Appropriations

Committee on Appropriations

Rodney Frelinghuysen

Full Committee Markup: FY2018 Defense Appropriations Bill

2017/06/27

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Appropriations Committee Releases Fiscal Year 2018 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill

2017/06/27

The House Appropriations Committee today released the fiscal year 2018 Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, which will be considered in subcommittee tomorrow. The legislation provides annual funding for national defense nuclear weapons activities, the Army Corps of Engineers, various programs under the Department of Energy (DOE), and other related agencies. 

The bill totals $37.56 billion – $209 million below the fiscal year 2017 enacted level and $3.65 billion above the President’s budget request. Funding is targeted toward national security efforts – including nuclear weapons activities – and energy and water infrastructure investments.

“National security is our number-one priority, and this bill will fund essential programs that maintain our nuclear deterrence posture in the face of growing global threats – including North Korea and other countries that are testing the tolerance of the international community,” House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen said. “Further, this legislation will make important investments in our energy development and water infrastructure to keep our economy growing and to continue the country’s lead in essential energy technology and innovation.”

Energy and Water Subcommittee Chairman Mike Simpson also commented on the importance of the bill:

“This bill prioritizes fulfilling our national security needs and maintaining critical investments to support American competitiveness within tight budget caps,” said Subcommittee Chairman Mike Simpson. “It strikes a responsible balance between the modernization and safety of our nuclear weapons, advancing our national infrastructure, and strategic investments in basic science and energy R&D.”

A summary of the subcommittee draft of the fiscal year 2018 Energy and Water Appropriations bill follows:

The bill totals $37.56 billion – $209 million below the fiscal year 2017 enacted level and $3.65 billion above the President’s budget request.

The bill provides strong national security investments, including increases above fiscal year 2017 for nuclear weapons programs. The bill also protects funding for critical national and regional waterways – which handle commerce valued at more than $2 trillion annually – through the Army Corps of Engineers, and programs that encourage energy independence and economic competitiveness.

Nuclear Security – To address our national security needs and meet emerging threats from around the globe, the bill provides a total of $13.9 billion for DOE’s nuclear weapons security programs, including Weapons Activities, Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, and Naval Reactors – a $976 million increase above the fiscal year 2017 level. This funding will uphold the nation’s nuclear deterrence posture, maintain the safety and readiness of our weapons stockpile, and allow the U.S. to meet any nuclear threat. This includes:

• $10.24 billion for Weapons Activities – $921 million above the fiscal year 2017 enacted level – to maintain a strong nuclear deterrence posture;

• $1.486 billion for Naval Nuclear Reactors – $66 million above the fiscal year 2017 enacted level; and

• $1.83 billion for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation – $76.5 million below the fiscal year 2017 enacted level. This includes $340 million in funding to help fulfill the international commitment by the U.S. to construct the Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Fabrication Facility to dispose of surplus plutonium.

Army Corps of Engineers – The Army Corps of Engineers is funded at $6.16 billion, an increase of $120 million above the fiscal year 2017 enacted level and $1.16 billion above the President’s budget request. The bill focuses funding on activities that will have an immediate impact on public safety, job creation, and economic growth, including those that help increase the functionality of our ports and waterways. For example, the bill provides:

• $2.8 billion for navigation projects and studies, including $1.34 billion in funding from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund and full use of estimated annual revenues from the Inland Waterways Trust Fund, to help advance American competitiveness and export ability; and

• $1.8 billion to support public health and safety by funding flood and storm damage reduction activities, an increase of $74 million above fiscal year 2017 and $424 million above the budget request.  

Environmental Cleanup – Included in the legislation is $6.4 billion for environmental management activities, $24.6 million below the fiscal year 2017 enacted level. This includes $5.4 billion for Defense Environmental Cleanup, the same as fiscal year 2017, to safely clean sites contaminated by previous nuclear weapons production.

Energy Programs  Funding for energy programs within DOE is $9.6 billion – a decrease of $1.7 billion below the fiscal year 2017 enacted level and $2.3 billion above the President's request. Within this total, the bill prioritizes early-stage research and development funding for the applied energy programs. Funding within the accounts is targeted to encourage U.S. economic competitiveness and help advance the nation’s goal of an “all-of-the-above” solution to energy independence.

Research and development to advance coal, natural gas, oil, and other fossil energy technologies, which will help the country make greater use of our rich natural energy resources and help keep down energy costs, are funded at $635 million – a decrease of $33 million below the fiscal year 2017 enacted level and $355 million above the budget request. 

In addition, to promote innovation and growth in nuclear energy, research, development, and demonstration activities are funded at $969 million – $48 million below the fiscal year 2017 enacted level and $266 million above the request.

Renewable energy programs, which have already received significant investments in recent years, are cut by $986 million compared to fiscal year 2017 and increased by $468 million compared to the President’s budget request.

Science Research – The bill includes $5.4 billion for science research – the same as the fiscal year 2017 enacted level. This funding supports basic energy research, the development of high-performance computing systems, and research into the next generation of energy sources. These investments lay the groundwork for a more secure energy future, helping to reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil and ensuring continued economic growth.

Bureau of Reclamation  The legislation contains $1.24 billion – $79 million below the fiscal year 2017 enacted level and $132 million above the President’s request – for the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Reclamation to help manage, develop, and protect the water resources of Western states. The bill includes $83 million for the second year of funding for water storage, desalination, and water recycling and reuse projects authorized in the WIIN Act.

Yucca Mountain – The bill continues congressional efforts to support the Yucca Mountain nuclear repository, providing $90 million for the Nuclear Waste Disposal program, $30 million for Defense Nuclear Waste Disposal, and $30 million for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to continue the adjudication of DOE’s Yucca Mountain License application.

