MA

Congress Set to Pass FY 2014 Funding – Would Avert Shutdown, Mute Sequestration

Published: January 15, 2014

Acquisition ReformUSDAUSAFARMYBudgetDOCCONGRESSCybersecurityDEFENSEEDUCElectronic Health RecordDOEForecasts and SpendingHHSHealth CareHealth ITDHSHUDInnovationDOIDOJDOLNASANAVYPolicy and LegislationSequestrationSTATEDOTTREASVA

The U.S. Congress is expected to pass an omnibus funding bill for the remainder of fiscal year (FY) 2014 that includes $1 trillion in discretionary federal funds.

The Hill reported that H.R. 3547 passed the House and is now moving onto the Senate. The bill is a compromise measure in keeping with the budget agreement the two parties reached late in 2013. As such, the bill is set to increase total discretionary spending to $1.102 trillion in FY 2014, an increase over the $986 billion that was originally planned.

If the final bill passes the Senate and is signed by the President, as is expected at the time of this writing, another looming government shutdown will have been averted. Further, departments and agencies that have been coping with the limitations imposed under the “same stuff, different day” scenario that accompanies continuing resolutions (CR) will have real appropriations with operating budgets and more program flexibility, even if their budgets don’t necessarily grow.

Year-over-Year Changes

The pending omnibus would, in one sweeping appropriations, address funding for each of the agencies covered under the twelve individual appropriations bills that traditionally make their way through Congress.  Barring any unexpected changes in either chamber, a summary of the appropriation’s impact on departmental budgets is presented in the table below and following descriptions.

Department of Defense

Total FY 2014 funding is set at $572B and includes $487B in base budget and $85B for OCO.

  • Military Personnel (MILPERS) - $129B, up $1.3B from FY 2013. Includes 1% pay raise for armed forces and civilian workforce, the first civilian raise in 4 years.
  • O&M - $160B, down $13.6B from FY 2013. Priority on essential readiness programs, including $447M for CYBERCOM
  • Procurement - $92.9B, down $7.5B from FY 2013 enacted level.
  • RDT&E - $63B, $6.9B below FY 2013
  • Military Construction (MILCON) - $9.8B, a decrease of $817M from FY 2013
  • These budget categories (MILPERS, etc.) are split and aggregate across the four defense areas as follows:
    • Air Force - $133B, Army - $117B, Navy/Marine Corps - $144B, Defense-wide - $57B
  • Identifiable OCO spending breaks out as follows:
    • Air Force - $16.5B, Army - $40B, Navy/Marine Corps - $14B, Defense-wide - $7.4B
  • Includes a 1% pay raise to members of the Armed Forces and the Department of Defense civilian workforce. This is the first pay raise for Department of Defense civilians in four years.
  • Supports readiness with O&M funding that is $11B higher than under a full-year CR.
  • Provides $1B billion for the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account to ensure Guard and Reserve units have the critical equipment necessary for both homeland security and overseas missions.
  • Includes $2.4B to continue operation and begin modernization of nine Navy ships which had been proposed for retirement due to budget constraints
  • Adds $175M for the Rapid Innovation Program and $75M for the Industrial Base Innovation Fund to promote the development of new technologies and timely fielding of critical equipment.
  • Instead of across-the-board sequestration cuts, the bill proposes 1,065 specific cuts to programs and redirects some of those funds to higher priorities.
  • Translates delays in acquisition programs into spending deferments and reductions, including:
    • $204M from the Army’s Warfighter Information Network-Tactical Increment II due to test issues
    • $85M from the Air Force’s Space Fence radar system due to acquisition delays
    • $45M from follow-on development of the Navy’s E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft due to contract delays.

Health and Human Services

HHS funding is part of the broader Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriation which totals $156.8 billion in discretionary funding, and the Agriculture Appropriation.  We estimate the HHS portion of these appropriations to be $80B.  HHS highlights of the omnibus bill include the following:

  • $2.6B for FDA, $217M above FY 2013
  • $3.7B for CMS management and operations, equal to the sequester level
  • $6.9B for the CDC, $567 million above the FY 2013
  • $4.4B for the Indian Health Service, $304M above the post-sequestration level
  • $29.9B for NIH, $1B above FY 2013 post-sequester
  • $30.9B for ACF, $782M above FY 2013 enacted level
  • $3.6B for SAMHSA, $144M over FY 2013 enacted level
  • $8.6B for Head Start, a $1B above the post-sequestration level
  • $2.36B for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, $154M above FY 2013
  • $3.6B Community Health Centers (CHCs), a $700 million increase
  • $2.3B HIV/AIDs Programs, a $70M increase
  • The bill provides no new funding for ObamaCare, and holds the line on ObamaCare funding in CMS.
  • $305 million for CMS to allow for the timely processing and payment of benefits, and the continuation of essential services for the increasing number of Americans who rely on traditional Medicare programs.

Education

  • $250M for Race to the Top—Preschool Development  to be used for grants to States
  • $11.5B for IDEA/Special Education 
  • $14.4B for Title I/Disadvantaged Schools, a $625M increase
  • $1.2B for 21st Century Community Learning Centers, an increase of $58M
  • $1.3B for Impact Aid, an increase of $65M
  • $22.8B for the Pell Grant program

Veterans Affairs

VA funding is part of the broader Military Construction/Veterans Affairs Appropriations.  VA’s discretionary funding totals $63.2B for FY 2014.  VA highlights of the omnibus bill include the following:

  • $55.6B in FY 2015 advance appropriations for veterans medical care
  • $20M above the budget request to upgrade computer hardware, such as servers, in VA Regional Offices to handle the advanced program requirements of the Veterans Benefits Management System
  • $250M for rural health care, including telehealth and mobile clinics
  • Mandates several requirements before the VA can obligate more than 25% of the funding for  Vista electronic health record modernization
  • $4B in FY 2014 to meet the health care needs of veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan
  • $4.9B to provide healthcare for women veterans in FY2014
  • $7.6B for Long Term Care
  • $586M for Medical and Prosthetic Research
  • $3.7B for Information Technology, $20M over the request
  • $140M – an increase of $20 million above the President’s request and $26 million above
  • the fiscal year 2013 enacted level – for information technology upgrades at regional offices to
  • manage the improved paperless claims processing system;
  • $250 million for rural health care, including telehealth and mobile clinics, for veterans in rural and highly rural areas, including Native American populations.
  • Minor Construction within the VA is funded at $715M – the same as the President’s request and $108 million above the fiscal year 2013 enacted level.