WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Senate Appropriations Committee released highlights of legislation filed today in the House of Representatives to fund the federal government through September 30, 2011. The bill includes a separate division for the Fiscal Year 2011 Defense Appropriations Act. The final compromise legislation negotiated with the House of Representatives contains significant spending reductions, but protects the vital economic and security interests of the United States. In total, the Continuing Resolution (CR) cuts $78.5 billion from the President's Fiscal Year 2011 request and is $37.6 billion below Fiscal Year 2010.
The final legislation rejects the draconian cuts and onerous policy riders proposed in H.R. 1. The reductions in funding levels agreed to in this bill will impact millions of Americans, and many good programs will suffer difficult cuts. As these cuts must be implemented in just the remaining six months of the fiscal year, their impact will be especially painful in some instances. However, the bill preserves critical programs that were targeted for cuts in H.R.1, including Head Start, Pell Grants, and vital scientific and medical research. In keeping with the commitment Senate Democrats made earlier this year, no earmarks are funded in the bill.
Below are examples of programs that would have been seriously harmed by H.R. 1, undermining our economy and putting children and seniors at risk. Under the bipartisan legislation negotiated by Congress and the White House, these crucial investments will continue.
Protecting Education and Health
- The legislation does not contain a 15 percent cut to the maximum Pell Grant award that would have jeopardized the ability of millions of low- and middle-income students to receive a higher education.
- The CR prevents 218,000 low-income children from being removed from Head Start.
- The legislation rejects a cut to Title I education grant funding that would have cost approximately 10,000 jobs and reduced educational services to one million students.
- The CR provides $700 million for the Race to the Top education reform program, which will now include a new initiative to improve the quality of State early childhood care and education.
- The legislation maintains funding for AmeriCorps, which would have been eliminated under H.R. 1.
- The CR ensures that all 1,100 of the Nation's community health centers will stay open, and that none will receive a cut in services.
- The legislation ensures the continuation of a national network of Poison Control Centers, almost all of which would have been eliminated under H.R. 1.
- The legislation rejects cuts to Maternal and Child Health state grants.
- The legislation maintains funding for Title X family planning programs and for teen pregnancy prevention programs, both of which would have been eliminated under H.R. 1.
- The CR provides $2.452 billion for the Food and Drug Administration, as compared to $2.104 billion in H.R. 1. This funding level takes into consideration the federal government's responsibilities to protect public health and safety, especially in the areas of food, drugs, medical devices and biologics. This funding level will allow the Food and Drug Administration to begin implementation of the recently passed Food Safety Modernization Act.
- The CR funds the Food Safety and Inspection Service at $1.009 billion, as compared to $930 million in H.R. 1. This funding level will ensure continued inspection of meat and poultry products and will allow the FSIS to continue modernizing its workforce and improving food safety systems.
Promoting Science, Clean Energy and Innovation
- Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy programs would receive $1.835 billion, which is $368 million above H.R. 1 and $408 million below Fiscal Year 2010. Actual reduction to the program compared to Fiscal Year 2010 is $116 million because the bill rescinds $292 million in earmarks. The restoration of $368 million above the H.R. 1 level will support research and development activities to develop new technologies that can lower the cost of deploying clean energy systems and reduce our dependency on foreign oil. The bill would also maintain previously appropriated loan guarantee funds for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
- The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) receives $180 million to develop high-risk, but promising future energy technologies. This is $130 million above H.R. 1 and $180 million above the FY10 enacted level.
- The National Science Foundation (NSF) is funded at $6.9 billion, which is $307 million above H.R. 1 and $53 million below the FY10 enacted level. In September, Norm Augustine and the National Academy of Sciences updated the 2005 "Rising Above the Gathering Storm" report. They sounded the alarm once more that the United States is losing ground and that the road to increased economic competitiveness is doubling investments in scientific research and development and bring us the discoveries that create the new products and new companies that can help America get back to work and back to competing with our friends around the world. The level provided in the CR saves approximately 500 research grants to support about 9,000 more scientists, technicians, teachers, and students.
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) operations and research is funded at $3.2 billion, which is $335 million above H.R. 1 and $119 million below the FY10 enacted level, avoiding gaps in critical weather forecasts and warnings.
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): The bill provides last year's funding level of $558.6 million for OSHA. H.R. 1 would have cut $99 million or 18 percent from the agency's budget.