Other policy items:

  • The bill includes language authorizing the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Secretary of the Army to withdraw the Waters of the United States rule.
  • The bill restricts the application of the Clean Water Act in certain agricultural areas, including farm ponds and irrigation ditches.
  • The bill includes language – as in previous years – allowing the possession of firearms on Corps of Engineers lands.
  • The bill includes language prohibiting new nuclear nonproliferation projects in Russia without certain notifications from the Secretary of Energy.

For the complete text of the subcommittee draft of the FY 2018 Energy and Water Appropriations bill, please click here.

 

 

 

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Appropriations Committee Releases the Fiscal Year 2018 Agriculture Appropriations Bill

2017/06/27

The House Appropriations Committee today released the fiscal year 2018 Agriculture Appropriations bill, which will be considered in subcommittee tomorrow. The 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, agricultural trade, financial marketplace oversight, and nutrition programs.

The bill totals $20 billion in discretionary funding, which is $876 million lower than the fiscal year 2017 enacted level and $4.64 billion above the President’s budget request. The legislation prioritizes this funding in programs for rural communities, farmers, ranchers, food and drug safety, and nutrition for those in need. In addition, the bill contains several policy provisions to rein in unnecessary and burdensome regulations that harm U.S. food producers and that impede growth in important U.S. industries. 

“The safety and accessibility of our nation’s food and drug supply is of utmost importance to our economy, our quality of life, and – given the great benefit of producing necessities here at home – our national security,” House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen said. “This bill prioritizes funding on federal programs that support these critical industries and the farmers, ranchers, medical professionals, and many others that form the backbone of our food and drug supply – which is the best in the world.”

“This Appropriations bill reflects the will of our Members. I invited colleagues last week to let me know their priorities for the Agriculture, FDA and other titles in the bill.  I am grateful that a number of people came forward to let us help with issues important to farmers, ranchers and the people who make rural America the heartland of America.  I am pleased to say that we were able to accommodate these Member requests within the bill and look forward to moving a conservative bill through the legislative process.”

Bill Highlights:

The legislation focuses funding on programs that bolster U.S. agriculture, support rural communities, maintain and promote food and drug safety, and provide nutrition for those in need.

In total, the bill allows for $144.9 billion in both discretionary and mandatory funding – $4.6 billion above the President’s request and $8.5 billion below the fiscal year 2017 enacted level. Discretionary funding alone provided by the bill is $20 billion, $876 million below the fiscal year 2017 enacted level.

Agricultural Research The bill provides $2.8 billion for agriculture research programs, including the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. This funding will support research at all ARS facilities to help mitigate and stop devastating crop diseases, improve food safety and water quality, increase production, and combat antimicrobial resistance. Continued investment in ARS’ buildings and facilities is included to ensure researchers have the facilities needed for a safe, stable and abundant food supply. This funding also includes important research investments in U.S. land-grant colleges and universities and for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s premier competitive research program.  

Animal and Plant Health – The legislation includes $906 million – $96 million above the President’s budget request and $40 million below the fiscal year 2017 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 funding level preserves previous funding increases, which will help address harmful outbreaks of citrus greening and highly pathogenic avian influenza, as well as funds to support specialty crops and the Zoonotic Disease Management Program for antimicrobial resistance activities.   

Conservation Programs – The bill provides $904 million to help farmers, ranchers, and private forest landowners conserve and protect their land. This includes $45 million for infrastructure rehabilitation to help small communities meet current safety standards for watershed projects.

Farm Programs The legislation provides $1.6 billion for farm programs, which is $44 million above the President’s budget request. This funding will continue support for various farm, conservation, and emergency loan programs, and will help American farmers and ranchers with the implementation of the farm bill. It will also ensure customer service through full staffing of local county Farm Service Agency offices and meet estimates of demand for farm loan programs.

Rural Development The bill provides a total of $2.6 billion for rural development programs. 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.

  • Rural Economic Infrastructure Grants – The bill includes $122.7 million to establish the Rural Economic Infrastructure Grant account. The account uses existing authorities from Community Connect grants, Distance Learning and Telemedicine grants, Community Facility grants, and Rural Assistance Housing grants to provide flexibility on resource allocation to achieve maximum impact.  
  • Rural Infrastructure – The legislation includes responsible investments in infrastructure to help rural areas of the country access basic utilities. This includes $1.25 billion – the same as the fiscal year 2017 enacted level – for rural water and waste program loans, and $473 million for grants and related costs, a decrease of $96 million below current levels that includes savings from reduced subsidy costs and $473 million above the request. In addition, $6.94 billion is provided for rural electric and telephone infrastructure loans, the same level as fiscal year 2017.
  • 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 2017 enacted level and the President’s request. In addition, the bill includes $900 million in direct loans. 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, $1.345 billion is provided for rental assistance for affordable rental housing for low-income families and the elderly in rural communities for renewal of all existing rental assistance contracts.
  • Business and Industry Loans – The legislation includes a loan level of $819 million 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.

Food Safety and Inspection Service The legislation includes $1.038 billion for food safety and inspection programs – an increase of $6 million above the 2017 enacted level. These mandatory inspection activities help ensure the safety and productivity of the country’s $211 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 $2.8 billion in discretionary funding in the bill, which is equal to the fiscal year 2017 enacted level. Total funding for the FDA, including revenue from user fees, is $5.2 billion – $490 million above fiscal year 2017. Food safety activities are supported in the bill by more than $300 million, continuing these investments to the FDA since the enactment of the Food Safety Modernization Act in 2011. 

