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H.R. 2028 (114th): Further Continuing and Security Assistance Appropriations Act, 2017

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Dec 11, 2016.


(This measure has not been amended since the House agreed to the Senate amendment with an amendment on December 8, 2016. The summary of that version is repeated here.)

Highlights:

This bill provides continuing appropriations for most federal agencies through the earlier of April 28, 2017, or the enactment of the applicable appropriations legislation.

It is commonly referred to as a continuing resolution (CR) and prevents a partial government shutdown that would otherwise occur when the existing CR expires on December 9, 2016, because eleven of the twelve FY2017 regular appropriations bills that fund the federal government have not been enacted. (The Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017 was enacted earlier this year.)

The bill funds most projects and activities at the rate established for FY2017 spending by the Budget Control Act of 2011. The bill also includes several exceptions, known as anomalies, which provide funding flexibility and additional appropriations for various programs.

The bill also includes additional emergency, disaster relief, and Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding which is exempt from discretionary spending limits.

The bill extends several programs that are otherwise scheduled to expire, including health benefits for certain retired miners and their families.

Full Summary:

Further Continuing and Security Assistance Appropriations Act, 2017

(Sec. 3) Specifies that references to "this Act" included in division B of this bill refer only to the provisions of that division.

(Sec. 4) Specifies the each amount in this bill designated by Congress as an emergency requirement is contingent on the President also designating all of the emergency amounts and transmitting the designations to Congress.

Specifies that each amount in this bill designated by Congress for Overseas Contingency Operations/Global War on Terrorism is contingent on the President also designating all of the amounts and transmitting the designations to Congress.

Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2017

DIVISION A--FURTHER CONTINUING APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2017

Provides continuing appropriations to most federal agencies through April 28, 2017, or the enactment of specified appropriations legislation.

(Unless otherwise indicated, all extensions and provisions referenced in the summary are for the duration of the CR.)

(Sec. 101) Amends the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2017 to: (1) provide FY2017 appropriations through April 28, 2017, to most federal agencies for continuing projects or activities at the levels of, and under the terms and conditions of FY2016 appropriations Acts; and (2) reduce the across-the-board reduction included in the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2017.

Continues all provisions included in the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2017 (except where this bill provides otherwise) and adds the following new provisions:

(Sec. 146) Permits Department of Agriculture (USDA) funds provided for the Farm Service Agency's Agricultural Credit Insurance Fund Program Account to be apportioned up to the rate for operations necessary to fund loans for which applications are approved.

(Sec. 147) Permits funds provided to USDA for Child Nutrition Programs to be apportioned up to the rate for operations necessary to ensure that the Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer for Children demonstration projects are operational by May 2017. (The program operates through competitive state grants and provides monthly benefits during the summer to low-income families with school-aged children.)

(Sec. 148) Amends the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to extend the National Hunger Information Clearinghouse through FY2017. (The clearinghouse provides information to nongovernmental groups that assist low-income individuals or communities regarding food assistance and other activities that aid individuals and communities in reducing reliance on governmental agencies for food or other assistance.)

(Sec. 149) Permits funds provided to USDA for the Rural Utilities Service to be transferred between appropriations as necessary for the cost of direct telecommunications loans authorized by the Rural Electrification Act of 1936.

(Sec. 150) Permits funds provided to USDA for the Guaranteed Multi-Family Housing Loan Program to be apportioned up to the rate necessary to fund loans for which applications are approved.

(Sec. 151) Permits funds provided for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to be apportioned up to the rate of operations necessary to maintain the planned launch schedules for the Joint Polar Satellite System weather satellites.

(Sec. 152) Permits funds provided for the U.S. Census Bureau to be apportioned up to the rate of operations necessary to maintain the schedule and deliver the required data according to statutory deadlines for the 2020 Decennial Census Program.

(Sec. 153) Permits funds provided to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to be apportioned up to the rate of operations necessary to maintain the planned launch capability schedules for the Space Launch System launch vehicle, Exploration Ground Systems, and Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle programs.

(Sec. 154) Provides additional appropriations to the Department of Justice for Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants to reimburse state and local law enforcement agencies for personnel overtime costs associated with protection of the President-elect.

(Sec. 155) Permits DOD to use specified procurement funds to begin advance procurement and detailed design work for the Ohio submarine replacement program. (The purpose of the program is to design and produce a new class of ballistic missile submarines to replace the current force.)

