H.R. 5895 provides funding for national defense nuclear weapons activities, the Army Corps of Engineers, various programs under the Department of Energy, the Legislative Branch, the Department of Veterans Affairs, military construction and family housing for the Department of Defense, and other related agencies. This legislation provides a total of $145.4 billion in discretionary funding for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019.
The major provisions of the bill are as follows:
Division A – Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2019
The Energy and Water Development provisions of the legislation total $44.7 billion, which is $1.5 billion above the Fiscal Year 2018 enacted level and $8.17 billion above the President’s budget request. Total defense funding is $22.3 billion, $500 million above the Fiscal Year 2018 enacted level and $408.1 million above the budget request. Total non-defense funding is $22.4 billion, $1 billion above the FY18 level and $7.765 billion above the budget request.
Title I—Department of Defense—Civil (Army Corps of Engineers)
The bill provides for $7.28 billion for certain programs within the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This program is responsible for activities in support of coastal and inland navigation, flood and coastal storm damage reduction, environmental protection and restoration, hydropower, recreation, water supply, and disaster preparedness and response. The Corps also performs regulatory oversight of navigable waters. Approximately 23,000 civilians and almost 300 military personnel located in eight Division offices and 38 District offices work to carry out the Civil Works program.
The title provides that total funding for activities eligible for reimbursement from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) will be $1.6 billion. The HMTF is used to fund 100 percent of the operation and maintenance activities related to the Nation’s ports. The HMTF is supported by an ad valorem tax on the value of imported and domestic cargo. Expenditures from the trust fund are subject to annual appropriations.
Finally, the title makes use of all estimated annual revenues from the Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF). Capital improvements to the inland waterways system are generally funded 50 percent from the General Treasury and 50 percent from the IWTF, while operation and maintenance costs are funded 100 percent from the General Treasury. The IWTF is supported by a tax on barge fuel.
Title II—Department of the Interior (Bureau of Reclamation)
H.R. 5895 provides $1.555 billion for the Department of the Interior (primarily the Bureau of Reclamation), $75 million above FY 2018 and $497.992 million above the budget request.
The bill provides $1.54 billion for the United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR). USBR develops water supply facilities that contribute to sustained economic growth and an enhanced quality of life primarily in the western states. Lands and communities served by USBR projects have been developed to meet agricultural, tribal, urban, and industrial needs. USBR continues to develop authorized facilities to store and convey new water supplies and is the largest supplier and manager of water in the 17 western states. USBR maintains 337 reservoirs with the capacity to store 245 million acre-feet of water.
The Water and Related Resources account, which receives a specified portion of the total Bureau of Reclamation funding, supports the development, construction, management, and restoration of water and related natural resources in the 17 western states. The account includes funds for operating and maintaining existing facilities to protect public safety and to conduct studies on ways to improve the use of water and related natural resources.
Title II provides $15 million for the Central Utah Project Completion Account. The Central Utah Project Completion Act (Titles II–VI of Public Law 102–575) provides for the completion of the Central Utah Project by the Central Utah Water Conservancy District, which is a project to make use of portions of the Colorado River for irrigation, municipal and industrial use, power generation, and for recreational purposes.
The tile includes $134 million for water storage projects authorized in the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act.
Title III—Department of Energy
H.R. 5895 provides $35.494 billion for the Department of Energy, $974.24 million above FY 2018 and $5.35 billion above the budget request.
National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) – Title III provides $15.31 billion for the NNSA which includes nuclear weapons activities, defense nuclear nonproliferation, naval reactors, and Federal salaries and expenses. The Department of Energy is responsible for enhancing U.S. national security through the military application of nuclear technology and reducing the global danger from the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. NNSA, a semi-autonomous agency within the Department, carries out these responsibilities. This funding includes $11.2 billion for weapons activities, $1.79 billion for naval nuclear reactors, and $1.9 billion for defense nuclear nonproliferation.
Energy Programs - The bill provides $13.42 billion for energy programs within the Department of Energy, which includes basic science research and the applied energy programs. For FY 2019, this funding is targeted to encourage U.S. economic competitiveness and help advance the nation’s goal of an “all-of-the-above” solution to energy independence and invest in research and development to advance coal, natural gas, oil, and other fossil energy technologies.