The bill also appropriates $60 million as authorized in the 21st Century Cures Act, and includes language to allow FDA to receive transfers from the National Institutes of Health for support of the FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence. The legislation also includes language for the FDA to utilize high carryover balances to help speed the processing of safe and effective generic and innovator drugs.

Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) – Included in the bill is $248 million for the CFTC, $2 million below the fiscal year 2017 enacted level and the President’s budget request. This funding level will ensure robust swaps, futures, and options markets while prioritizing resources and giving flexibility for enforcement and market oversight.

International Programs – The legislation contains $1.8 billion for overseas food aid and to promote U.S. agricultural exports. This includes $1.4 billion for “Food for Peace” grants and $185 million 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 child nutrition programs.

  • Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) The bill provides $6.15 billion in discretionary funding for WIC, which is $200 million below the fiscal year 2017 enacted level and the same as the President’s request. Because of robust prior-year funding and declining enrollments in the program, WIC has large carryover balances left over from previous years. Therefore, to make the best use of taxpayer dollars, the bill rescinds $600 million in these unobligated balances, which will have no impact on participation in the program.
  • Child nutrition programs The bill provides for $24.28 billion in required mandatory funding – which is outside the discretionary funding jurisdiction of the Appropriations Committee – for child nutrition programs. This is $1.5 billion above the fiscal year 2017 enacted level. This funding will provide free or reduced-price school lunches and snacks for 31 million children who qualify for the program. The bill provides approximately $640 million for the Summer Food Service Program to ensure low-income children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. In addition, the bill continues funding for a pilot program that provides additional funds through SNAP or WIC electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards to ensure children in underserved communities receive food during the summer months.
  • The bill continues policy provisions to stop onerous regulations on local schools, which cost them money and resources in an already tight budget climate. Some of these provisions include:

    • A provision that allows schools demonstrating a financial hardship to seek an exemption from the whole grain nutrition standards;
    • A provision that prevents further implementation of sodium reduction standards; and
    • A provision that provides schools with flexibility in serving low-fat flavored milk.

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – The bill provides for $73.6 billion in required mandatory spending – which is outside the discretionary funding jurisdiction of the Appropriations Committee – for SNAP. This is $4.87 billion below last year’s level and $2.6 million below the President’s budget request, reflecting declining enrollment and a decrease in food costs. The total includes $3 billion for the SNAP reserve fund, equal to the President’s request, which is used to cover any unexpected participation increases.

Provisions are also included to increase congressional oversight of administrative activities and expenses, such as nutrition research and evaluations.

For the complete text of the Subcommittee Draft of the FY 2018 Agriculture Appropriations bill, please click here.

 

 

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Subcommittee Markup - FY 2018 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Bill

2017/06/26

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Subcommittee Markup - FY 2018 Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Bill

2017/06/26

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Full Committee Markup: FY2018 Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill

2017/06/26

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House Appropriations Committee Releases Fiscal Year 2018 Defense Bill

2017/06/25

The House Appropriations Committee today released the subcommittee draft of the fiscal year 2018 Defense Appropriations bill, which will be considered in subcommittee tomorrow. The legislation funds the Department of Defense – including operations, readiness activities, and health and quality-of-life programs for our troops and military families.

The legislation provides a total of $658.1 billion for the Department of Defense. This includes $584.2 billion in discretionary funding – an increase of $68.1 billion above the fiscal year 2017 enacted level and $18.4 billion above the President’s Defense budget request. The bill also provides $73.9 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO)/Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) funding.

“After years of unnecessary and unwise cuts to our national security under the last Administration, this legislation is a step forward in rebuilding our military and ensuring our nation is ready to meet any new or existing threat,” Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen said. “Not only will this bill help provide our troops and commanders with the resources they need to do their jobs, it also will ensure the success of our missions, the safety of our people, and the stability we need around the globe to make a brighter and more secure future for all.”

“Our armed forces must be able to respond to threats from countries like Russia and China, deter rogue states like Iran and North Korea, and crush violent extremists who adhere to no fixed borders. This bill reflects what our military leaders have recommended in countless meetings and briefings and demonstrates our commitment to restoring military readiness, force modernization efforts, and maintaining technological superiority on the battlefield. The last thing we want is to permit our enemies a fair fight,” said Defense Subcommittee Chairwoman Kay Granger.

Bill Highlights:

Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO)/Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) – The legislation includes $73.9 billion in OCO/GWOT funding. This will provide the needed resources for preparation and operations in the field to fight ongoing threats, including funding for personnel requirements, operational needs, the purchase of new aircraft to replace combat losses, combat vehicle safety modifications, additional Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) assets, and maintenance of facilities and equipment. It also provides critical support to our key allies, such as Israel, Ukraine and Jordan, to resist aggression.

Additional funds are targeted to requirements identified by our military services, including higher troop levels, readiness efforts, infrastructure, and equipment recapitalization and modernization. This also includes additional training time, facilities and aircraft repairs, procurement of modernized equipment, and the research and development of new military capabilities.

Military Personnel and Pay The legislation includes $138.3 billion – $133 billion for base requirements and $5.3 billion for OCO/GWOT requirements – to provide for 1,324,000 active-duty troops and 822,900 Guard and Reserve troops. The bill includes $1 billion above the request for additional end strength, and fully funds a 2.4 percent pay raise for the military.

Operation and Maintenance Included in the legislation is $241 billion – $192 billion for base requirements and $49 billion for OCO/GWOT requirements – for operation and maintenance. Funding for base requirements is $3.1 billion above the request and $24.1 billion above fiscal year 2017. This funding supports key readiness programs to prepare our troops for combat and peacetime missions, including flight time and battle training, equipment and facility maintenance, and base operations.

