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Conference Committee Approves First Appropriations Three-Bill Package

Washington, September 10, 2018

The House Appropriations Committee today filed a three-bill Appropriations “minibus” funding bill, which will head to the House floor for consideration this week. The joint House and Senate Conference Committee on the package have approved the legislation. The package of bills includes funding for the Energy and Water, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Legislative Branch Appropriations bills for fiscal year 2019.

This package of three funding bills will mark the first time in more than 10 years that Congress has sent more than one Appropriations bill to the President’s desk prior to the end of the fiscal year. This represents a significant effort 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.

“It is an absolute necessity that these key funding bills be approved by this Congress and signed into law. They provide resources for some of the most the important federal responsibilities, including our national defense, the care of our veterans, infrastructure improvements, and the proper functioning of the legislative branch of our democracy,” Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen said. “This Conference Report represents our strong commitment to returning to ‘regular order’ in government funding, and is a huge step toward completing all of our Appropriations bills as soon as possible while funding all aspects of government in a responsible way.”

Bill Highlights:

Energy and Water Appropriations –

  • Supports a strong nuclear national security strategy with a total of $15.23 billion for the Department of Energy's nuclear weapons security programs, including the maintenance and readiness of the nuclear stockpile and Naval nuclear reactors.
  • Increases funding for the nation's water resources infrastructure by directing $7 billion to the Army Corps of Engineers, an increase of $172 million, which will boost navigation and flood control improvements.
  • Promotes economic competitiveness and energy independence by including $13.5 billion for energy programs, including protecting the safety of the nation’s electrical grid and investments in fossil and nuclear energy research.
Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations:
  • Includes the highest dollar level ever for the Department of Veterans Affairs – $86.5 billion discretionary funding – an increase of $5 billion. This includes funds for new and expanded Mission Act programs, increases in mental health services, modernizing the VA’s health records system, and addressing the claims backlog.
  • Provides resources for improved infrastructure for our service members and their families – $10.3 billion for military construction projects, an increase of $241 million, including:
    • Upgrades to infrastructure for deterrence operations and unique training requirements to counter challenges posed by Russia and threats from the Middle East and Africa;
    • Increases for infrastructure and facilities construction and improvements on U.S. military bases; and
    • Housing for all 1,400,000 military families currently served.

Legislative Branch Appropriations:

  • Bolsters the safety and security of the Capitol Complex for Members, staff, and the thousands of guests who visit every day by increasing funds for the Capitol Police and security infrastructure improvements.
  • Provides funding for the Office of Employee Advocacy, which provides legal consultation, representation, and assistance on allegations, claims, and complaints under the Congressional Accountability Act.
  • Opens the door for Congressional service to students and young people of all economic backgrounds by dedicating funds for paid internships.
  • Continues the Member of Congress pay freeze.

For more detailed information on each of these bills, please visit: https://appropriations.house.gov/legislation/

 

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