Politics

Omnibus Agreement Details $1 Trillion in FY 2017 Spending

Democrats say they blocked Trump agenda, Republicans tout defense, security spending

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the omnibus spending bill “does not fund President Trump’s immoral and unwise border wall or create a cruel new deportation force. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By Ryan McCrimmon and Jennifer Shutt/CQ Roll Call

House and Senate appropriators early Monday morning unveiled the text of an omnibus spending bill to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year, a more than $1 trillion package that funnels extra money to the military but rejects many of President Donald Trump’s other signature spending proposals.

The mammoth legislation comprises the 11 unfinished fiscal 2017 appropriations bills, providing fresh spending instructions for nearly every corner of the federal government. Congress will need to clear the spending package before current appropriations under a continuing resolution expire at midnight on Friday.

The omnibus provides an annualized total of $1.07 trillion in base spending for fiscal 2017, or $1.16 trillion including Overseas Contingency Operations funding.

The 1,665-page legislation was published online just after 2 a.m. Monday and the package could see House floor action as early as Wednesday followed by Senate consideration before the end of the week.

The House Rules Committee will consider the legislation at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, a committee spokeswoman said.

Democratic leaders touted the agreement as a victory, claiming to have blocked 160 “poison pill” Republican policy riders and stymied many of Trump’s priorities, especially on border enforcement.

“We have eliminated more than 160 Republican poison pill riders, ranging from undermining a woman’s right to reproductive health to dismantling Dodd-Frank’s vital Wall Street consumer protections,” House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. “The omnibus does not fund President Trump’s immoral and unwise border wall or create a cruel new deportation force.”

Republicans hailed the increases in defense spending and border security as highlights of the package.

The omnibus includes a $15 billion boost in supplemental defense spending, about half the amount sought by Trump for a military buildup. The funding is designated as Overseas Contingency Operations spending, which does not count against statutory budget caps.

No funding was included for Trump’s proposed wall on the Southern border or a so-called deportation force, but the package would provide another $1.5 billion for border security efforts including new technology and repairing existing infrastructure.

The bill also contains $295.9 million to help shore up Puerto Rico’s Medicaid fund. Lawmakers passed legislation in 2016 to help with the island territory’s $72 billion debt crisis (PL 114-187), but the lack of funding for low-income citizens’ health care was not addressed.

The legislation also provides $1 billion to shore up a health care and pension benefits fund for retired coal miners that is on the brink of extinction. Debate over the miners’ pension fund nearly brought the government to the brink of a shutdown in December, but coal state lawmakers and party leaders were able to hash out a permanent solution in the omnibus.

A House Appropriations Committee aide for the majority confirmed to CQ that the omnibus agreement contains $1 billion in funding for miners’ health care, a sum that is fully offset.

The legislation also includes:

  • More than $8 billion in emergency and disaster relief funding to fight wildfires, flooding and other extreme weather events in states like North Carolina, California, Louisiana, West Virginia and more;
  • $34 billion for the National Institutes of Health, a $2 billion or 6.2 percent increase from current levels;
  • Restored year-round Pell Grants for low-income college students;
  • $990 million in emergency famine relief, including $300 million for Food For Peace in war-torn South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and Nigeria;
  • $103 million to combat opioid abuse;
  • $68 million to reimburse local law enforcement agencies for the costs of protecting Trump and his family, predominantly in Manhattan.

The legislation does not cut funding for the women’s health group Planned Parenthood. Deep cuts to domestic programs proposed by the Trump administration were also rejected, and the spending package adheres to the topline levels agreed to in a 2015 budget law (PL 114-74).

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