Within this amount, the bill includes $1 billion above the request to fill readiness shortfalls, $500 million above the request to invest in facility sustainment, restoration, and modernization programs, and $16.6 billion total for depot maintenance. This funding will help rebuild our forces to ensure our troops have the training and equipment they need.

Research and Development – The bill contains $84.3 billion – $82.7 billion for base requirements and $1.6 billion for OCO/GWOT requirements – for research, development, testing, and evaluation of new defense technologies. Funding for base requirements is $10.3 billion above the fiscal year 2017 level, and will help to support current military operations and to prepare our nation to meet a broad range of future security threats.

Specifically, this funding will support research and development of: the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter; space security programs; the new Air Force bomber program; a next-generation JSTARS aircraft; the Ohio-class submarine replacement; Future Vertical Lift; the Israeli Cooperative Programs; and other important research and development activities, including those within the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Equipment Procurement The legislation provides a total of $149 billion – $132.5 billion for base requirements and $16.5 billion for OCO/GWOT requirements – for equipment and upgrades. Funding for base requirements is $18.6 billion above the request and $24.1 billion above fiscal year 2017. These funds support our nation’s military readiness by providing the necessary platforms, weapons, and other equipment our military needs to train, maintain the force, and conduct successful operations.

For example, the bill includes: $21.5 billion to procure 11 Navy ships, including funding for one carrier replacement, two DDG-51 guided missile destroyers, two Virginia-class submarines, and three Littoral Combat Ships; $9.5 billion for 84 F-35 aircraft; $1.8 billion for 24 F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft; $1.05 billion for 56 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters; $117.5 million for 12 MQ-1 Gray Eagle unmanned aerial vehicles; $1.2 billion for 7 P-8A Poseidon aircraft; $2.4 billion for 15 KC-46 tanker aircraft; $348 million for 116 Stryker Double V-Hull upgrades; $1.09 billion for the upgrade of 85 Abrams tanks; $483 million for the upgrade of 145 Bradley fighting vehicles; $332 million for the Israeli Cooperative Programs; $298 million for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV); $100 million for National Guard High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) recapitalization; and $1 billion for the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account.

Defense Health and Military Family Programs – The bill contains $34 billion for base requirements – $150 million above the fiscal year 2017 enacted level and $267 million above the request – for the Defense Health Program to provide care for our troops, military families, and retirees.

Specifically, the bill provides $282 million for cancer research, $125 million for traumatic brain injury and psychological health research, and $277 million for sexual assault prevention and response. All of these funding levels represent increases above the President’s request.

Reductions and Rescissions to Save Tax Dollars – The bill reflects commonsense decisions to save taxpayer dollars where possible in areas that will not affect the safety or success of our troops and missions. Some of these savings include: $1 billion from lower-than-expected fuel costs, $345 million due to favorable economic conditions, and $1.5 billion in savings from rescissions of unused prior-year funding.

For text of the legislation, please click here.

 

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Subcommittee Markup - FY 2018 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill

2017/06/23

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Subcommittee Markup - FY 2018 Agriculture Appropriations Bill

2017/06/23

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Fiscal Year 2018 Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill Released

2017/06/22

The House Appropriations Committee today released the fiscal year 2018 Legislative Branch Appropriations bill, which will be considered in subcommittee tomorrow.  The bill provides annual funding for the offices of Members of the House of Representatives, the support agencies of Congress, security and police forces, services for visitors, and Capitol operations and maintenance.

The total included for the House and joint operations, excluding Senate-only items, is $3.58 billion. This is $100 million above the fiscal year 2017 level and $228 million below the President’s request. Additional funding is included to increase security for Members of Congress, staff, and their constituents in the wake of the shooting at the Congressional baseball team practice this month. The legislation also includes a provision to freeze the pay of Members of Congress, preventing any pay increases in fiscal year 2018. A freeze on the salaries of representatives has been in place since 2010.

“As we all saw last week, the security of the men and women that serve our nation in Congress is at increased risk.  We are indeed lucky, and owe an immense debt of gratitude to the Capitol Police, that a larger tragedy did not occur. This legislation helps to make strides to improve the safety of all – Members of Congress, staff, the Capitol Police, and anyone that works for and visits this great institution,” Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen said. “At the same time, it also includes the necessary resources to keep Congress open for business, fully functioning, and accessible to all, ensuring the best possible service to the people of this nation.”

Congressman Kevin Yoder, Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman, also commented on the bill.

“Crystal Griner and David Bailey’s heroism showed the country and the world what Members of Congress see every day – the bravery of the United States Capitol Police as they put their lives on the line protecting the Capitol Complex and its roughly nine million visitors every year. We owe it to them to ensure they have the necessary resources to meet their mission in an increasingly polarized climate. After additional meetings with Chief Verderosa, I believe this bill appropriately prioritizes those needs, in addition to provisions that will ensure Members can enhance their constituents' safety at events in their districts,” Chairman Yoder said. “Our bill also continues the principle of Congress leading by example by maintaining funding on the House well below 2010 levels and continues the pay freeze on Members of Congress in place since Republicans gained the majority. I appreciate Chairman Frelinghuysen’s leadership and look forward to the bill’s passage.”

Bill Summary:

House Operations  The bill contains $1.194 billion to fund the operations of the House – an increase of $5 million above fiscal year 2017. This account provides funding for Members’ Representational Allowances (MRAs), leadership, committees, and Officers of the House. This additional funding will enhance security for Members when they are away from the Capitol complex.  Funding is provided for additional cybersecurity enhancements as well as contract support. 

Member Pay Freeze – The legislation freezes pay for Members of Congress, preventing any pay increases in fiscal year 2018.

Capitol Police  The bill funds the Capitol Police at $422.5 million, an increase of $29.2 million above the fiscal year 2017 enacted level. This will fund critical safety and enhanced security functions for all Members, staff, and visitors of the Capitol Complex, and maintain public access to the Capitol and its office buildings.

