Congress Prepares FY 2017 Omnibus Funding Bill
Published: May 03, 2017
The U.S. Congress is preparing to pass an Omnibus funding bill for the remainder of fiscal year (FY) 2017 and avoid the risk of a government shutdown.
Several days before an existing short-term continuing resolution (CR) expires, the text of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 (a.k.a. FY 2017 Omnibus) has been released. The legislation combines more than one trillion dollars in federal spending with adjustments to fund select Trump Administration priorities like increases to Defense.
The Omnibus provides a total of $1.163 trillion in base and Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding for the operations of the federal government. Base discretionary funding alone is set at $1.07T and meets existing Budget Control Act (BCA) discretionary budget caps.
If the bill is passes, as is widely expected, it will remove concerns over the possibility of government shutdowns for the rest of the fiscal year and address funding for each of the agencies covered under the twelve individual appropriations bills that traditionally make their way through Congress. (See table below.)
Agriculture – The Omnibus provides $20.9B in discretionary appropriations for the Department of Agriculture, 4.1% less than the $21.8B enacted in Fiscal Year 2016. Funding highlights include:
- Appropriations of $33M for agency cybersecurity initiatives.
- More than $4M for Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) IT infrastructure.
- A total of $2M for Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA) Act implementation.
Commerce – The Omnibus provides $9.2B in discretionary funding, a $9M decrease from FY 2016 levels. Funding highlights include:
- $599M allotted for technology investments under the Bureau of Census, pending program review submissions to congressional committees.
- Total of $36M for research in supercomputing, with $12M designated for high performance computing initiatives under NOAA.
- Sets $787M aside for the Joint Polar Satellite System program and $753M for the GOES-R Series.
Defense – The Omnibus provides $593B, an increase of $19.9B over the FY 2016 enacted level. When combined with the $5.8B in supplemental funding enacted in the December 2016 CR, total FY 2017 Defense funding is $598.5B, an increase of $25.7B over FY 2016. Funding highlights include:
- $516.1B in base discretionary funding, an increase of $2B above current levels.
- $76.6B in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO)/Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) funding, including $14.8B in new funding requested by the Trump Administration.
- $132.3B – $128.7B for base requirements and $3.6B for OCO/GWOT requirements – to provide for 1,305,900 active-duty troops and 813,200 Guard and Reserve troops.
- $223B – $167.6B for base requirements and $55.4B for OCO/GWOT requirements – for operation and maintenance (O&M), $9.4B above FY 2016.
- $73.7B – $72.3B for base requirements and $1.4B for OCO/GWOT requirements – for research, development, testing, and evaluation (RDT&E) of new defense technologies, $3.7B above the FY 2016.
Energy – The Omnibus provides $30.7B in discretionary funding, a $1B decrease from FY2016 levels. Funding highlights include:
- $21M in additional funds designated for cybersecurity programs under the CIO, bringing the total to $177M dedicated to IT and cybersecurity for the agency.
- $9M allotted to continue the development of an industry-scale electric grid with no less than $5M appropriated for cyber and cyber-physical solutions for distribution and municipal utility companies.
- $5.5M for NETL’s Supercomputer and $95M for the exascale computing initiative under the NNSA.
Health and Human Services – The Omnibus provides $73.5B in discretionary funds, 4% more than the $70.7B enacted in FY 2016. Funding highlights include:
- $34B for the NIH, $2B above the FY 2016 enacted level. It includes specific increases for research related to Alzheimer’s disease, the brain, antibiotic resistance, and the Precision Medicine Initiative.
- $7.3B for CDC, $22M above the FY 2016 enacted level. The bill includes $112M to expand efforts to combat prescription drug abuse.
- $3B for CMS program management and operations, $576M below FY 2016 enacted levels. The bill does not include additional funding to implement ObamaCare programs, and continues prohibitions and limitations on use of federal funds related to ObamaCare.
Homeland Security – The Omnibus provides $42.4B in discretionary funding, an increase of $1.45B above the FY 2016 enacted level. Funding highlights include:
- $7.3B for disaster relief and emergency response activities.
- $1.1B for border security technologies and infrastructure improvements.
- $11.4B for Customs and Border Protection (CBP), an increase of $137M above the FY 2016 enacted level.
- $6.4B for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), an increase of $550M above the FY 2016 enacted level.
- $7.8B for Transportation Security Administration (TSA), an increase of $331M above the FY 2016 enacted level.
- $1.8B for the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD), $183M above the FY 2016 enacted level.
- $121.1M for the E-Verify program at Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) that allows companies to check the legal work status of their employees.
Housing and Urban Development – The Omnibus provides $38.8B in appropriations, a $513M increase above the FY 2016 enacted level. Funding highlights include:
- Emergency funding of $400M for communities rebuilding from natural disasters.
- Appropriations of $257M for HUD’s Information Technology Fund.
- A total of $4M for Federal Housing Administration modernization.
Justice – The Omnibus provides $29B in discretionary funding, a $143M decrease from FY 2016 levels. Funding highlights include:
- $31M for information sharing technology with up to $35M available for enterprise-wide IT initiatives.
- $8.7B appropriated to the FBI with approximately $3.6B dedicated to counterterrorism and counterintelligence to fuel enhancement of the agency’s Cyber and Information Services Divisions.
- Information technology systems under the National Security Division allotted $5M.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration – The Omnibus provides $19.7B in discretionary funding, a $368M increase from FY 2016 levels. Funding highlights include:
- $687M reserved for space technology.
- $4.9B allotted for space operations include human exploration and operations and $1.3B for The Orion and $2.1B for SLS.
State and International Programs – The Omnibus provides $53.1B in discretionary funding for State and Foreign Operations, $594M below the FY 2016 enacted level when excluding the extraordinary costs for famine prevention, relief, and mitigation. Funding highlights include:
- $16.1B in base and OCO funding for State Department and related agencies operations, $92M below the FY 2016 enacted level.
- $6.1B for embassy security, $455M above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level, to address needs at 275+ diplomatic facilities overseas, including facility upgrades and security personnel as recommended in the Benghazi Accountability Review Board report.
- $1.6B for USAID and the USAID Office of Inspector General, an increase of $82M above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level.
Transportation – The Omnibus provides $18.5B in discretionary appropriations, 29.4% more than the $14.3B enacted in FY 2016. Funding highlights include:
- Over $1B in the FAA’s Next Generation Air Transportation Systems (NextGen).
- More than $40M for the integration of Unmanned Aircraft Systems into national airspace.
- $15M for departmental cyber security initiatives.
Treasury – The Omnibus provides $11.6B in discretionary funds for the Department of Treasury, 2.5% less than the $11.9 enacted in FY 2016. Funding highlights include:
- $11.2B for IRS which is the same as FY 2016 enacted levels. The bill maintains the current $2.1B funding level for taxpayer services of which an additional $290M is provided to improve customer service, fraud prevention, and cybersecurity.
- Also prohibits use of funds for a number of IRS activities to help eliminate inappropriate employee actions that have plagued the agency in recent years.
Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration – The FY 2017 VA budget was passed in March along with the Military Construction budget, but the current FY 2017 Omnibus legislation includes additional funding of $50M for medical services and substance abuse prevention and treatment.
Fellow GovWin Federal Market Analysis (FMA) analysts Christine Fritsch, Angela Petty, and Alex Rossino contributed to this entry.