Conference Committee Approves Department of Defense, Labor Health and Human Services Appropriations Package, Continuing Resolution Introduced
The House Appropriations Committee today filed a two-bill Appropriations “minibus” funding bill, which has been approved by a joint House and Senate Conference Committee. This Conference Report includes the Department of Defense, and the Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations bills for fiscal year 2019.
This package of bills also includes a short-term “Continuing Resolution (CR),” which will provide continued funding to keep the federal government operating until all yearly Appropriations funding bills can be signed into law. The CR merely extends current levels of funding for federal agencies until December 7, 2018.
House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen made the following statement on the legislation:
“We owe it to the American people and to our men and women of our Armed Forces to provide the resources needed to protect our nation from both current and future threats, and to ensure that our military remains the strongest in the world. This legislation fully supports our warfighters and their families, and continues our efforts to rebuild our military after years of under-funding and neglect. When this bill is signed into law, it will mark the first time in over 20 years that the Department of Defense will have its full yearly appropriation prior to the end of the fiscal year.
“In addition, the legislation funds critical programs that will protect and save lives both now and in the future, This includes investments in vital National Institutes of Health research to cure diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s, job training, college preparation, special education programs, programs to combat opioid abuse, school safety, and protections against pandemics and bio-threats.
“This package also includes a short term Continuing Resolution to keep the federal government open and operational until all 12 Appropriations bills can be signed into law. This will avoid the threat of any shutdown, and allow for time for work on the remaining funding bills to be completed.”
This package represents the next step made by the House and Senate to return to “regular order” – which means completing all 12 funding bills through the normal legislative process and enacting them into law. Further, when the Energy and Water (which includes Department of Defense nuclear security activities) and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (passed as part of the Conference Report for H.R. 5895), and this Defense Appropriations bills are signed into law, it will be the first time in more 20 years that the Department of Defense will have its full annual funding enacted before the end of the current fiscal year.
Defense Appropriations –
- Provides a total of $674.4 billion in funding, which is consistent with the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019. It continues to rebuild the military with a boost of $17 billion above the fiscal year 2018 level in base discretionary funding.
- Of the total, the bill includes $67.9 billion for ongoing Overseas Contingency Operations and Global War on Terror efforts.
- Supports our warfighters by including the authorized 2.6% pay raise for our troops – the largest such pay raise in nine years.
- Boosts troop levels – supports 1,338,100 active-duty troops and 817,700 Guard and Reserve troops and meets the requested 16,400 end-strength increase.
- Cares for our troops, military families, and retirees by including $34.4 billion for the Defense Health Program.
- Includes funding above the request for cancer research, traumatic brain injury and psychological health research, and sexual assault prevention and response.
- Replenishes our military might by providing $148 billion for equipment procurement and $96.1 billion for research and development into new defense systems and technologies.
Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations –
- Includes vital funding for the National Institutes of Health – $39 billion, an increase of $2 billion – for research to cure diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s.
- Funds programs to protect against health threats such as pandemics and bio-threats, providing $7.9 billion for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and $2 billion to prepare for and prevent public health and social services emergencies with programs such as biomedical research, acquisition of medical supplies and vaccines, and hospital preparedness grants.
- Saves taxpayers $50 million in future appropriations by creating the first Infectious Diseases Rapid Response Reserve Fund, where funds only become available for use in the event of a future public health emergency.
- Encourages economic growth with funding for job training programs and grants, Job Corps, and veterans employment services.
- Prepares the next generation through education programs, including college preparation and Pell grant funding, special education programs, pre-school grants, charter schools, and state support and achievement grants.
- Helps to combat the opioid epidemic by providing $6.7 billion, a historic level of funding, for programs that fight, treat, and stop substance abuse and support access to mental health services. This includes $5.7 billion for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a $584 million increase. This will fund activities authorized under the 21st Century Cures Act and other addiction and recovery programs. The legislation also provides increases for State opioid response grants and criminal justice programs such as drug courts.
- Improves school safety by investing $1.5 billion in the Department of Education and HHS.
For more detailed information on these Appropriations bills, please visit: republicans-appropriations.house.gov/legislation.