In addition, to promote innovation and growth in nuclear energy, research, development, and demonstration activities are funded at $1.2 billion – $128 million above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level. Energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, which have already received significant investments in recent years, are cut by $243 million compared to fiscal year 2018.
Yucca Mountain - H.R.5895 continues congressional support for the Yucca Mountain nuclear repository, providing $267.7 million for the Nuclear Waste Disposal Program. Within available funds, the Department is directed to reestablish its capability to respond to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission during the adjudicatory process, and to otherwise fully support the Yucca Mountain licensing process. The recommendation includes support for affected units of local government who have formally consented to host Yucca Mountain. The bill continues a provision prohibiting funds in this Act from being used to close the Yucca Mountain license application process or for actions that would remove the possibility that Yucca Mountain might be an option in the future.
Environmental management activities - Included in the title is $6.9 billion for environmental management activities, $257 million below the fiscal year 2018 enacted level and $268 million above the President’s budget request. This includes $5.8 billion for Defense Environmental Cleanup to safely cleanup sites contaminated by previous nuclear weapons production at Hanford, Savannah River, Oak Ridge, Idaho, and other DOE sites.
Title IV—Independent Agencies
The bill provides $423.76 million for several Independent Agencies for FY 2019, $32.3 million above FY 2018 and $70.98 million above the budget request. Net funding for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is $191.66 million, $60.1 million above FY 2018 and $36.4 million above the budget request. Additional independent agencies receiving funding include the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, Delta Regional Authority, the Denali Commission, the Northern Border Regional Commission, the Southeast Crescent Regional Commission, and the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board.
Other policy items:
H.R. 5895 repeals the Waters of the United States rule, restricts the application of the Clean Water Act in farm ponds and irrigation ditches, includes language prohibiting new nuclear nonproliferation projects in Russia without notifications from the Secretary of Energy, includes language allowing the possession of firearms on Corps of Engineers land, and includes language regarding operation of the Federal Columbia River Power System hydroelectric dams.
Division B – Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 2019
Total funding under Legislative Branch Appropriations for House and joint operations, excluding Senate-only functions, is $3.8 billion, which is $132 million above the FY18 level. The bill also includes a provision to freeze the pay of Members of Congress, preventing any pay increases in FY19.
Major provisions of note include:
House Leadership Offices: The bill provides $25.4 million for salaries and expenses of staff in House leadership offices for Fiscal Year 2019. This amount is a $3.1 million increase from FY18 levels which reflects amounts previously provided under the heading “Allowances and Expenses, Supplies, Materials Administrative Costs” being combined under this heading.
Members’ Representational Allowances: The bill provides $573.6 million for the representational allowances of the Members of the House (MRAs). This amount is $10.99 million above the Fiscal Year 2018 enacted level. This level of funding will allow the MRAs to operate at current authorized levels as approved by the Committee on House Administration.
House Committees: The bill provides $151 million in total for House Committees. This amount is $736,771 above the current level. This account includes funding for staff salaries and official expenses of Committees including equipment, telecommunications, printing, and contract services. Funding is available until December 31, 2019.
Joint Items: The Committee recommends $20.7 million for Fiscal Year 2019 for the various joint committees and activities carried out under this heading. This includes funding for the Joint Committee on Taxation, Joint Economic Committee, Office of the Attending Physician, and Office of Congressional Accessibility Services.
Capitol Police: The bill provides $456.4 million for the U.S. Capitol Police, an increase of $29.9 million above the Fiscal Year 2018 enacted level. This will fund critical safety and security functions for all Members, staff, and visitors of the Capitol Complex, and maintain public access to the Capitol and its office buildings. Increased funding is included to address garage security and prescreening.
Office of Compliance: The bill provides $5.4 million for the Office of Compliance. The Office of Compliance was established to administer and enforce the Congressional Accountability Act (Public Law 104–091), which applies various employment and workplace safety laws to Congress and certain Legislative Branch entities.
Congressional Budget Office: The bill provides $50.74 million for the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). This is $792,000 above FY18 levels CBO provides independent analyses of budgetary and economic issues to support the Congressional budget process.
