US House Appropriations Process Underway

U.S. House Appropriators continue to make progress on their twelve appropriations bills even without a congressional budget deal for FY 2020.

Department of Interior and Environment

The House Appropriations Committee has reported to the House the FY 2020 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill. The bill includes:

A total $37.28 billion, an increase of $1.73 billion over the 2019 enacted level and $7.24 billion over the President’s 2020 request. There is also an additional $2.25 billion of funding provided under the fire suppression cap adjustment.

Wildland Fire Management (WFM) for U.S. Forest Service – The bill provides $5.21 billion for WFM, which includes $2.25 billion in cap adjusted fire suppression funding. The total funding is $1.6 billion above the 2019 enacted level and $49 million above the President’s budget request.

Department of the Interior (DOI) – The bill provides a total of $13.79 billion in discretionary appropriations for DOI – $833 million above the 2019 enacted level and $2.41 billion above the President’s budget request. Of this amount, the bill includes:

  • $1.4 billion for the Bureau of Land Management, $66 million above the 2019 enacted level and $224 million above the President’s budget request.
  • $1.7 billion for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, $79 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $329 million above the President’s budget request. Within this amount, the bill includes:
    • $289 million for Ecological Services, $37 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $49 million above the President’s budget request.
    • $514 million for National Wildlife Refuge System, $26 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $5 million above the President’s budget request.
    • $71 million for State and Tribal Wildlife Grants, $6 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $39 million above the President’s budget request.
    • The bill includes $1.76 million for Nutria Eradication and Control program.

The bill provides a total of $9.52 billion in for EPA – $672 million above the 2019 enacted level and $3.42 billion above the President’s budget request. Of this amount, the bill includes:

  • $3.41 billion for EPA’s core science and environmental program work, an increase of $105 million above the 2019 enacted level and $1.03 billion above the President’s budget request. Within these amounts, the bill includes
  • $476 million for Geographic Programs which help with restoration of nationally significant bodies of water like the Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay, and Long Island Sound. This is an increase of $19 million above the 2019 enacted level and $438 million above the President’s budget request.
  • $511 million for compliance monitoring and enforcement activities, a $40 million increase above the 2019 enacted level and $63 million above the President’s request.
  • $18 million in additional funding for scientific and regulatory work on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), needed to establish a drinking water standard and cleanup standards. This level of funding more than doubles current levels for this work.  
  • $4.64 billion for State and Tribal Assistance Grants, a $511 million increase above the 2019 enacted level and $1.87 billion above the President’s budget request. Within this amount, the bill includes:
  • $3.11 billion for Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds, an increase of $345 million above the 2019 enacted level and $1.13 billion above the President’s budget request.
  • $70 million for targeted grants for drinking water contaminants like lead, nitrates, or other health hazards.
  • $105 million for Brownfields cleanups, a $20.8 increase above the 2019 enacted level and $43 million increase above the President’s budget request.
  • $1.21 billion for Superfund, an increase of $55 million above the 2019 enacted level and $169 million above the President’s request.
  • $10.2 million for Environmental Justice activities, a 47% increase above the 2019 enacted level nearly four-fold increase above the President’s budget request.    

U.S. Forest Service (non-fire)

$3.68 billion is provided for the Forest Service (non-fire), a programmatic increase of $257 million above the 2019 enacted level and $895 million above the President’s budget request. The bill eliminates cost pools from the Forest Service account and instead provides funding for forest service operations in a new account.

Department of Agriculture

On Tuesday, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee will take up the FY 2020 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies bill.  Total discretionary funding in the legislation is $24.310 billion, which is $1 billion above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level. In total, the bill allows for $155.3 billion in both discretionary and mandatory funding – $3.2 billion above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level.

Some of the details in bill include:

Rural Broadband – The legislation invests over $680 million in the expansion of broadband service to provide economic development opportunities and improved education and healthcare services.  These significant investments in broadband reflect a commitment to enabling Americans in rural communities to access digital tools necessary to improve health, educational, and economic outcomes.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – The bill provides for $71.1 billion in required mandatory spending for SNAP.  This includes $5 billion for the SNAP reserve fund.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – The FDA receives a total of $3.26 billion in discretionary funding in the bill, $184 million above the 2019 enacted level. Total funding for the FDA, including revenue from user fees, is $5.86 billion. Within this total, the Committee provides target increases for medical product and food safety activities, including new initiatives to revolutionize the safety of the nation’s blood supply and to enable faster responses to foodborne illness outbreaks. In addition, the bill includes a strong focus on continuing FDA’s efforts to advance generic drug reviews and increase medical product manufacturing in the U.S. The bill also appropriates $75 million to accelerate medical product development as authorized in the 21st Century Cures Act.

Marketing Programs – The bill provides $183 million, $24 million above 2019 and $68 million above the request, to facilitate the movement of agriculture products and open market opportunities. This includes $18 million for the National Organic Program to protect the integrity of the USDA Organic label. The bill also provides $23.4 million in discretionary funds to the Agricultural Marketing Service and Rural Development for the Local Agriculture Market Program to continue supporting local food and value-added agriculture.

The measure includes $16.5 million for USDA-AMS Specialty Crop Division to implement Industrial Hemp provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill. The Committee understands that
USDA is working on implementing the Hemp Production Program
as authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill and encourages the Department
to use existing resources to issue regulations as soon as possible.

Animal and Plant Health – The legislation includes $1.034 billion – $23 million above the fiscal year 2019 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 provides increases that will help address harmful pests and diseases such as cattle fever ticks and chronic wasting disease, while maintaining increases from past years for citrus greening.

Of the total amount provided to APHIS, $186.5 million is provided for Specialty Crop Pests. This is $513,000 above the FY 2019 level.

Within the amount included for Specialty Crop Pests, the Committee
includes:

  • $63,640,000 for fruit fly exclusion and detection;
  • $61,000,000 for citrus health, including $3,000,000 for the Huanglongbing Multi-Agency Coordination efforts;
  • $21,100,000 for the glassy-winged sharpshooter;
  • $6,318,000 for the pale cyst nematode;
  • $6,500,000 for the light brown apple moth;
  • $6,600,000 for the European grapevine moth; and
  • $12,000,000 for spotted lanternfly.

USDA-APHIS Wildlife Service Damage Management is increased by $1.4 million above the FY 2019 level, to $109.8 million.


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