(Sec. 156) Permits DOD to use funds for multiyear procurement contracts, including advance procurement, for the AH-64E Attack Helicopter and the UH-60M Black Hawk Helicopter.

(Sec. 157) Permits DOD procurement funds provided for the KC-46A Tanker to be apportioned up to the rate of operations necessary to support the production rate specified in the President's FY2017 budget request.

(Sec. 158) Provides the Department of Energy (DOE) with funding flexibility to maintain schedules for weapons activities of the National Nuclear Security Administration.

(Sec. 159) Requires DOE to sell up to $375.4 million of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) in FY2017 and use the proceeds to carry out the SPR modernization program authorized in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.

(Sec. 160) Provides additional funding to DOE for the Uranium Enrichment Decontamination and Decommissioning Fund. (The account primarily funds the decommissioning and environmental remediation of three federal uranium enrichment facilities in Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee.)

(Sec. 161) Provides additional funding to the General Services Administration for the pension benefits of the outgoing President.

SOAR Funding Availability Act

(Sec. 162) Amends the Scholarship for Opportunity and Results Act to require the Department of Education to make certain unobligated funds available to eligible entities receiving grants under the District of Columbia Opportunity Scholarship Program.

Specifies that entities using the funds during the fiscal year must: (1) use at least 95% of the funds to provide additional scholarships for eligible students or to increase the amount of the scholarships during the year; and (2) use not more than 5% of the additional funds for administrative expenses, parental assistance, or tutoring.

(Sec. 163) Permits funds provided to the Department of Homeland Security for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Transportation Security Administration, and the U.S. Secret Service to be apportioned at a rate for operations as necessary, and apportioned to provide staffing levels as necessary, to ensure border security, fulfill immigration enforcement priorities, maintain aviation security activities, and carry out the mission associated with the protection of the President-elect.

(Sec. 164) Permits funds provided to the National Gallery of Art for Salaries and Expenses to be apportioned up to the rate for operations necessary to provide for staffing, maintenance, security, and administrative expenses for the recently reopened galleries.

(Sec. 165) Permits funds provided to the Smithsonian Institution for Salaries and Expenses to be apportioned up to the rate for operations necessary to provide for facilities maintenance, facilities operations, security, and support at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

(Sec. 166) Permits specified funds provided for the Indian Health Service to be apportioned up to the rate for operations necessary to provide for costs of staffing and operating newly constructed facilities.

Continued Health Benefits for Miners Act

(Sec. 167) Amends the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 to transfer specified funds from the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund to provide health care benefits through April 30, 2017, for certain retired miners and their families under the United Mine Workers Association 1993 Benefit Plan. (The benefits are otherwise scheduled to expire on December 31, 2016.)

Requires a voluntary employee's beneficiary association (VEBA) established as a result of a related coal mining company bankruptcy proceeding to transfer specified funds to the United Mine Workers Benefit Plan.

Exempts the budgetary effects of this section from specified budget enforcement laws and procedures.

(Sec. 168) Increases the amounts of specified funds within the Department of Labor's Office of Workers Compensation Programs Special Benefits account that are available to Labor for: the enhancement and maintenance of automated data processing systems operations and telecommunications systems, automated workload processing operations, periodic roll disability management and medical review, and program integrity. (The funding is provided to allow Labor to implement a plan to address compound prescription drug fraud and abuse in the Federal Employees' Compensation Act program.)

(Sec. 169) Extends the authority of the Department of Education to make account maintenance fee payments to guarantee agencies under the Federal Family Education Loan program.

(Sec. 170) Provides additional funding to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for programs and activities related to: (1) the care of unaccompanied alien children, and (2) efforts to combat the trafficking of children. Rescinds specified unobligated balances from HHS's Nonrecurring Expenses Fund.

(Sec. 171) Requires HHS to allocate funds from the Prevention and Public Health Fund in the same manner as in FY2016, with the exception of a reduction for the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention.

(Sec. 172) Permits the Social Security Administration to fund activities to address the hearing backlog within the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review using specified appropriations that were provided for the renovation and modernization of the Arthur J. Altmeyer Building.

(Sec. 173) Extends the authorizations for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Child Care Entitlement programs.

