President Trump Signs Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Into Law

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Yesterday, Congress passed a 2,232-page, $1.3 trillion omnibus spending package to fund the government for Fiscal Year 2018 (through September 30, 2018), and President Trump signed the bill into law today. The bill passed the House on a vote of 256 – 167 and the Senate on a vote of 65 – 32. Since October 1, 2017, Congress has passed four short-term Continuing Resolutions (CRs) to keep the government funded. The bill contains funding for 12 appropriations bills, including:

  • $43.2 billion for the Energy & Water Development appropriations bill, which is $5.4 billion more than FY17 enacted levels.
    • It funds the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) at $6.83 billion, an increase of $800 million above FY17 enacted levels, including an additional $200 million for its construction account, which is currently funded at $1.876 billion, and an additional $500 million for its operations and maintenance account; the construction funding level is nearly $2 billion less than ASCE’s FY18 request ($3.876 billion). It also includes $3 billion for navigation projects and studies, including $1.4 billion in funding from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund and full use of estimated annual revenues, as well as $1.9 billion to support public health and safety by funding flood and storm damage reduction activities.
    • It funds the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) at $34.5 billion, an increase of $3.77 billion above FY17 enacted levels, including $12.9 billion for its energy programs, an increase of $1.6 billion above FY17 enacted levels.
    • It funds DOE’s Office of Science at $6.26 billion, an increase of $868 million above FY17 enacted levels. Lawmakers rejected President Trump’s proposal to eliminate the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy program, giving it a $47 million boost for a total of $353 million.
  • $35.25 billion for the Interior & Environment appropriations bill, which is nearly $3 billion more than FY17 enacted levels.
    • It provides an additional $300 million for both the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (SRFs) at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), bringing the combined funding for both programs to $2.85 billion, which is $3.9 billion less than ASCE’s FY18 request ($6.76 billion) that would have tripled SRF funding. Overall, the bill freezes base EPA funding at the FY17 enacted level of $8.1 billion and reduces its regulatory program by $23.5 million below the current level. It provides an additional $66 million for Superfund cleanup sites, as well as an additional $63 million for the Water Infrastructure Finance & Innovation Act (WIFIA).
    • The bill includes an additional $185 million for the National Park Service to address their deferred maintenance backlog.
    • It funds the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) at $1.1 billion, an increase of $63 million above FY17 enacted levels, and preserves the agency’s eight climate centers, which President Trump proposed to cut in half.
  • $70.3 billion in net discretionary spending for the Transportation, Housing & Urban Development appropriations bill, an increase of $12.65 billion above FY17 levels.
    • It funds the Department of Transportation (DOT) at $27.3 billion in discretionary appropriations, an increase of $8.7 billion from FY17 enacted levels. Of the $27.4 billion, $3 billion is directed to major ongoing DOT discretionary programs, and $4.4 billion is directed towards giving additional discretionary general fund money to transportation trust fund contract authority programs.
    • Key accounts include:
      • $1.5 billion in National Infrastructure Investment/ TIGER grants, an increase of $1 billion from FY17 enacted levels and $500 million more than ASCE’s FY18 request ($1 billion);
      • $10.2 billion in FAA Operations, an increase of $186 million from FY17 enacted levels;
      • $1.9 billion in grants to Amtrak, an increase of $447 million from FY17 enacted levels;
      • $250 million is dedicated for the federal-state partnership for state of good repair grants (a FAST Act program), an increase of $225 million from FY17 enacted levels;
      • $593 million for Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) grant program, an increase of $525 million from FY17 enacted levels; and
      • $2.6 billion for Capital Investment Grants (CIG), an increase of $232 million from FY17 enacted levels and $300 million more than ASCE’s FY18 request ($2.3 billion).
    • It funds programs authorized by the FAST Act above the requested level.
    • Highway Trust Fund obligation limitations are at 100.3 percent of the FAST level, and the general fund appropriations authorized by FAST receive 124.7 percent of their authorized levels.
    • The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) receives $18 billion.
    • The Airport Improvement Program receives an extra $1 billion in general fund money for discretionary grants to smaller airports in addition to the $3.35 billion obligation limitation.
    • Final language does not include an increase in the Passenger Facilities Charge (PFC) cap.
    • The package also includes a six-month FAA extension, which gives Congress until September 30, 2018 to work out a long-term reauthorization.
  • $59.6 billion in total discretionary funding for the Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations bill, an increase of $3 billion above FY17 enacted levels.
    • It includes $20.7 billion for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), an increase of $1.1 billion above FY17 enacted levels. The bill increases the agency’s planetary science programs by $382 million, for a total of $2.2 billion. NASA’s earth science programs remain flat at current levels, and it rejects President Trump’s proposed elimination of several earth science missions.
    • It funds the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) at $1.2 billion, an increase of $247 million above FY17 enacted levels.
    • It also funds the National Science Foundation (NSF) at $7.8 billion, an increase of $295 million above FY17 enacted levels. Under this bill, the agency’s research account grows to $6.3 billion, an increase of about 5 percent above FY17 enacted levels. The bill notes “this strong investment in basic research reflects the Congress’ growing concern that China and other competitors are outpacing the United States in terms of research spending,” and it endorses the Senate’s request to build three new oceanographic research vessels. It funds NSF’s Education and Human Resources Directorate at $902 million, an increase of $22 million above FY17 enacted levels.
    • It funds the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at $5.9 billion, an increase of $234 million above FY17 enacted levels. While funding for climate research remains flat, the final bill rejects President Trump’s and the House Committee on Appropriations’ proposed cuts.

The bill also includes a short-term extension of the National Flood Insurance Program through July 31, 2018. Finally, it funds the U.S. Department of Education’s Teacher Training and Professional Development at the current level of $2.056 billion and increases the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Afterschool Program to $1.21 billion, an increase of $20 million above FY17 enacted levels. For more details, please see the House Committee on Appropriations website, which can be found here.

 

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