FY17 FSGG Full Committee Markup Bill Summary
FINANCIAL SERVICES AND GENERAL GOVERNMENT FISCAL YEAR 2017 APPROPRIATIONS BILL
Full Committee Mark: June 16, 2016
Washington, D.C. – The fiscal year 2017 Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations bill provides a total of $22.552 billion, including $159 million in disaster funds. This bill’s discretionary funding level is $933 million less than fiscal year 2016 and more than $2.2 billion less than the President’s request.
U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), Ranking Member of the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee, said:
“I commend Chairman Boozman for producing a relatively clean bill, free of new contentious policy riders and controversial authorizations. I appreciate that this bill addresses many agencies’ pressing needs by providing resources at the level the President requested. However, I am profoundly disappointed that funding for some key regulatory agencies, notably the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Securities and Exchange Commission, falls far below the necessary levels, jeopardizing the ability of these agencies to vigorously protect markets, investors, and consumers from unscrupulous practices.
“While I voted to pass this bill, it is with notable reservation and reluctance given the inadequate resources for these important agencies. I look forward to working collaboratively with my colleagues, Republicans and Democrats, to keep this bill free of unrelated policy riders and consumer protection rollbacks as the appropriations process advances.”
U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Vice Chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement:
“I want to thank Chairman Boozman and Ranking Member Coons for producing a bill that avoids controversial riders. I don’t love everything in the Financial Services bill, including some of the steep funding cuts. I’m especially disappointed by the levels for fee funded agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is frozen at the fiscal year 2016 level, and the Federal Communications Commission, which is cut by 11 percent. There is also no new funding for Office of Personnel Management (OPM) cyber improvements. However, I am pleased that the bill makes permanent the provision requiring OPM to provide 10 years of credit monitoring and $5 million in identity theft insurance to victims of data breaches. The bill also supports federal employees by allowing for a cost-of-living adjustment of 1.6 percent and including a provision preventing agencies from contracting out work that can and should be done by federal employees. Given that this is a fairly clean bill that does not include significant new authorizations or a long array of controversial poison pill riders, and meets a tough allocation with fair choices, I will support the bill.”
Key Points & Highlights
The bill provides funding for the Department of the Treasury, the Executive Office of the President, the Judiciary, the District of Columbia and more than two dozen independent federal agencies.
DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY:
Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The bill recommends $11.235 billion for the IRS. This is a freeze at the fiscal year 2016 level, $530 million less than base request, and $1.045 billion less than the enhanced request, which includes a program integrity budget cap adjustment.
Resources for the IRS have been cut by almost $1 billion since fiscal year 2010 which has forced the IRS to reduce the total number of full-time employees by more than 15,000 across the country. Due to budget reductions, in fiscal year 2015 only 38 percent of callers seeking live assistance received it, while average wait times exceeded 23 minutes. While the level of service may rise to roughly 47 percent for fiscal year 2016, the bill will deprive taxpayers of timely assistance to help comply with their tax obligations.
Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund. The bill provides $234 million for CDFI investments to promote economic and community development, the same as fiscal year 2016. The bill eliminates funding for the Healthy Food Financing Initiative, which helps support healthy food options in underserved communities. The bill also eliminates funding for a new Small Dollar Lending initiative, which would help CDFIs provide an alternative to predatory pay-day lenders.
Cybersecurity Enhancement Initiative: The bill provides $48 million for a new centralized cybersecurity initiative. This new account would enhance department-wide coordination of cybersecurity efforts and improve Treasury’s responsiveness to cybersecurity threats by providing centralized and high-level oversight of cybersecurity funding.
EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT:
Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The bill freezes OMB funding at the fiscal year 2016 level of $95 million, which is $6 million, or six percent, less than the President’s request.
Information Technology Oversight and Reform (ITOR). The bill provides $30 million for ITOR, equal to the fiscal year 2016 enacted level. These funds are needed to enhance integrated, efficient, secure and effective uses of information technology (IT) and to improve cybersecurity across the federal government.
Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). The bill includes a total of $384 million for anti-drug programs, which is $4 million more than fiscal year 2016, and restores the President’s proposed cut of $70 million. The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Program is funded at $255 million, $5 million more than fiscal year 2016. The Drug-Free Communities program is funded at the fiscal year 2016 level of $95 million.
The bill includes $6.986 billion in discretionary funding for the U.S. Courts, $208 million, or three percent, more than fiscal year 2016. This increase will maintain current services and sustain progress on major initiatives begun in fiscal year 2016. The Defender Services account is almost fully funded at a level of $1.054 billion, just $2 million less than the request. Most accounts are funded at the budget request.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:
The bill recommends $746 million in special federal payments for over a dozen distinct purposes relating to the District of Columbia. This is $16 million, or two percent, more than fiscal year 2016 and $17 million, or two percent, less than the President’s request.