Architect of the Capitol: The bill provides $642 million for the Architect of the Capitol (AOC), which is $31.5 million above the Fiscal Year 2018 enacted level. This includes $62 million for the continuation of the restoration and renovation of the Cannon House Office Building, $32.7 million for the continuation of the Rayburn House Office Building Garage Rehabilitation project, and $10 million for the House Historic Buildings Revitalization Fund.
Library of Congress: The bill provides $709.8 million for the Library of Congress (LOC), an increase of $40 million above the Fiscal Year 2018 enacted level. This increase will allow for enhancements to the public exhibits and visitor services, which will improve the Library’s ability to bring the nation’s collections and history out of the vaults into public spaces, and provide for information technology modernization within the Library, the Copyright Office, and the Congressional Research Service (CRS), and additional full-time equivalents for Congressional Research Service to be more responsive to congressional requests.
Government Publishing Office: The legislation includes $117 million for the Government Publishing Office (GPO), the same as the Fiscal Year 2018 enacted level. GPO is the Federal Government’s official, digital, secure resource for producing, procuring, cataloging, indexing, authenticating, disseminating, and preserving the official information products of the U.S. Government.
Government Accountability Office: The bill provides $579 million in direct appropriations for the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the same as FY18 enacted levels. This funding will allow GAO to continue its critical oversight work, providing Congress with accurate, nonpartisan reporting of federal programs and tracking of how taxpayer dollars are spent.
Open World Leadership Center Trust Fund: The bill provides $5.6 million, the same as the FY18 enacted level.
Division C – Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2019
Division C provides $96.9 billion in discretionary funding to provide the infrastructure necessary to house, train, and equip military personnel, provide housing and services to military families, help maintain base infrastructure, and fund veterans’ benefits and programs. This is $4.2 billion above Fiscal Year 2018 levels and includes $921.4 million in Overseas Contingency Operations funding.
The major provisions of the bill are as follows:
Military Construction: The bill provides a total of $10.3 billion for military construction projects—an increase of $241 million above the enacted Fiscal Year 2018 level. This includes funds for large and small construction and renovation projects on military bases within the U.S. and around the globe. In addition, of the amount provided for Military Construction projects, $921.4 million is provided for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) projects, including European Deterrence Initiative projects.
Military Family Housing: The bill provides $1.6 billion to fund construction and operation and maintenance of military family housing for Fiscal Year 2019. The funding will ensure quality housing is sustained for all 1.4 million military families currently served by the program.
Military Medical Facilities: The bill includes $361 million for construction and alterations for new or existing military medical facilities. This funding will allow for continued support and care for 9.8 million eligible beneficiaries, including our wounded troops abroad.
Department of Defense (DOD) Education Facilities: The bill includes $368 million for essential safety improvements and infrastructure work at six DOD Education Activities facilities located within the U.S. and overseas.
Guard and Reserve: The bill includes $467 million for construction or alteration of Guard and Reserve facilities in 20 States.
NATO Security Investment Program (NSIP): The bill provides $171 million for infrastructure necessary for wartime, crisis, and peace support and deterrence operations, and training requirements. The funds will support responses to the challenges posed by Russia and to the risks and threats emanating from the Middle East and North Africa.
Guantanamo Bay: The legislation continues language to prohibit the closure of the Guantanamo Bay Naval Station and a provision to prohibit funding for construction of any facility within the U.S. to house Guantanamo detainees.
Veterans Affairs (VA): The bill includes a total of $194.5 billion in both discretionary and mandatory funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs, an increase of $9 billion above the Fiscal Year 2018 level. Discretionary funding alone for VA programs in the bill totals $85.3 billion, an increase of $3.9 billion above the Fiscal Year 2018 level. Approximately $70.7 billion of this discretionary total was provided last year via advance funding in the fiscal year 2018 Appropriations bill.
VA Medical Services: The bill funds VA medical care at $71.2 billion – providing for approximately 7 million patients to be treated in Fiscal Year 2019. Within this total, funding includes: $8.6 billion in mental health care services; $196 million in suicide prevention activities; $589 million for traumatic brain injury treatment; $7.4 billion in homeless veterans treatment, services, housing, and job training; $387 million for opioid abuse prevention, and $270 million in rural health initiatives.
VA Electronic Health Record: The bill contains $1.2 billion for the new VA electronic health record system to help ensure our veterans get proper care through the timely and accurate exchange of medical data between VA, DOD, and the private sector.
