Senate Committee Approves FY2019 Financial Services & General Government Appropriations Bill
Bill Funds Treasury Counterterrorism Activities, Continues Prohibitions on Controversial IRS Activities
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Senate Committee on Appropriations today advanced a $23.688 billion funding measure that prioritizes national programs to combat terrorism financing, spur small business growth, maintain a fair and efficient judicial system, and target heroin and prescription drug abuse.
The FY2019 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act provides $16 million above the FY2018 enacted level to fund the U.S. Treasury Department, the Judiciary, Small Business Administration, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and several other independent agencies.
The measure includes targeted funding increases for the Treasury Department to combat money laundering and terrorism financing; for the SEC and CFTC to oversee our nation’s securities, swaps, and futures markets; for the Federal courts to support the administration of justice; and for the General Services Administration’s (GSA) Federal Buildings Fund. The bill was approved 31-0.
“The bill funds several agencies that are critical to maintaining the integrity of our financial markets and promoting the growth of our economy,” said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.). “I commend Senators Lankford and Coons for producing a strong bill that carefully balances many competing interests.”
“This is a responsible bill that boosts our national economy, financial security, and government accountability, and I urge the Senate to pass it without delay,” said U.S. Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.), chairman of the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee. “I’m pleased that we are moving forward on the appropriations process. Orderly and transparent appropriations is a core responsibility of Congress, and a place where significant government reforms can be implemented.”
Treasury Departmental Offices – $208.751 million for Departmental Offices, an increase of $8 million above the FY2018 enacted level. Additional funds will allow the Department to manage a growing caseload associated with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, invest in information technology improvements, and hire additional staff to conduct economic analysis of tax regulatory actions.
Treasury Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI) – $159 million for TFI, which combats terrorism financing and administers economic and trade sanctions through its Office of Foreign Assets Control. The FY2019 amount is $17.2 million above the enacted level and is equal to the President’s budget request.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) – $11.263 billion for the IRS. Of this amount, $77 million is dedicated to implementation of tax reform.
In addition, to ensure accountability and transparency, the bill includes:
- A prohibition on funds for bonuses or to rehire former employees unless employee conduct and tax compliance is given consideration;
- A prohibition on funds for the IRS to target groups for regulatory scrutiny based on their ideological beliefs;
- A prohibition on funds for the IRS to target individuals for exercising their First Amendment rights;
- A prohibition on funds for the production of inappropriate videos and conferences.
Executive Office of the President (EOP) – $728 million for EOP, which is $2.6 million above the FY2018 enacted level. The bill maintains the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) and Drug-Free Communities (DFC) programs within the Office of National Drug Control Policy. The bill provides $280 million for the HIDTA program to combat heroin and prescription opioid abuse and $99 million for the DFC program.
Judiciary – $7.251 billion in discretionary funding for the federal judiciary, which is $140 million above the FY2018 enacted level. This will provide sufficient funding for federal court activities, including timely and efficient processing of federal cases, court security, and defender services.
Small Business Administration (SBA) – $699.3 million for the SBA to provide assistance to small businesses, expand the economy, and increase job growth for unemployed and underemployed Americans. The bill fully funds business loans at $159.2 million. The bill also funds several valuable programs, including $130 million for Small Business Development Centers, $31 million for microloan technical assistance, $12.3 million for veterans outreach programs, and $11.5 million for SCORE, formerly the Service Corps of Retired Executives.
General Services Administration (GSA) – The bill allows GSA to spend $9.63 billion out of the Federal Buildings Fund. This level will provide funding for rent payments for privately-owned office space leased by the government, and operations and maintenance costs for buildings owned by federal government agencies across the nation. Of this amount, the bill provides $1.08 billion for construction, and the measure fully funds the requested levels for Major Repairs and Alterations ($424.7 million) and Basic Repairs ($373.6 million) to continue addressing the backlog of repairs and renovations needs across the federal government.
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) – $1.695 billion for the SEC, which is equal to the FY2018 budget request and includes $37 million for the potential relocation of the SEC’s New York Regional Office. The bill provides targeted funding for economic analysis within the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) – $281.5 million for the CFTC, which is equal to the FY2019 budget request. The bill includes increased funding to boost the CFTC’s analytical expertise, cybersecurity capabilities, and financial technology to maximize the Commission’s ability to oversee the nation’s swaps, futures, and options markets.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) – $309.7 million for the FTC, which is equal to the FY2019 budget request.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – $333.1 million for the FCC, which is equal to the FY2019 budget request.
District of Columbia – $703.2 million in federal payments to the District of Columbia. Within this amount, the bill provides resources for public safety and security costs, and supports the District of Columbia court system and offender supervision program.
Other Oversight, Accountability, and Noteworthy Provisions:
- A prohibition on funds for an increase in pay for the Vice President and other senior political appointees;
- A prohibition on funding for grants or contracts to tax cheats and companies with felony criminal convictions;
- A requirement that all departments and agencies link contracts that provide award fees to successful acquisition outcomes, and prohibit the use of funds to pay for award or incentive fees for contractors with below satisfactory performance; and
- A pay increase for civilian federal employees of 1.9 percent in calendar year 2019, equal to the 2018 increase.
- A prohibition against the use of funds to paint portraits of federal employees, including the President, Vice President, Cabinet Members and Members of Congress;
- A requirement that agency inspectors general have timely access to agency documents and records;
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