- National Labor Relations Board (NLRB): This bill rejects a $50 million cut to the NLRB contained in H.R. 1 and maintains funding at the Fiscal Year 2010 level of $283 million.
- Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA): The bill provides $363.8 million, an increase of $6.5 million over last year, sufficient to continue the mine safety and appeals backlog reduction plan, carryout aggressive enforcement actions and improve MSHA's emergency response capability.
- Job Training: The bill provides a total of $2.8 billion ($182 million below the Fiscal Year 2010 level) for job training state grants for Adults, Youth and Dislocated Workers. H.R. 1 eliminated all of the funding for those programs. The bill also provides $125 million for a new Workforce Innovation Fund to encourage States and regional partnerships to engage in systemic reform to improve program outcomes.
- Job Corps: The bill maintains the Fiscal Year 2010 funding level for Job Corps ($1.708 billion) and rescinds $75 million of construction funds. H.R. 1 reduced Job Corps funding by $691 million or 40 percent and rescinded $300 million in Job Corps construction funds.
Strengthening Our Economy
- Small Business Administration (SBA): The CR provides funding for SBA at the FY10 level, maintaining full funding to keep federal small business lending programs at maximum levels and to support technical assistance for entrepreneurs seeking to start or grow a small business. The CR level restores a 10 percent, $25 million cut included in H.R. 1, which would have reduced the capacity of SBA staff to deliver services and interface directly with small businesses seeking credit and business counseling resources, ultimately depriving small businesses of critical "matchmaking" connections to banks participating in SBA's loan programs and to counseling programs for starting and growing small businesses. The cuts included in H.R. 1 also would have created a backlog of loan approvals that would have imposed delays and uncertainty in financing for small businesses. The CR restores funding for SBA operations and will ensure that full support to small businesses continues for the duration of FY11.
- Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC): The CR provides $202.7 million, an increase of $34 million above the FY10 enacted level of $168.8 million and an increase of $90.7 million above the H.R. 1 cut to $112 million. The H.R. 1 cut would have severely diminished staffing and stymied the CFTC's ability to even minimally satisfy its new registration, surveillance, and enforcement responsibilities. The CR level supports staffing increases and key IT investments to permit the CFTC to meet its core mission and begin to implement new responsibilities for the regulation and oversight of registration, trading, and clearance of over-the-counter swaps -- transactions once in the shadows beyond the reach of market regulators. The CR provides critical funding to better protect the average investor and increase safeguards against excessive speculation.
- Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC): The CR provides $1.185 billion, an increase of $74 million above the FY10 enacted level of $1.111 billion and an increase of $115 million above the H.R. 1 level of $1.07 billion. The H.R. 1 cut would have severely hampered the SEC's ability to police the markets and enforce securities laws and would have constrained the SEC's efforts to improve its technology to police highly sophisticated market participants who currently trade at almost the speed of light and spend billions each year on their own IT infrastructures. The CR level will help address these shortcomings.
Protecting America's Vital Interests Abroad
- H.R. 1 would have cut funding for the Department of State and foreign operations by $3.8 billion below the FY10 enacted level (not counting $6.1 billion in supplemental appropriations much of which was for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq), and $3.3 billion below the CR agreement. It would have caused serious harm to U.S. embassy and consular operations which millions of Americans who live, work and study abroad depend on every day, and to programs that directly protect U.S. national security and other important diplomatic and economic interests, and which provide life-saving aid to victims of disease, war and natural disasters. At the H.R. 1 level, total funding for foreign operations for the world's leading superpower would have fallen below a mere one percent of the Federal budget.
- While the CR agreement will require a spending freeze for many diplomatic operations and foreign assistance programs at FY10 levels or below, unlike H.R. 1 it provides sufficient funds to enable the United States to continue to exert the global leadership the American people expect.
Defending the Environment
- Environmental Protection Agency. The bill includes $8.83 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency, an increase of $1.58 billion above H.R. 1.
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service . The bill includes $1.506 billion for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service operations, an increase of $238.9 million above H.R. 1. The total includes $37.5 million for the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund and $62 million for state and tribal wildlife grants.
- National Park Service. The bill includes $2.6 billion for the National Park Service, including $2.3 billion for operations and $210 million for construction activities that help address the maintenance backlog. This amount is $112.7 million more than H.R. 1.