Everything You Need to Know About the Government’s $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill
The bipartisan, $1.1 trillion government-wide spending bill finances agency operations through Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year. The omnibus bill has been endorsed by the White House, top congressional Democrats, and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis. It provides President Donald Trump with an increase in the Pentagon budget but denies his request for construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The measure also ignores numerous Trump recommendations to significantly cut or eliminate domestic programs.
Highlights of the 1,665-page measure:
Defense and Foreign Policy
—$593 billion for the military, including $15 billion of Trump’s $30 billion emergency request from earlier this year. All told, the Pentagon would receive a $26 billion increase over last year, a 4 percent increase. Troops would receive a 2.1 percent pay hike instead of the 1.6 percent recommended by former President Barack Obama. There is $21 billion to procure 13 Navy ships and $8.2 billion for 74 F-35 aircraft, as well as $85 million in emergency money for Tomahawk missiles to replace those fired in the U.S. strike on Syria last month.
—$53.1 billion for foreign aid and State Department diplomacy, a $400 million increase that runs counter to the administration’s vow to slash foreign assistance. Increases include nearly $1 billion in famine relief to combat starvation in Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen. Almost $7 billion is for humanitarian programs that assist refugees and others displaced by conflict. Another $100 million would counter Russian influence in Europe and South and Central Asia. The plan does follow through on the administration’s pledge to cancel climate change funding and contains no money for the Green Climate Fund, which assists developing nations in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Funding for U.N. agencies is cut by $640 million from current levels.
—$1.3 billion to extend health benefits to more than 22,000 retired coal miners and their families, a top priority for coal country lawmakers such as Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. The miners were threatened with the loss of benefits after industry bankruptcies.
—$296 million to help the government of Puerto Rico with Medicaid financing to ease its budget emergency, a demand of top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi.
—$8.8 billion for the FBI, a 3 percent increase over current levels.
—$19.7 billion for NASA, a 2 percent increase.
—$11.2 billion for the IRS, equal to current funding.
—$341 million for replacement fencing along the Mexico border, $170 million for communications and surveillance along the border, and $100 million for access roads. But Trump’s $1 billion request for new border wall construction was denied.
—$8.1 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency, a 1 percent budget cut.
—$34.1 billion for medical research at the National Institutes of Health, $3.2 billion more than Trump recommended for the current year and $7.8 billion more than his 2018 budget request.
—$22.5 billion for Pell Grants, equal to last year, permitting grants to cover summer school.
—$15.5 billion for Title I school grants and $12 billion for special education, both modest increases over 2016
—$286 million for Title X family planning, some of which is provided to Planned Parenthood.
—$1.5 billion for Amtrak, a $105 million increase.
—$3 billion for community development block grants. Trump wants to eliminate the program.
—$3.4 billion for heating subsidies for the poor, equal to last year.
—$6 billion for Army Corps of Engineers water and navigation projects, a 1 percent increase.
—Allows the secretary of homeland security to increase the number of immigrants receiving temporary H-2B visas to perform low-skilled work.
—Reauthorizes intelligence programs for 2017.
—Extends a Washington, D.C., school voucher program through 2019.