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Congress Releases FY 2014 Appropriations Bill

Posted on 1/15/2014 by NTOCC ® in Public Policy Updates

Yesterday evening, House and Senate appropriations negotiators unveiled a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending package to fund federal agencies for the rest of the fiscal year. The measure, which encapsulates all 12 of the annual appropriations measures for federal departments, results in a 2.6 percent increase in discretionary spending from the $986.3 billion sequester-set level of Fiscal Year (FY) 2013. Prior to the proposed measure, spending had been set to fall again to $967 billion under the sequester, but the plan adheres to the new caps on defense spending ($520.5 billion) and domestic discretionary spending ($491.8 billion) set under last month’s House-Senate budget deal.

The omnibus allocates $156.8 billion in discretionary funding to the Labor-HHS-Education bill—$100 million less than the amount enacted in FY 2013—and, significantly, staves off further cuts to various departments including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Although, the increase for health programs comes at the expense of education and labor programs, which in total are slated for reductions.  
More specifically, the NIH would receive $29.9 billion for fiscal 2014, a bump of $1 billion from 2013 levels.  However, this funding falls short of fully restoring NIH funding to pre-sequester levels 2012.  The CDC would receive $6.9 billion, $567 million more than the FY 2013 program level. The FDA would get almost $2.6 billion, an increase of $91 million from last year’s enacted level.  
The bill would provide no new funding for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  The proposal also cuts $10 million from the budget for the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), one of the most contentious provisions in the health care law.
With the current stop-gap funding measure set to expire on Wednesday, the House is expected to vote today on a 3-day Continuing Resolution to avoid a government shut-down, with the hope of holding votes in the House and Senate on the larger FY 2014 appropriations package soon after and sending the Omnibus to be signed by the President this weekend. 
The full text of the legislation can be found here.  The Committee report accompanying the bill explaining Congressional intent of the funding measure can be found here.