Disability Claims Processing Backlog: Reducing the disability claims backlog is essential to ensuring adequate compensation and care for the more than 450,000 veterans still wading through the VA bureaucracy to get a final decision on their claims. The bill will help speed this process and get these veterans the decisions they are awaiting by providing $53 million above the request for the Veterans Benefits Administration, and $14 million above the 2018 level for the Board of Veterans Appeals, to be used for hiring additional claims and appellate staff, digital scanning of health records, and overtime pay. In addition, the bill continues rigorous reporting requirements to track each regional office’s performance on claims processing and appeals backlogs.
Construction: Major and minor construction within the VA is funded at $1.8 billion. In addition, $2 billion is provided for infrastructure repair, with the funding allocated to major and minor construction and non-recurring maintenance. A total of $1.2 billion is targeted to seismic corrections at VA facilities nationwide.
VA Mandatory Funding: The bill fulfills mandatory funding requirements such as: veteran disability compensation programs for 5.3 million veterans and their survivors; education benefits for almost one million veterans; and vocational rehabilitation and employment training for almost 150,000 veterans.
Advance Appropriations: The bill contains $76 billion in advance fiscal year 2020 funding for veterans’ medical programs – the same level as the President’s request. This funding will provide for medical services, medical support and compliance, and medical facilities, and ensure that our veterans have continued, full access to their medical care needs. The bill includes $121 billion in advance funding for VA mandatory benefit programs, as requested in the President's budget.
Related Agencies: The bill includes funding for Related Agencies, including the American Battle Monuments Commission, the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, and Civil Cemeterial Expenses, which includes Arlington National Cemetery and the Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery.
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Sep 22, 2018.
This bill provides FY2019 appropriations for several federal agencies. The bill includes 3 of the 12 regular FY2019 appropriations bills:
the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2019; the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 2019; and the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2019. The departments and agencies funded in the bill include:
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Reclamation, the Department of Energy, Congress and the agencies that serve Congress, Department of Defense military construction and military family housing activities, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and several related and independent agencies. The bill also includes additional military construction funds which are designated as Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO)/ Global War on Terrorism funds and are not subject to discretionary spending limits.
Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, 2019
(Sec. 3) Specifies that, unless this bill expressly provides otherwise, references to "this Act" included in a division shall be treated as referring only to the provisions of that division.
(Sec. 4) Specifies that this bill provides appropriations for FY2019.
DIVISION A--ENERGY AND WATER DEVELOPMENT AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2019
Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2019
This division provides FY2019 appropriations for:
the civil works projects of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation and Central Utah Project; the Department of Energy (DOE); and several independent agencies, including the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. TITLE I--CORPS OF ENGINEERS--CIVIL
Provides appropriations to the Corps of Engineers for authorized civil functions pertaining to rivers and harbors, flood and storm damage reduction, shore protection, aquatic ecosystem restoration, and related efforts.
Provides appropriations to the Corps of Engineers for:
Investigations; Construction; Mississippi River and Tributaries, including flood damage reduction projects in the Mississippi River alluvial valley below Cape Girardeau, Missouri; Operation and Maintenance; the Regulatory Program pertaining to navigable waters and wetlands; the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program for clean-up of early atomic energy program contamination; Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies, including hurricanes, floods, and other natural disasters; Expenses necessary for the supervision and general administration of the civil works program; and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works. (Sec. 101) Prohibits the reprogramming of funds provided by this title except in specified circumstances.
(Sec. 102) Requires the Corps of Engineers to allocate funds provided in this division in accordance with the provisions of this division and the joint explanatory statement.
(Sec. 103) Prohibits funds provided by this title from being used for a contract that commits funds beyond the amounts appropriated for that program, project, or activity that remain unobligated. Includes exception for funds made available through reprogramming.
(Sec. 104) Permits the Corps of Engineers to transfer to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service up to $5.4 million in Operation and Maintenance funds to mitigate for fisheries lost due to Corps of Engineers projects.
(Sec. 105) Prohibits funds provided by this division from being used for an open lake placement of dredged material originating from Lake Erie or its tributaries unless it is approved under a state water quality certification pursuant to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (commonly known as the Clean Water Act). Requires the Corps of Engineers to continue upland placement of the dredged material until an open lake placement for dredged materials is approved under a state water quality certification.
