Appropriations Committee Releases Fiscal Year 2014 Financial Services Bill
The House Appropriations Committee today released the fiscal year 2014 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill, which will be considered in subcommittee tomorrow. The bill provides annual funding for the Treasury Department, the Executive Office of the President, the Judiciary, the District of Columbia, the Small Business Administration, the General Services Administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and several other independent agencies.
The bill totals $17 billion in funding for these agencies, which is $4.3 billion below the fiscal year 2013 enacted level and $3 billion below the current level caused by automatic sequestration cuts. Within these funds, the legislation prioritizes programs critical to enforcing laws, maintaining an effective judiciary system, and ensuring the productivity and fairness of the nation’s financial regulatory process.
“This bill right-sizes federal agencies and programs that are simply not working efficiently or effectively, while investing in programs that directly serve the American people. From helping to prevent future inappropriate actions by the Internal Revenue Service, to encouraging small business growth, to halting wasteful or unnecessary government spending, the bill ensures that tax dollars are used wisely and where they are needed the most, ” House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said.
“The subcommittee jurisdiction covers a diverse group of agencies and activities, including financial regulators, tax collection, the White House, federal courts, the District of Columbia, the General Services Administration, and the Small Business Administration. Our work has taken us through 11 hearings, including two with the Internal Revenue Service,” Subcommittee Chairman Ander Crenshaw said. “With our limited allocation, which is $4.3 billion, or 20 percent, less than the fiscal year 2013 enacted level, we have provided critical funding to support small businesses and law enforcement while reducing funding for activities that are not essential to the operations of the federal government or that have a history of wasting taxpayer resources. The bill also takes important steps to make the Internal Revenue Service and General Services Administration more transparent and accountable to the taxpayer.”
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) – Included in the bill is $9 billion for the IRS – a 24% reduction from the fiscal year 2013 enacted level and $4 billion (30%) below the President’s budget request. Due to the recent inappropriate actions by the IRS in targeting specific political groups, as well as its improper use of taxpayer funds, the bill includes the following provisions:
- A withholding of 10% of funds for IRS enforcement activities until all recommendations from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) to prevent future inappropriate targeting are implemented;
- A prohibition on funding for conferences until all recommendations from the TIGTA on conferences have been implemented;
- A prohibition on funding for employee bonuses and awards until a review of the effectiveness of bonus and award programs is completed;
- A prohibition on funding for the production of videos that have not been reviewed or certified to be appropriate; and
- Extensive reporting requirements on the use of funds.
In addition, the bill includes provisions to stop the IRS from implementing ObamaCare, including a prohibition on any transfers of funding from the Department of Health and Human Services for ObamaCare implementation, and a prohibition on funding for the IRS to implement an individual insurance mandate on the American people.
Executive Office of the President (EOP) – The legislation contains $624 million for the EOP – a reduction of $46 million below the fiscal year 2013 enacted level, bringing the White House budget more in line with the reductions Congress has already taken. This includes funding salaries and expenses accounts at 15% below the fiscal year 2010 level.
The bill also includes a requirement that the Office of Management and Budget submit the President’s budget request on time – or else face a withholding of approximately seven months of their budget until the request is sent – and a prohibition on funding for the EOP to prepare signing statements and Executive Orders that contradict existing law.
General Services Administration (GSA) – The bill allows the GSA to spend $7.5 billion out of the Federal Buildings Fund, a cut of $2.4 billion compared to the request and $476 million below the fiscal year 2013 enacted level. The legislation restructures GSA accounts to separate out administrative expenses, and reduces those costs by 15% compared to the President’s request.
The legislation also helps to save taxpayer dollars by requiring additional reporting on the GSA property inventory, providing funding for space consolidation only if projects will reduce future costs, and reducing funding for operating and leasing existing space.
The bill continues strong oversight measures, including quarterly spending reports, limits on spending from the Working Capital Fund, prohibitions on all travel and conferences that do not comply with the law or regulations, and an increase in funding for the Inspector General to help investigate waste or abuse of tax dollars.
Small Business Administration (SBA) – The bill contains $898 million for the SBA, $147 million (14%) below the fiscal year 2013 enacted level. Small businesses are the drivers of the American economy, and SBA loans and programs play an important part in helping small businesses start and grow. To this end, the bill fully funds business loans at $263 million. Due to a reduction in loan subsidy rates, this level is $222 million below the fiscal year 2013 enacted level, but is sufficient to support expected loan demand. The bill fully funds disaster loan implementation costs at $192 million to allow for a quick and efficient emergency loan process when unexpected natural disasters strike individuals and small businesses.
Judiciary – Included in the bill is $6.5 billion for the Federal Courts – an increase of $12 million above the fiscal year 2013 enacted level and $192 million below the request. This will provide funding for all federal court activities, the supervision of offenders and defendants living in our communities, the maintenance of court security, and the timely processing of federal cases.
District of Columbia – The bill contains a $636 million federal payment to the District of Columbia – $40 million less than the fiscal year 2013 enacted level. Within this amount, the bill targets resources on public safety and security costs, and includes $54 million for the SOAR Act, which provides scholarships to low-income students in DC to attend private schools.
In addition, the legislation maintains a longstanding provision prohibiting federal and local funds from being used for abortion, and prohibitions on federal funds from being used for needle exchange and medical marijuana programs in the District of Columbia.
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) – Included in the bill is $1.4 billion for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which is $50 million above the fiscal year 2013 enacted level and $303 million below the President’s budget request. The legislation includes a prohibition on the SEC from spending any money out of its “reserve fund” – essentially a slush fund for SEC programs that Congress has not approved; therefore, the increase in funding will offset reserve fund spending, and essentially hold the SEC at the current funding level.
The legislation also contains requirements for the Administration to report to Congress on the cost and regulatory burdens of the Dodd-Frank financial law.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) – The bill includes a provision to change the funding source for the CFPB from the Federal Reserve to the congressional appropriations process, starting in fiscal year 2015. Currently, funding for this agency is provided by mandatory spending and is not subject to annual congressional review. This change will allow for increased accountability and transparency of the agency’s activities and use of tax dollars. The legislation also requires extensive reporting on CFPB activities.
Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) – The CPSC is funded at $114 million in the bill, which is $0.5 million below the fiscal year 2013 enacted level and $3 million below the request.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – The bill contains $320 million for the FCC – a cut of $19.8 million below the fiscal year 2013 enacted level and $39 million below the request.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) – The bill provides $295 million for the FTC, which is $16.6 million below the fiscal year 2013 enacted level and $6 million below the request.
Other Legislative Provisions – The legislation contains several policy provisions, including:
- A prohibition against the use of federal funds for abortion;
- A provision prohibiting funding for White House “czars” – specifically prohibiting czars related to health care, climate change, the auto industry, and urban affairs, or any substantively similar positions;
- A prohibition on funding to require that entities applying for federal contracts disclose campaign contributions;
- A prohibition on travel, conferences, and employee awards that are not in compliance with appropriate laws and regulations; and
- A prohibition on travel to Cuba for educational exchanges not involving academic study pursuant to a degree program.
The bill also terminates several unnecessary or lower-priority programs, including the Election Assistance Commission ($11.5 million), the Administrative Conference of the U.S. ($3 million), and Allowances for Former Presidents ($3.7 million).
For the subcommittee draft text of the legislation, please visit: /UploadedFiles/BILLS-113HR-SC-AP-FY2014-FServices-SubcommitteeDraft.pdf