03.21.18

Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Releases Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Bill

Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday released a summary of the fiscal year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Bill that totals $1.3 trillion in discretionary spending in compliance with the 2018 Bipartisan Budget Agreement.  The bill includes $700 billion in defense funding, including $71 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding, and $600 billion in non-defense spending, including $12 billion in OCO. 

Leahy said: “Through hard work, long days, and a dose of bipartisanship, we were able to reach an agreement to keep the government of the American people open for business.  Because of the success last month in raising domestic and defense budget caps – budget parity for which Democrats fought hard – in the Bipartisan Budget Agreement, this bill is an important step toward undoing sequestration’s devastating consequences to our military and our domestic priorities.  It makes significant investments in combating the opioid epidemic and rebuilding our infrastructure, among other real priorities of the American people.  I look forward to working with my dear friend, Chairman Cochran, over the next few days to get this bill passed and signed into law.”

The bill makes critical investments in combatting the opioid epidemic, rebuilding America’s infrastructure, improving health care facilities for our veterans, improving access to affordable health care for all Americans, ensuring the security of our elections, supporting advances in scientific research, and investing in rural communities across the country. 

These investments would not have been possible without the 2018 Bipartisan Budget Agreement, which lifted the budget cap on discretionary spending for defense by $80 billion and non-defense by $63 billion, providing relief from the severe budget cuts known as sequestration.  The consequence of the 2011 Budget Control Act, sequestration cuts have been devastating to our military and domestic priorities, and this bill is the first step toward reversing those cuts and reinvesting in the American people. 

Significant new investments made possible by the Bipartisan Budget Agreement include:

  • $18.25 billion for repairing and rebuilding infrastructure;
  • $3.3 billion to combat the opioid epidemic;
  • $2.37 billion increase for Child Care Development Block Grants (for a total of $5.22 billion); and
  • $600 million for rural broadband.

The bill strongly rejects the partisan package passed by House Republicans in September, which would have recklessly slashed funding for domestic priorities by $68 billion below the bipartisan agreement introduced Wednesday.  The agreement eliminates over 130 poison pill riders that would have devastated the environment, restricted women’s access to health care, attacked the Affordable Care Act, and put significant restrictions on consumer financial protections. 

FULL TEXT: http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20180319/BILLS-115SAHR1625-RCP115-66.pdf

SUMMARY PREPARED BY SENATE DEMOCRATS: https://www.leahy.senate.gov/download/032218omnibussummary 

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