(Sec. 174) Permits HHS to use funds provided by this bill to implement provisions under current law related to the authorities and responsibilities for the designation and investigation of potential cancer clusters.

(Sec. 175) Prohibits Members of Congress from receiving a cost of living adjustment (COLA) during FY2017.

(Sec. 176) Authorizes the transfer of the Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr. Federal Building from the General Services Administration to the House of Representatives for treatment as a House Office Building and part of the U.S. Capitol Grounds under the authority of the Architect of the Capitol.

(Sec. 177) Makes a technical change regarding Senate Minority Leadership office funding for the Office of the Assistant Minority Leader and Office of the Secretary of the Conference of the Minority.

(Sec. 178) Amends S. Res. 64 (113th Congress) to extend the authorization for the Senate National Security Working Group until December 31, 2018.

(Sec. 179) Established expedited legislative procedures in the Senate for the consideration of legislation to provide an exception to the limitation against appointment of persons as Secretary of Defense within seven years of relief from active duty as a regular commissioned officer of the Armed Forces.

(Sec. 180) Suspends enforcement of certain hours-of-service rules for commercial drivers unless the Secretary of Transportation and Inspector General make specified findings and determinations regarding the provisions. Applies the suspension to the requirements for: (1) two off-duty periods from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m., and (2) the prohibition on using more than one restart during a consecutive 168-hour period. Requires the 34-hour restart rule in effect on June 30, 2013, to be restored if DOT does not make the required findings.

(Prior to 2013, commercial drivers were required to take at least 34 hours off duty after working for 60 hours in a seven-day period [or 70 hours in an eight-day period], which is known as the "34-hour restart requirement." Regulations that took effect in 2013 require the 34-hour off-duty period to cover two consecutive 1 a.m.-5 a.m. periods, and limit the drivers to one 34-hour "restart" in a 168-hour period.)

(Sec. 181) Permits funds provided for Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Operations to be apportioned up to the rate for operations necessary to avoid disruption of continuing projects or activities. Specifies funding levels for the FAA's Facilities and Equipment account.

(Sec. 182) Permits the Maritime Administration to use specified funds and unobligated balances for costs associated with the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy's Sea Year training program without regard to limitations on reprogramming or transfers of funds.

Repeals a provision that limits funding for the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy until a spending plan is submitted to Congress.

(Sec. 183) Permit funds provided to the Department of Housing and Urban Development for Tenant-Based Rental Assistance to be apportioned up to the rate for operations necessary to renew grants for rental assistance and administrative costs that were provided under the Tribal-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program. (The program provides rental assistance to Native American veterans who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness living on or near a reservation.)

(Sec. 184) Delays the release of required sequestration reports and orders by the Congressional Budget Office and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) if OMB determines and provides written notification that the amounts in the CR do not exceed the total base discretionary funding level that is permitted under current law for FY2017. Requires the written notification to include an estimate of both the dollar amount and sequester percentage that would be required to eliminate a breach of the discretionary spending caps for each of the defense and nondefense categories, assuming the levels of funding in the CR.

(Sec. 185) Provides emergency appropriations for the Emergency Watershed Protection Program and the Emergency Conservation Program.

(Sec. 186) Provides emergency appropriations to NASA for repairs to facilities damaged by Hurricane Matthew.

(Sec. 187) Provides emergency appropriations for the Army Corp of Engineers Construction account to address emergency situations at Corps of Engineers projects, and to rehabilitate and repair damages to projects, caused by natural disasters.

(Sec. 188) Provides emergency appropriations for the Army Corp of Engineers Mississippi River and Tributaries account to dredge navigation projects in response to, and repair damages to Corps of Engineers projects caused by, natural disasters.

(Sec. 189) Provides emergency appropriations for the Army Corp of Engineers Operation and Maintenance account to dredge navigation projects in response to, and repair damages to Corps of Engineers projects caused by, natural disasters.

(Sec. 190) Provides emergency appropriations for the Army Corp of Engineers Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies account to prepare for flood, hurricane and other natural disasters and support emergency operations, repairs, and other activities in response to such disasters.

(Sec. 191) Provides emergency appropriations for the Federal Highway Administration's Emergency Relief Program.

(Sec. 192) Provides emergency and disaster relief appropriations for the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Community Development Block Grant Program for activities related to disaster relief, long-term recovery, restoration of infrastructure and housing, and economic revitalization in the most impacted and distressed areas resulting from a major disaster declared in 2016.

