Congress Announces Agreement on FY 2017 Spending Bill

houseofrep232wayLast week, Congress passed and the President signed into law H.J. Res. 99, the short-term Continuing Resolution which continues to fund government operations through May 5th.

Congressional leaders have released a Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Omnibus Appropriations bill, which would provide discretionary funding for the federal government through the end of the fiscal year, September 30, 2017. The bill includes funding for the remaining 11 annual appropriations bills and continues the discretionary agency spending caps provided under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.  None of the $18 billion specific administration-requested agency cuts for FY 17 occurred.

Highlights from the bill are below:

  • Government-wide Provisions: Continues the 10 years of credit monitoring and identity protection for individuals affected by the Office of Personnel Management data breaches, and the current moratorium on agency A-76 public-private competitions.
  • Food and Drug Administration: $42 million discretionary increase.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Increase of $35 million, much of which is for grants.
  • Customs and Border Protection: The Omnibus provides Customs and Border Protection (CBP) with $11.4 billion, representing an increase of $226.1 million from the previous year for improvements to and maintenance of existing infrastructure, technology investments, and hiring support, but no funding to hire additional CBP Officers (CBPOs) and Agriculture Specialists. In FY 2014, Congress gave CBP Office of Field Operations (OFO) funding to hire 2,000 new CBPOs, but 1,400 of these funded positions have yet to be hired. The bill would require CBP OFO to provide an updated resource allocation model detailing specific staffing, overtime, hours of operation and funding for and implementation of enforcement initiatives at the ports of entry. The bill also provides $65 million for DHS Chief Human Capital Officer to improve hiring, including of CBPOs, and includes a new polygraph reporting requirement, including a review against other agencies’ polygraph metrics.
  • Environmental Protection Agency: $81.4 million decrease from FY16.
  • Internal Revenue Service: Under the bill, FY17 funding would be frozen at the current FY16 enacted level of $11.235 billion, $1.045 billion less than the previous administration’s request. While funding for the IRS in the omnibus would be higher than provided under the House-passed Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill approved last July that would have slashed funding by $236 million, NTEU believes it is still insufficient to allow the IRS to meet its taxpayer service and enforcement challenges and to begin rebuilding its decimated workforce. As Congress begins consideration of the FY’18 budget for the IRS, we will work with our supporters in Congress to highlight the adverse impact that recent cuts have had on the Service, to oppose any further cuts to the budget in FY 2018 as proposed by the President, and to ensure the IRS is provided with the resources necessary to accomplish its mission.
  • Commodity Futures Trading Commission: Held at FY16 levels.
  • Securities and Exchange Commission: Held at FY16 levels, but will lose $25 million from its Reserve Fund.
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: CFPB must brief Congress quarterly on its budget and disclose its transfer payments from the Federal Reserve; however, the bill does not subject the agency to appropriations and there are no changes to its current structure.
  • LIHEAP: Held as FY16 levels.
  • Department of Energy: $1.1 billion increase over 2016.
    • DOE ARPA-E — increased $15 million.
    • DOE Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy — increased $17 million.
    • DOE Office of Science — increased $42 million.
  • National Park Service: The bill provides $2.93 billion for NPS, a 3% increase above the FY 2016 level, including funds for park construction, maintenance activities, and newly authorized park units.

I am pleased the threat of a shutdown has receded, and want you to know that NTEU will be fighting to ensure adequate agency funding for personnel, operations, and programs for FY18, which will soon be the focus for the administration and Congress.

I will keep you updated on developments regarding passage and enactment of this funding agreement.