Of the total, $275 million is for the salaries and expenses of the local courts, $92 million is for defender services and $248 million is for pre-trial and post-conviction offender supervision. All of these accounts are fully dependent on federal funds for their operations and are independent of the local government. The Senate level for these accounts reflects the President’s request.
The remaining $132 million is designated for the District government. Of this $132 million, $75 million is for education-related functions, including $45 million for elementary and secondary school improvement and $30 million for the D.C. Tuition Assistance Grants (TAG) for post-secondary education. The TAG level is $10 million (25 percent) less than both the fiscal year 2016 level and the request. As requested, the bill provides nearly $35 million for emergency planning and security; $14 million for the Clean Rivers Project to remediate combined sewer overflow into waterways of the nation’s capital; and $5 million for prevention and treatment to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
In addition to the special federal payments, the bill approves the District’s annual $12 billion local operating budget.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The bill freezes CFTC funding at the fiscal year 2016 level of $250 million, which is $80 million, or 24 percent, less than the President’s request. This shortfall will impact the CFTC’s ability to fully oversee the futures, options and swaps markets. CFTC oversight helps to encourage competitiveness and efficiency, ensure market integrity, and protect market participants against manipulation, abusive trading practices, fraud and other unscrupulous activities.
Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The bill funds CPSC at $124 million, $1 million less than the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $7 million less than the budget request. The CPSC is the independent regulatory agency responsible for protecting the public against unreasonable risks of injury from consumer products. Requested funding is not included to conduct applied research on exposure to potential chronic hazards related to both nanotechnology in consumer products and crumb rubber (artificial field turf and playgrounds). The bill also does not include the requested authorization for proposed consumer product import fees to be paid by importers to support the expansion of CPSC’s import surveillance activities.
Election Assistance Commission (EAC). The bill freezes EAC funding at $9.6 million. The EAC assists in the effective administration of federal elections, offering resources on election information, best practices, data, technology, technical advice, and assistance for election administrators, officials, and voters across America.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The bill funds the FCC at $341 million, which is $43 million, or 11 percent, less than the fiscal year 2016 level and $26 million, or 7 percent, less than the President’s request. The FCC requires additional funding in fiscal year 2017 to support moving costs caused by an expiring lease and to make essential IT upgrades. While this funding level provides moving costs, it does not allow the FCC to make critical IT investments and would likely result in reduced staffing levels through a hiring freeze and furloughs. The bill also freezes the FCC’s auctions program at $117 million, $7 million below the President’s request. The FCC uses these funds to support its spectrum auctions program. All of the FCC’s budget is fully offset by fees and has no impact on the federal deficit.
General Services Administration (GSA). The bill reduces funding for the Federal Buildings Fund to a level of $9.378 billion, which is $818 million, or eight percent, less than the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $800 million, or eight percent, less than the budget request. For construction, $765 million is provided, 52 percent less than the budget request. The bill includes $759 million for construction of the new Federal Bureau of Investigations headquarters, but unfortunately provides no funding for the Department of Homeland Security headquarters consolidation at St. Elizabeths. For repair, $633 million is provided, 25 percent less than the budget request. As requested, $10 million is provided for Presidential Transition. The bill does not provide the $100 million for the proposed government-wide IT Modernization Fund ($100 million in discretionary funding and $3 billion in mandatory funding were requested).
Office of Personnel Management (OPM). The bill funds OPM at $275 million, $3 million more than last year and $46 million, or 14 percent, less than the budget request. This level freezes OPM’s salaries and expenses – problematically halting progress on OPM’s IT Modernization. This will prevent the continuation of efforts to improve the cybersecurity of systems containing federal employee data, a critically important initiative in the wake of OPM data breaches.
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The bill freezes SEC funding at the fiscal year 2016 level of $1.605 billion, $176 million, or ten percent, less than the $1.781 billion request. Funds appropriated for the SEC are fully offset with transaction fee receipts. Fewer resources impact the ability of the SEC to administer and enforce federal securities laws that protect investors; maintain fair, honest and efficient markets; and promote capital formation.
Small Business Administration (SBA). The bill provides $816 million for SBA, $55 million, or six percent, less than the fiscal year 2016 enacted level due to a reduction of unneeded balances. Funding for SBA’s Salaries and Expenses account is frozen at the fiscal year 2016 level.
Poison Pill Riders
This bill does not contain poison pill riders related to Dodd-Frank, campaign finance or net neutrality.
Mara Stark-Alcalá w/Appropriations: (202) 224-2667
Adam Lowenstein w/Coons: (202) 228-3454
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