(Sec. 106) Requires acquisitions funded by this title to comply with regulations that prohibit the Department of Defense from purchasing buoy chain unless it is procured from a U.S. manufacturer.
(Sec. 107) Prohibits funds provided by this division from being used for a water supply reallocation study under the Wolf Creek Dam, Lake Cumberland, Kentucky, project authorized under the Act of July 24, 1946.
(Sec. 108) Prohibits funds provided by this division from being used to require a permit for the discharge of dredged or fill material under the Clean Water Act for specified agricultural activities.
(Sec. 109) Prohibits funds provided by this division or available in the revolving fund established by the Civil Functions Appropriations Act of 1954 from being used for a new hopper dredge.
(Sec. 110) Prohibits funds from being used to reorganize or to transfer the civil works functions or authority of the Corps of Engineers or the Secretary of the Army to another department or agency.
TITLE II--DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Provides appropriations to the Department of the Interior for the Central Utah Project.
Provides appropriations to the Bureau of Reclamation for:
Water and Related Resources, the Central Valley Project Restoration Fund, California Bay-Delta Restoration, and Policy and Administration. Permits appropriations to the Bureau of Reclamation to be used for purchasing replacements for up to five passenger motor vehicles.
(Sec. 201) Specifies the circumstances in which Reclamation may reprogram or transfer funds provided by this title.
(Sec. 202) Prohibits funds provided by this division from being used to determine the final point of discharge for the interceptor drain for the San Luis Unit until Interior and California develop a plan to minimize any detrimental effect of the San Luis drainage waters. Requires the plan to conform to California water quality standards as approved by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Directs Interior to classify the costs of the Kesterson Reservoir Cleanup Program and the San Joaquin Valley Drainage Program as either reimbursable or nonreimbursable and collected until fully repaid pursuant to specified alternative repayment plans.
Requires future federal obligations of funds regarding drainage service or drainage studies for the San Luis Unit to be fully reimbursable by San Luis Unit beneficiaries of the service or studies.
(Sec. 203) Specifies that, from November 1 through April 30, water users may use their diversion structures for the purpose of recharging the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer when Interior determines there is water available in excess of that needed to satisfy existing Minidoka Project storage and hydropower rights and ensure operational flexibility.
(Sec. 204) Amends the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 to extend the authority of the Bureau of Reclamation to conduct feasibility studies on certain projects that address water shortages within the Snake, Boise, and Payette River systems in Idaho.
(Sec. 205) Amends the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015 to: (1) extend the authorization for Interior pilot projects to increase Colorado River System water in Lake Mead and the initial units of Colorado River Storage Project reservoirs to address the effects of historic drought conditions, and (2) prohibit Interior from funding the pilot projects in the Upper Colorado River Basin without the participation of the Upper Colorado River Commission.
Amends the Secure Water Act of 2009 to increase from $450 million to $480 million the authorization of appropriations for grants and cooperative agreements for water management improvement.
(Sec. 206) Amends the Fort Peck Reservation Rural Water System Act of 2000 to extend the authorization for the Fort Peck/Dry Prairie Rural Water Project in Montana.
TITLE III--DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
Provides appropriations to the Department of Energy (DOE) for Energy Programs, including:
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; Cyber Security, Energy Security, and Emergency Response; Electricity Delivery; Nuclear Energy; Fossil Energy Research and Development; Naval Petroleum and Oil Shale Reserves; the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR); the SPR Petroleum Account; the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve; the Energy Information Administration; Non-Defense Environmental Cleanup; the Uranium Enrichment Decontamination and Decommissioning Fund; Science; Advanced Research Projects Agency--Energy; the Title 17 Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Loan Program; the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program; the Tribal Energy Loan Guarantee Program; the Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs; Departmental Administration; and the Office of the Inspector General. Provides appropriations for the Atomic Energy Defense Activities of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), including:
Weapons Activities, Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, Naval Reactors, and Federal Salaries and Expenses. Provides appropriations for Environmental and Other Defense Activities, including:
Defense Environmental Cleanup, and Other Defense Activities. Provides appropriations for the Power Marketing Administrations, including:
the Bonneville Power Administration Fund; Southeastern Power Administration Operation and Maintenance; Southwestern Power Administration Operation and Maintenance; Western Area Power Administration Construction, Rehabilitation, and Operation and Maintenance; and the Falcon and Amistad Operating and Maintenance Fund. Provides appropriations for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
(Sec. 301) Prohibits funds provided by this title from be used for programs, projects, or activities that have not been funded by Congress.
