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“Mini-Bus” Conference Report Released


Washington, Nov 14 -

House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers tonight introduced the final conference report on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 Agriculture, Commerce/Justice/Science (CJS), and Transportation/Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations bills – also known as the “Mini-bus” (House Report 112-284). In addition, the package contains a Continuing Resolution (CR) to avoid a government shutdown and continues other federal operations until December 16, 2011 – or until Congress completes the remaining nine FY 2012 Appropriations bills. This CR is a “clean” extension and includes no new funding provisions. The conference report was approved by the Conference Committee on wide bipartisan basis with all but one of 38 House and Senate conferees signing off on the package.

Chairman Rogers made the following statement on the conference report:

“The legislation introduced today represents a bipartisan compromise that will prevent a potential government shutdown, support important programs and services that the American people rely on, and make hard but necessary cuts to help rein in the nation’s deficit.

“By holding the line on spending within the levels agreed to in the Budget Control Act, we’ve cut total discretionary spending for the second year in a row – a remarkable achievement that will save taxpayers billions of dollars and help get our nation’s budgets back into balance.

“Within this bill, we also include many critically important policy items that will reduce harmful regulations on employers, create a better environment for economic growth and job creation, and halt unnecessary government interference into the daily lives of Americans. This package represents significant progress in the budgetary work of Congress, and will put us one more step ahead as we strive towards swift completion of all the fiscal year 2012 Appropriations bills.”

Bill Highlights:

Responsible Funding Levels – The bill provides responsible funding for integral federal agencies and departments, maintaining the critical services and programs our citizens rely on. These programs facilitate public safety and health, improve our infrastructure, protect our most vulnerable citizens, and help grow our economy.

The conference agreement for the three bills upholds the overall regular base discretionary level of $1.043 trillion as agreed to in the Budget Control Act (BCA). This funding level is a decrease of $7 billion from last year, and represents a savings of $98 billion compared to the President’s request.

Important Policy Items – This Conference Report contains important policy items that will discourage government overreach in the daily lives of Americans, provide better oversight on the use of precious taxpayer dollars, protect our citizens and our homeland, and tighten the reins on harmful, job‐killing federal regulations that make it harder for employers to create jobs. Some of these items include:

Disaster Funding – Numerous major natural disasters this year have cost states and communities billions – requiring historic levels of relief and recovery assistance. Federal agencies are receiving relief requests from nearly every state, and it is critical that Congress provide necessary funds to help families, businesses, and communities recover from these devastating disasters.

After close scrutiny of disaster funding needs within the Departments of Transportation, Commerce, and Agriculture, the Conference Report provides $2.3 billion in disaster relief funding for these agencies – approximately $850 million less than the Senate-passed legislation. These funds will be used solely for recovery related to natural disasters and catastrophes and will not grow the underlying budget or size of these agencies.

For a detailed summary of the Conference Report, please visit: http://appropriations.house.gov/UploadedFiles/11.14.11_Minibus_-_Detailed_Summary.pdf