Increased funding is included to address concerns related to security and protection traumatic shooting earlier this month. This includes $7.5 million to enhance protection for increased training, equipment and technology-related support items. 

Architect of the Capitol (AoC) – The legislation provides $577.8 million for the AoC, which is $48.4 million above the fiscal year 2017 enacted level. The increase in funds is directed to essential health and safety improvements to aging or damaged facilities to protect Members, staff, and visitors. The legislation will allow the AoC to prioritize essential projects that promote the safety and health of those who visit and work in the Capitol Complex, and address deferred maintenance projects. This includes $62 million for the continuation of the restoration and renovation of the Cannon House Office Building, $31 million for the continuation of the Rayburn House Office Building Garage Rehabilitation project and $10 million for the House Historic Buildings Revitalization Fund.

Library of Congress – The legislation provides $648 million for the Library of Congress, an increase of $16 million above the fiscal year 2017 enacted level. This increase will allow for information technology modernization within the Library, the Copyright Office, and the Congressional Research Service (CRS).  Language is included to allow public access to all non-confidential CRS reports.

Government Accountability Office (GAO)  The bill contains $568 million in funding for the GAO, $450 thousand above the fiscal year 2017 enacted level, to continue GAO’s critical oversight work providing Congress with accurate, nonpartisan reporting of federal programs and tracking of how taxpayer dollars are spent.

Government Publishing Office (GPO) – The legislation includes $117 million for GPO, the same as the fiscal year 2017 enacted level.

Open World Leadership Center (OWLC) – The bill includes $5.6 million for the Center, the same as the fiscal year 2017 enacted level.

For the complete text of the subcommittee draft of the FY 2018 Legislative Branch Appropriations bill, please visit:

http://docs.house.gov/meetings/AP/AP24/20170623/106178/BILLS-115-SC-AP-FY2018-LegBranch.pdf

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Subcommittee Markup - FY 2018 Defense Appropriations Bill

2017/06/21

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Subcommittee Markup - FY 2018 Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill

2017/06/20

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United Nations and International Organizations – Budget Hearing

2017/06/20


Appropriations Committee Approves Fiscal Year 2018 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Legislation

2017/06/15

The House Appropriations Committee today approved the fiscal year 2018 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill on a voice vote. The legislation meets the goals outlined by the White House to rebuild the military, providing funding to house, train, and equip military personnel, for housing and services to military families, and to help maintain base infrastructure. The bill also funds veterans’ benefits and programs.

In total, the legislation provides $88.8 billion in discretionary funding – $6 billion above the fiscal year 2017 level. This includes $638 million in Overseas Contingency Operations funding, which includes funding for European Reassurance Initiative projects.

Within this total, funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs is increased by $4 billion – 5 percent –  over the fiscal year 2017 level, including funding to increase access to services for veterans, and to increase oversight and accountability within the department. This includes the advance funding provided for veterans in the fiscal year 2017 appropriations bill.

Military construction is increased by $2.1 billion – 25 percent over the fiscal year 2017 level – to provide the necessary resources to continue to rebuild our military, to prepare our service members to be to face existing and emerging threats, and to care for military families.   

Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen made the following statement on the legislation:

“Ensuring that the proper resources are available to rebuild our military is an essential priority of Republicans in Congress and the White House, and is key to conducting successful missions and keeping our nation secure. Our servicemen and women must have the tools to do their jobs, and also the peace of mind that their needs and the needs of their families are being taken care of here at home and around the world. Just as importantly, our veterans – who have sacrificed so much to protect our way of life – deserve the full health services and benefits they have earned,” Chairman Frelinghuysen said.

“This legislation includes the funding and policies necessary to deliver on our promises to our military and our veterans. It also includes strong oversight measures to assure that tax dollars are being used wisely and to stop waste and abuse in its tracks, so that our troops and veterans get the most benefit of every cent,” Chairman Frelinghuysen continued.

Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Subcommittee Chairman Charlie Dent also commented on his bill:

“This bill demonstrates the strong support that my colleagues and I have for the brave men and women who have endured hardships and sacrifices through their service to our great nation. The bill includes significant resources to provide high-quality, comprehensive care to those who are treated through the Department of Veterans Affairs to meet the quality of life needs of those currently serving, and to enhance our readiness and defensive posture around the world. By incorporating feedback from those who represent communities all across the country and maintaining an emphasis on our veterans and military families, I am confident that this legislation will bring about positive results for our national heroes. This bill will allow us to keep the promises made to those who have served while simultaneously ensuring further accountability and oversight for taxpayer dollars,” Chairman Dent said.

Chairman Frelinghuysen also expressed the deep sympathies on behalf of himself and the Committee to the victims of yesterday’s shooting at the GOP practice for the Congressional baseball game.

“Our thoughts are with all those affected by the sad and traumatic event yesterday. We offer our sincere prayers for Mr. Scalise, Zack Barth, Matt Mika, Special Agent David Bailey, Special Agent Krystal Griner, and their families. We also commend the extremely heroic acts of the U.S. Capitol Police, who put their lives on the line time after time to protect all of us, and who saved the lives of many yesterday.”

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

Rep. Dent – The manager’s amendment makes technical and noncontroversial changes to the bill and report. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Wasserman Shultz – The amendment inserts language to the bill that a federal hiring freeze shall not apply to the Veterans Crisis Line employees. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.


For a bill summary, please click here.

For the draft text of the bill, please click here.

For the draft bill report, please click here.

