduce the deficit.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has not yet produced a cost estimate for H.R. 4899, but the bill appropriates about $5.72 billion and only rescinds $620 million.