(Sec. 193) Provides additional appropriations to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the FDA Innovation Account authorized by the 21st Century Cures Act.

(Sec. 194) Provides additional funding to the National Institutes of Health 's NIH Innovation Account for biomedical research authorized by the 21st Century Cures Act.

(Sec. 195) Provides additional appropriations to HHS for opioid abuse prevention and treatment activities.

(Sec. 196) Provides additional appropriations to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund, consistent with the Water and Waste Act of 2016, for grants to states with declared emergencies relating to the public health threats associated with the presence of lead or other contaminants in drinking water provided by a public water system.

(Sec. 197) Provides additional funding for the EPA's Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Program Account to provide loans for water infrastructure projects.

(Sec. 198) Provides additional funding to HHS to establish a lead exposure registry and lead exposure advisory committee.

(Sec. 199) Provides additional funding to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for childhood lead poisoning prevention programs authorized under the Public Health Service Act.

(Sec. 200) Provides appropriations to HHS for the Healthy Start Initiative to reduce the rate of infant mortality and improve perinatal outcomes.

(Sec. 201) Rescinds specified funds from the Children's Health Insurance Program State Allotments.

Security Assistance Appropriations Act, 2017

DIVISION B-- SECURITY ASSISTANCE APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2017

Provides FY2017 Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) / Global War on Terrorism appropriations to the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of State for counterterrorism activities.

TITLE I--DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Provides FY2017 appropriations to the Department of Defense (DOD) to support counterterrorism operations and the European Reassurance Initiative.

Provides appropriations to DOD for:

Military Personnel; Operation and Maintenance; the Iraq Train and Equip Fund; Procurement; Research, Development, Test And Evaluation; and the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Fund. TITLE II--DEPARTMENT OF STATE, FOREIGN OPERATIONS, AND RELATED PROGRAMS

Provides appropriations to the State Department to:

counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and other terrorist organizations; address the needs of populations impacted by terrorist groups; document and investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity in Iraq and Syria; meet operational and security needs at U.S. diplomatic facilities overseas; increase overseas refugee and humanitarian assistance; counter violent extremism; and counter Russian influence and aggression. Provides appropriations for the Administration of Foreign Affairs, including:

Diplomatic and Consular Programs; the Office of Inspector General; and Embassy Security, Construction, and Maintenance. Provides appropriations to the U.S. Agency for International Development for:

Operating Expenses, the Capital Investment Fund, and the Office of Inspector General. Provides appropriations for Bilateral Economic Assistance, including:

International Disaster Assistance; Transition Initiatives; the Economic Support Fund; Assistance For Europe, Eurasia and Central Asia; and Migration and Refugee Assistance. Provides appropriations for International Security Assistance, including:

International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement; Nonproliferation, Anti-Terrorism, Demining, and Related Programs; Peacekeeping Operations; and the Foreign Military Financing Program. (Sec. 201) Specifies that, unless otherwise indicated, funds provided by this title are subject to the authorities and conditions applicable to the appropriations accounts for FY2017.

(Sec. 202) Requires the State Department or the USAID, as appropriate, to notify Congress before obligating certain funds provided by this title.

(Sec. 203) Specifies authorities and restrictions for transferring certain funds provided by this title.

(Sec. 204) Requires State and the USAID to report to Congress regarding the use of funds provided by this title prior to obligating the funds. Permits funds provided for International Disaster Assistance and Migration and Refugee Assistance to be obligated prior to the submission of the report.

(Sec. 205) Permits funds provided for the Economic Support Fund to be used for loan guarantees for Iraq, subject to specified terms and conditions. Extends the authority to make certain direct loans to Iraq for the procurement of defense articles and services.

Extends the Overseas Contingency Operations/Global War on Terrorism designations for certain funds made available from prior appropriations that previously included the designation. Specifies that the funds are only available if the President subsequently designates all of the amounts and transmits the designations to Congress.

(Sec. 206) Permits funds provided by this title to support counter-terrorism and countering violent extremism programs to be used to enter into contracts with individuals for personal services in the United States or abroad. Prohibits the individuals from being deemed to be federal employees, for the purpose of any law administered by the Office of Personnel Management.