 

 

 

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Appropriations Committee Releases Fiscal Year 2018 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Legislation

2017/06/11

The House Appropriations Committee today released the fiscal year 2018 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill, which will be considered in subcommittee tomorrow. The legislation meets the goals outlined by the White House to rebuild the military, providing funding to house, train, and equip military personnel, provide housing and services to military families, and help maintain base infrastructure. The bill also funds veterans’ benefits and programs.

In total, the legislation provides $88.8 billion in discretionary funding – $6 billion above the fiscal year 2017 level. This includes $638 million in Overseas Contingency Operations funding, which includes funding for European Reassurance Initiative projects.

Within this total, funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs is increased by $4 billion – 5 percent –  over the fiscal year 2017 level, including funding to increase access to services for veterans, and to increase oversight and accountability within the department. This includes the advance funding provided for veterans in the fiscal year 2017 appropriations bill.

Military construction is increased by $2.1 billion – 25 percent over the fiscal year 2017 level – to provide the necessary resources to continue to rebuild our military, to prepare our service members to be to face existing and emerging threats, and to care for military families.   

Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen made the following statement on the legislation:

“Ensuring that the proper resources are available to rebuild our military is an essential priority of Republicans in Congress and the White House, and is key to conducting successful missions and keeping our nation secure. Our servicemen and servicewomen need the tools to do their jobs, and also need the peace of mind that their needs and the needs of their families are being taken care of here at home and around the world. Just as importantly, our veterans – who have sacrificed so much to protect our way of life – deserve the full health services and benefits they have earned,” Chairman Frelinghuysen said.

“This legislation includes the funding and policies necessary to deliver on our promises to our military and our veterans. It also includes strong oversight measures to assure that tax dollars are being used wisely and to stop waste and abuse in its tracks, so that our troops and vets get the most benefit of every cent,” Chairman Frelinghuysen continued.

Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Subcommittee Chairman Charlie Dent also commented on his bill:

“This bill demonstrates the strong support that my colleagues and I have for the brave men and women who have endured hardships and sacrifices through their service to our great nation. The bill includes significant resources to provide high-quality, comprehensive care to those who are treated through the Department of Veterans Affairs to meet the quality of life needs of those currently serving, and to enhance our readiness and defensive posture around the world. By incorporating feedback from those who represent communities all across the country and maintaining an emphasis on our veterans and military families, I am confident that this legislation will bring about positive results for our national heroes. This bill will allow us to keep the promises made to those who have served while simultaneously ensuring further accountability and oversight for taxpayer dollars,” Chairman Dent said.

Bill Highlights:

The bill totals $88.8 billion – $6 billion above the fiscal year 2017 level and $573 million below the President’s budget request. This includes $638 million in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding.

Oversight and Accountability – The legislation strengthens oversight and accountability at the Departments of Defense (DOD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) to ensure taxpayer dollars are being used to fully benefit our service members and our veterans. Several provisions are included to keep these agencies on track and to address problems that have wasted money and hurt critical services. 

Some of these oversight provisions include: requiring rigorous reporting on the status of VA claims processing, requiring large construction projects to be managed outside of the VA, limiting transfers between construction projects, limiting changes in the scope of construction projects, restricting certain spending actions without notification to Congress, and fencing funding for the electronic health record until VA meets extensive data requirements. 

The bill also includes funding for new oversight offices in VA, as requested, to protect whistleblowers and provide increased accountability through investigation of poorly-performing managers and instances of inferior patient care. These offices will support the Secretary’s new authority to fire or demote poorly performing employees and to recoup pay, benefits and awards in cases of malfeasance.

Military Construction – The bill provides a total of $10.2 billion for military construction projects – an increase of $2.1 billion – 25 percent – above the enacted fiscal year 2017 level. Within this amount, $638 million is provided in OCO funding for projects in countries with ongoing U.S. operations. These funds will provide for the construction and maintenance of facilities to enable our military to fight current and emerging threats, to support increased troop levels, and to sustain services for military families. This includes operational facilities, training facilities, hospitals, family housing, National Guard readiness centers, barracks, and other important resources. In total, 215 military construction projects across the country and overseas receive funding in the bill.

  • Military Family Housing – The bill provides $1.4 billion to fund construction, operation, and maintenance of military family housing for fiscal year 2018. This is $131 million above the fiscal year 2017 level and the same as the budget request. The funding will ensure quality housing is sustained for all 1,388,028 military families currently served by the program.

  • Military Medical Facilities – The bill includes $737 million for construction and alterations for new or existing military medical facilities, an increase of $433 million above the fiscal year 2017 level. This funding will allow for continued support and care for 9.8 million eligible beneficiaries, including our wounded troops abroad. 

  • DOD Education Facilities – The bill includes $249 million for essential safety improvements and infrastructure work at four DOD Education Activities facilities located within the U.S. and overseas. 

  • Guard and Reserve – The bill includes $575 million for construction or alteration of Guard and Reserve facilities in 22 states, the same as the requested level.

  • NATO Security Investment Program (NSIP) – The bill provides $178 million, the same level as in FY 2017, for infrastructure necessary for wartime, crisis, and peace support and deterrence operations, and training requirements. The funds will support responses to the challenges posed by Russia and to the risks and threats emanating from the Middle East and North Africa. 

  •  Guantanamo Bay – The legislation continues language to prohibit the closure of the Guantanamo Bay Naval Station and a provision to prohibit funding for any facility within the U.S. to house detainees. The bill also includes $115 million in funding to build two new barracks to house service members stationed at Guantanamo Bay.

Veterans Affairs (VA) – The legislation includes a total of $182.3 billion in both discretionary and mandatory funding for the VA, an increase of $5.3 billion above the fiscal year 2017 level. This funding will help address many of the problems currently facing the VA, and provide for better and increased access to care for our veterans.

