President Signs Defense Package Into Law, Enacts Most On-Time Spending Bills in Two Decades

Legislation Provides Increase in Defense Funding, Largest Pay Raise for Troops in Nearly a Decade, Boost in Funding for NIH and Opioid Crisis, CR Through December 7

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) today praised the President’s signing of the second Fiscal Year 2019 appropriations minibus (H.R. 6157) into law, which was supported by Congress with overwhelming margins.  The package includes two critically important funding bills – Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), Education, and Related Agencies – which make up over half of the total discretionary budget.  The bill also contains a continuing resolution (CR) through December 7, 2018, for any appropriations bills not enacted before October 1, 2018.

“The signing of this legislation marks a drastic turnaround in the way we have funded the government in recent years.  As of today, 75 percent of the government is funded – on time and through an open, bipartisan process,” said Chairman Shelby.  “This package continues a historic increase in funding for our nation’s defense, helping the President deliver on his commitment to rebuild the military and keep our Armed Forces the strongest and best trained, equipped, and prepared in the world.  I appreciate the hard work of my Senate colleagues in our effort to fund the government in a deliberate manner, and I thank the President for his support in restoring the appropriations process.  Our progress benefits the entire country, and I hope we can continue down this path for the good of the American people.”

The enactment of the Fiscal Year 2019 Defense and Labor-HHS-Education minibus marks the first time that America’s military has been funded on time through regular order in a decade.  It also marks the first time that the Labor-HHS-Education bill has been enacted on time since 1996.  With the President’s signature, five appropriations bills have been signed into law this month and 75 percent (74.9) of the government will be funded on schedule.  This marks the most spending bills enacted on time since Fiscal Year 1997 – more than two decades ago.

Last week, the Senate voted 93 – 7 to advance the Fiscal Year 2019 Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, Education final conference report (H.R. 6157) and attached CR.  The House passed the legislation earlier this week with a vote of 360 – 61.  The minibus provides $674.4 billion to fund the Department of Defense, increasing Pentagon funding by $19.8 billion above the Fiscal Year 2018 enacted level and providing the largest pay raise for our troops in nearly a decade.  The legislation also includes $178.1 billion for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education and Related Agencies to continue investments in critical medical research, opioid abuse prevention and treatment, and education. 

Earlier this month, with a vote of 92 – 5, the Senate passed the final conference agreement reached on H.R. 5895, the first of three Fiscal Year 2019 minibus appropriations packages which includes funding bills for Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, Energy and Water Development, and the legislative branch.  The House passed the conference report shortly after the Senate with a vote of 377 – 20.  The President signed the bill into law last Friday.  This minibus provides $97.1 billion to take care of our nation’s veterans and fund military construction, $44.6 billion to support U.S. Department of Energy programs and critical infrastructure projects administered by the Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation, and $4.8 billion to maintain essential operations and security of the U.S. Capitol, Congress, and support agencies.