Prohibits specified grants, contracts, allocations, and agreements unless Congress is notified in advance.
Prohibits funds from being used for certain multiyear Department of Energy--Energy Programs activities unless specified conditions are met and Congress is notified.
Establishes requirements and restrictions for the reprogramming of funds provided in this title.
Permits unexpended balances of prior appropriations provided for activities in this division to be transferred and merged with appropriations accounts established in this division.
(Sec. 302) Deems funds appropriated by this division for intelligence activities to be specifically authorized by Congress during FY2019 until the enactment of the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY2019.
(Sec. 303) Prohibits funds provided by this title from being used to construct specified high-hazard nuclear facilities unless independent oversight is conducted by the Office of Enterprise Assessments to ensure compliance with nuclear safety requirements.
(Sec. 304) Prohibits funds provided by this title from being used to approve certain critical decisions for construction projects exceeding $100 million until a separate independent cost estimate has been developed for the project for that critical decision.
(Sec. 305) Specifies congressional notification requirements and limitations regarding transfers of funds from DOE's Working Capital Fund.
(Sec. 306) Prohibits Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation funds from being used to enter into new contracts with, or new agreements for federal assistance to, the Russian Federation. Permits DOE to waive the prohibition if the activity is in the national security interests of the United States and a report justifying the waiver is submitted to Congress.
(Sec. 307) Prohibits DOE from establishing any new regional petroleum product reserve unless funding is explicitly requested in advance and approved by Congress in an appropriations Act.
(Sec. 308) Authorizes DOE to draw down and sell refined petroleum product from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) upon a determination by the President in this fiscal year that:
a regional supply shortage of refined petroleum product of significant scope and duration exists, a severe increase in the price of refined petroleum product will likely result from the shortage, and a draw down and sale of refined petroleum product would assist directly and significantly in reducing the adverse impact of the shortage. Specifies that the proceeds from the sale must be deposited into the SPR Petroleum Account and remain available for obligation without fiscal year limitation, consistent with the Energy Policy and Conservation Act.
TITLE IV--INDEPENDENT AGENCIES
Provides appropriations for independent agencies, including:
the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, the Delta Regional Authority, the Denali Commission, the Northern Border Regional Commission, the Southeast Crescent Regional Commission, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board. (Sec. 401) Requires the NRC to comply with specified internal procedures when responding to congressional requests for information, consistent with Department of Justice guidance for all federal agencies.
(Sec. 402) Specifies the circumstances in which funds provided by this title may be reprogrammed.
TITLE V--GENERAL PROVISIONS
(Sec. 501) Prohibits funds provided by this division from being used to influence congressional action on any legislation or appropriation matters pending before Congress, other than to communicate with Members of Congress as permitted under current law.
(Sec. 502) Specifies restrictions and requirements for transfers of funds into and out of accounts funded by this division.
(Sec. 503) Prohibits funds provided by this division from being used to contravene Executive Order No. 12898 of February 11, 1994 (Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations).
(Sec. 504) Prohibits the use of funds provided by this division for a computer network unless pornography is blocked, with the exception of law enforcement, prosecution, or adjudication activities.
(Sec. 505) Provides additional appropriations to the Bureau of Reclamation Water and Related Resources account to be transferred to Reclamation's Upper Colorado River Basin Fund to carry out certain environmental stewardship and endangered species recovery efforts.
DIVISION B--LEGISLATIVE BRANCH APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2019
Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 2019
This division provides appropriations for Congress and the agencies that serve Congress.
It includes funding for the House of Representatives, the Senate, and Joint Items such as the Joint Economic Committee, the Joint Committee on Taxation, and the Office of the Attending Physician.