Discretionary funding alone for VA programs in the bill totals $78.3 billion, an increase of $3.9 billion above the fiscal year 2017 level. Approximately $66.4 billion of this discretionary total was provided last year via advance funding in the fiscal year 2017 Appropriations bill. 

These additional funds will provide resources for important priorities within the VA, such as suicide prevention, claims processing, homeless prevention and care, opioid addiction, and medical research.

  • VA Medical Care – The bill funds VA medical care at $69 billion – providing for approximately seven million patients to be treated in fiscal year 2018. Within this total, funding includes: $8.4 billion in mental health care services; $186 million in suicide prevention activities; $316 million for traumatic brain injury treatment; $7.3 billion in homeless veterans treatment, services, housing, and job training; $751 million for hepatitis C treatment; $50 million for opioid abuse prevention; and $250 million in rural health initiatives. This total also includes full funding of the President’s additional $2.6 billion request to meet higher-than-anticipated medical needs.

  • VA Electronic Health Record – The bill contains $65 million for the modernization of the VA electronic health record system, the same as the President’s request. This will ensure the swift implementation of the plan for the VA to use an identical electronic record system as the DOD. This will also ensure our veterans get proper care, with timely and accurate medical data transferred between the VA, DOD, and the private sector.

  • Disability Claims Processing Backlog – Reducing the disability claims backlog is essential to ensuring adequate compensation and care for the 312,000 veterans still wading through the VA bureaucracy to get a final decision on their claims. The bill will help speed this process and get these veterans the decisions they are awaiting by providing $50 million above the request to be used for digital scanning of health records and overtime pay. In addition, the bill continues rigorous reporting requirements to track each regional office’s performance on claims processing and appeals backlogs. 

  • Construction – Major and minor construction within the VA is funded at $753 million. The bill provides the full request for the construction of major medical facilities, and expansion of cemeteries that are reaching capacity before 2022.

  • VA Mandatory Funding – The bill fulfills mandatory funding requirements such as: veteran disability compensation programs for 4.5 million veterans and their survivors; education benefits for one million veterans; and vocational rehabilitation and employment training for more than 145,000 veterans. 
    ;
  • Advance Appropriations – The bill contains $70.7 billion in advance fiscal year 2019 funding for veterans’ medical programs – the same level as the President’s request. This funding will provide for medical services, medical support and compliance, and medical facilities, and ensure that our veterans have continued, full access to their medical care needs. The bill includes $107.7 billion in advance funding for VA mandatory benefit programs, as requested in the President's budget.

For the complete text of the Subcommittee Draft of the FY 2018 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill, please click here.

 

 

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Chairmen Frelinghuysen and Dent Applaud New Effort on a Joint Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs Health Record System

2017/06/05

House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen and Military Construction/Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Charlie Dent today applauded an announcement by the White House on a new effort for a joint Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs health record-keeping system.

“This decision has been a long time in coming,” Chairman Frelinghuysen said. “I have personally discussed the mismatch between the Department of Defense medical records system and the Veterans Affairs system with the last several secretaries of both departments. To avoid interruptions in care or expensive redundancy, the Appropriations Committee has demanded that the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense use an identical or at least compatible or interoperable network. Today, with his decision, Secretary Shulkin confirmed that the time for action has arrived.”

“The implementation of an effective electronic health record system that provides integrated service between the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense has been a bipartisan priority and goal for a long time,” Chairman Dent said. “My focus is to provide the best care possible for veterans, supported by a modern electronic health record system that best serves their needs as they transition from active to veteran status and protects their personal information in a cost-effective manner. As Secretary Shulkin has noted, a collaborative approach with Congress will be required to further assess this proposal, and I applaud this initial step forward. I look forward to continuing to work with Chairman Frelinghuysen, our colleagues, and the administration to fulfill the Committee’s goal of delivering a system that serves our veterans and our service members alike.”

 

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RESCHEDULED: Federal Bureau of Investigation – Budget Hearing

2017/06/05


Chairman Frelinghuysen Statement on the President’s Budget Request

2017/05/23

House Committee on Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen made the following statement today on the release of the President’s budget request:

"As outlined in the Constitution, the Congress, not the Executive Branch, has the ‘power of the purse.’ My Committee takes this responsibility very seriously. It is our job to analyze the request, go through each and every budget line, question every witness, and demand spending justifications on behalf of the taxpayers who are footing the bill. Only then can Congress put forward our own plan to fund the federal government, ensuring the wise investment of taxpayer dollars on important programs while trimming back or eliminating waste and duplication.

"The Appropriations Committee has already begun this process, and it will continue rapidly over the next weeks and months. We intend to work as quickly as possible – while maintaining the highest standard of responsibility – to complete the fiscal year 2018 Appropriations bills in a timely fashion. It is up to this Congress to provide needed proper funding to federal programs to maintain our national security and to uphold our common American values.”

 

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Bill to Fund Federal Government Approved

2017/05/03

The House today approved the fiscal year 2017 Consolidated Omnibus Appropriations bill, the legislation that will provide discretionary funding for the federal government for the current fiscal year.

The bill includes full Appropriations legislation and funding for the remaining 11 annual Appropriations bills through the end of the fiscal year, September 30, 2017. This level meets the base discretionary spending caps provided by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, and provides additional funding for national defense, border security, and other emergency needs. 

The legislation represents a $25 billion increase in national defense funding over current levels – a major stride forward in restoring the strength and capacity of our armed forces. It also includes a $1.5 billion down payment on additional measures to bolster border security.

In addition, provisions are included for key national priorities such as natural disaster relief, an extension of miners’ health benefits, increases in health research, and opioid addiction treatment and prevention.

Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen made the following statement on the legislation:

“This bill reflects shared values that will help make our nation stronger, safer, and more resilient. It fulfills our constitutional duty to fund important federal services that the American people rely on – and it does this in a responsible way, making the best use of every single taxpayer dollar. In short, it moves our nation forward – in the right direction.

“This bill makes the smart decisions to invest funding where it is needed most – rebuilding our military, securing our borders, and bolstering economic growth. It is the result of hard-fought negotiations and over a year’s worth of diligent and careful work. I’m proud of the House for passing this legislation today, and I look forward to getting on to the next phase – the fiscal year 2018 Appropriations process.”

Bill Highlights –

Funding Levels –The legislation provides a total of $1.163 trillion in base and Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) / Global War on Terror (GWOT) funding for the operations of the federal government. Base discretionary funding alone in the bill meets the caps in current law, providing $1.07 trillion.

The bill includes $93.5 billion in total OCO/GWOT funding to provide needed resources and training for our troops in the field, to combat the threat of ISIL and other enemies around the world, to support U.S. allies, and to fund diplomatic and humanitarian missions.

The bill also includes $8.2 billion in emergency and disaster funding for fiscal year 2017 for needs resulting from fires, floods, and other extreme weather events.

Timing – The funding included in the bill will extend to the end of the fiscal year on September 30, 2017.

Policy Items – The legislation includes several policy items to help rein in bureaucratic and regulatory overreach, to protect the rights of Americans, and to encourage economic growth and job creation. For details of these items, please see the summaries below.

Omnibus Summaries For detailed summaries of the 11 Appropriations bills within the Omnibus, including funding levels and policy items, please visit the following:

Agriculture

Commerce/Justice/Science 

Defense

Energy and Water

Financial Services

Homeland Security

Interior and Environment

Labor/Health and Human Services/Education

Legislative Branch

State/Foreign Operations

Transportation/Housing and Urban Development

 

For the full text of the bill and accompanying reports, please visit: www.rules.house.gov.

 

 

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Chairman Frelinghuysen Floor Statement on Final, Full-Year FY 2017 Funding Legislation

2017/05/03

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen spoke on the House floor today in support of the full-year FY 2017 funding bill.

The prepared text of his statement follows:

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present the House amendment to H.R. 244, a bill that will provide funding for the federal government for the rest of the 2017 fiscal year.

This bill reflects shared values that will help make our nation stronger, safer, and more prosperous. It fulfills our Constitutional duty to fund important federal services that the American people rely on every day, and it does this in a responsible way, making the best use of every single taxpayer dollar – assuring more reliability and predictability than a government operating under a Continuing Resolution.

In short, it moves our nation forward – in the right direction.

The bill includes full-year funding for the remaining 11 annual Appropriations bills – for defense, infrastructure, health, and safety programs – through the end of the fiscal year on September 30, 2017, as well as critical emergency and supplemental funding requested by the President.

In total, it provides $1.163 trillion in base and Overseas Contingency Operations / Global War on Terror funding. These levels meet the caps provided by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.

This bill makes the smart decisions to invest funding where it is needed most – rebuilding our military, securing our borders, and bolstering economic growth – getting people back to work!

First and foremost and most importantly, the bill prioritizes funding for national defense – restoring the strength and capacity of our Armed Forces. Overall Defense funding is increased by $25 billion above FY16 levels.

This funding will help assure our military has proper training, the best weapons and equipment, and other resources needed to defeat ISIS, battle radical extremism around the world, and support our allies in critical regions against threats from Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea.

To rebuild our end strength, the bill includes $1.6 billion for an additional 36,000 troops above the previous Administration’s request.

And most importantly, this bill supports our brave men and women in uniform – all volunteers – and provides them with a 2.1% pay raise – the largest in six years – and takes care of their families.

To help secure our borders and protect our homeland, the bill provides Customs and Border Protection with a total of $12.2 billion – nearly a $1 billion increase above FY16.

In fact, this is largest increase to border security technologies and infrastructure in a decade – a down payment on stronger, more effective systems and barriers.

Funding is also prioritized to tackle gang and drug crime, combat terrorism, and support law enforcement. Vital agencies, like the FBI, the US Marshals, the DEA, and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, receive funding boosts for FY17.

Other domestic funding is directed to proven, effective programs that improve the health and safety of Americans. This includes increases for NIH and CDC.

And significantly, we have increased funding to battle the opioid abuse epidemic by $781 million from last year. This funding will provide treatment, education, and enforcement, and help the unacceptably high number of communities that have been devastated by this crisis.

Lastly, this legislation funds important national priorities like critical infrastructure and essential disaster relief, and supports our local communities, including renewing the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program and giving choices to parents!

This bill should also be noted for what it doesn’t fund.

Our legislations cuts, freezes, or eliminates funding for dozens of programs that have been wasteful, ineffective, or are just plain unnecessary.

For example: We cut funding at the EPA by $81 million and reined in its regulatory program to prevent overreach. We froze the IRS’s funding at current levels and directed funding to improve service to taxpayers.

And to ensure that each and every tax dollar is spent responsibly, the bill implements strong oversight and accountability at every level of government.

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to support this bill as it reflects the needs of the American people and our common values. We are investing in the security and success of our nation – and for that, this bill deserves solid, bipartisan support.

Mr. Speaker, it is now seven months into the 2017 fiscal year; we must complete our work today. It is time to look ahead and begin work on our 2018 priorities.

I urge my colleagues to support this bill.

Thank you, and I reserve my time.

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Contact Information

H-307 The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-2771
Fax 202-225-7771
appropriations.house.gov


Membership

Rodney Frelinghuysen

NEW JERSEY's 11th DISTRICT

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