The U.S. House today approved legislation to provide all discretionary funding for the federal government for the 2018 fiscal year.
The bill contains the full legislation and funding for all of the 12 annual Appropriations bills. It totals $1.3 trillion, including $78.1 billion in funding for the Global War on Terror (GWOT)/Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO). Total base funding, excluding OCO and emergencies, is $1.2 trillion.
The legislation adheres to the recently enacted budget “caps” agreement, providing an additional $80 billion for national defense — the largest year-to-year increase in base funding for the Department of Defense (DoD) in 15 years. It also provides increased funding for critical federal programs including efforts to fight the nation’s opioid epidemic, to secure our homeland, to promote school safety and mental health, and to make robust investments that will help rebuild America’s aging infrastructure and bolster economic growth.
Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen made the following statement on the legislation:
“The legislation approved today is the result of thousands of hours of work starting one year ago. It reflects hard-fought, bipartisan and bicameral negotiations that were done in good faith and in the best interest of the American people.
“Most importantly, this bill makes a historic investment in our Armed Forces – including the largest year-to-year increase in funding for the Department of Defense since the beginning of the War on Terror. It fully funds a 2.4% pay raise for our service men and women — the largest in eight years — and provides the largest dollar total ever for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“In addition to strengthening our national defense, this legislation boosts security here at home — including funding more than 90 miles of new and improved border wall system to secure our homeland.
“And, the legislation also makes significant strides on addressing urgent domestic priorities that will improve quality of life for all Americans and support economic growth and job creation. The bill invests more than $21 billion in critical infrastructure projects to move our economy forward, $4 billion to fight the opioid epidemic that is devastating communities across the country, and $2 billion to improve school safety and ensure children have a safe place to learn.
“All of these investments are made responsibly to ensure we get the most out of every tax dollar. This is urgently needed, responsible legislation that will help our nation, economy, communities, and families thrive.”
The bill includes critical funding of $59.6 billion to bolster national security, law enforcement support as well as to advance ground-breaking science and technology that will encourage economic growth. The funding for the latter includes...
- Funding NASA at $20.7 billion, which is $1.1 billion above the FY17 level. This will continue the development of critical space exploration activities and support ground-breaking science and discovery.
- Improves weather forecasting abilities by investing more than $1 billion in the National Weather Service, $34 mllion above the FY17 enacted level.
- Funds the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) at $1.2 billion, to target resources to important core research activities that advance U.S. competitiveness and economic growth.
- Increases funding for research grants at the National Science Foundation ($301 million above FY17) to foster innovation, particularly in areas such as advanced manufacturing physics, mathematics, cybersecurity, neuroscience, and STEM education.
The bill also advances total discretionary funding for the Department of Defense to $654 billion, which is an increase of $61.1 billion above FY17, when combined with FY18 funding already enacted. Funding for investments in critical weapons and equipment totaled $144.3 billion, $24.6 billion above FY17. Included is $1.4 billion for three Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV), including $600 million for two Wideband Gap-filler satellites for secure global comms and $9.5 billion for the Missile Defense Agency (MDA).