It also provides appropriations for:
the Capitol Police the Office of Compliance, the Congressional Budget Office, the Architect of the Capitol, the Library of Congress, the Government Publishing Office, and the Government Accountability Office. TITLE I--LEGISLATIVE BRANCH
Provides appropriations to the Senate for:
Payment to Widows and Heirs of Deceased Members of Congress (for Cindy H. McCain, widow of the late Senator John S. McCain III); Expense Allowances; Representational Allowances for the Majority and Minority Leaders; Salaries, Officers, and Employees; the Office of the Legislative Counsel of the Senate; the Office of Senate Legal Counsel; Expense Allowances of the Secretary of the Senate, Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper of the Senate, and Secretaries for the Majority and Minority of the Senate; and Contingent Expenses of the Senate. (Sec. 101) Requires amounts remaining in the Senators' Official Personnel and Office Expense Account be used for deficit or debt reduction.
(Sec. 102) Amends the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to require Senate political committees to file certain campaign finance designations, statements, and reports directly with the Federal Election Commission instead of with the Secretary of the Senate.
(Sec. 103) Extends the authority for the Senate National Security Working Group through 2020.
Provides appropriations to the House of Representatives for:
Salaries and Expenses; House Leadership Offices; Members' Representational Allowances, including Members' Clerk Hire, Official Expenses of Members, and Official Mail; the Intern Allowance; Committee Employees; Salaries, Officers, and Employees; and Allowances and Expenses. (In this division, the term "Member of the House of Representatives" also includes a Delegate or Resident Commissioner to the Congress.)
(Sec. 110) Requires amounts remaining in Members' Representational Allowances after all payments are made for FY2019 to be used for deficit or debt reduction.
(Sec. 111) Prohibits funds provided in any fiscal year from being used to deliver a printed copy of a bill, joint resolution, or resolution to the office of a Member of the House of Representatives unless the Member requests a copy.
(Sec. 112) Prohibits funds provided in any fiscal year from being used to deliver a printed copy of the Congressional Record to the office of a Member of the House of Representatives.
(Sec. 113) Prohibits funds provided by this division from being used to make payments from any Members' Representational Allowance to lease a vehicle, excluding mobile district offices, in an aggregate amount that exceeds $1,000 for the vehicle in any month.
(Sec. 114) Prohibits funds provided in any fiscal year from being used to provide an aggregate number of more than 50 printed copies of any edition of the U.S. Code to all offices of the House of Representatives.
(Sec. 115) Prohibits funds provided in any fiscal year from being used to deliver a printed copy of the report of disbursements for the operations of the House of Representatives to the office of a Member of the House of Representatives.
(Sec. 116) Prohibits funds provided in any fiscal year from being used to deliver to the office of a Member of the House Representatives a printed copy of the Daily Calendar of the House of Representatives prepared by the Clerk of the House of Representatives.
(Sec. 117) Prohibits funds provided in any fiscal year from being used to deliver a printed copy of the Congressional Pictorial Directory to the office of a Member of the House of Representatives.
(Sec. 118) Repeals the authorizations for office space, office expenses, franked mail and printing privileges, and staff for former Speakers of the House of Representatives.
(Sec. 119) Provides transfer authority for funds provided for House Leadership Offices.
(Sec. 120) Establishes and authorizes FY2019 appropriations for an allowance for compensating interns who serve in the offices of Members of the House of Representatives.
Specifies that: (1) each office may not use more than $20,000 of the allowance per year, and (2) this provision has no effect on the use of the Members' Representational Allowance to compensate interns.
Provides appropriations for Joint Items, including:
the Joint Economic Committee, the Joint Committee on Taxation, the Office of the Attending Physician, and the Office of Congressional Accessibility Services. Provides appropriations for:
the Capitol Police, the Office of Compliance, and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Provides appropriations to the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) for:
Capital Construction and Operations; the Capitol Building; the Capitol Grounds; the House Office Buildings; the Senate Office Buildings; the Capitol Power Plant; the Library Buildings and Grounds; the Capitol Police Buildings, Grounds and Security; the Botanic Garden; and the Capitol Visitor Center. (Sec. 130) Prohibits funds provided by this division for the AOC from being used to make incentive or award payments to contractors for work that is behind schedule or over budget, unless the deviations are due to unforeseeable events, government-driven scope changes, or are insignificant within the overall scope of the project or program.
(Sec. 131) Prohibits funds provided by this division from being used for scrims (coverings for buildings that are being renovated) containing photographs of building facades during restoration or construction projects performed by the AOC.
(Sec. 132) Amends the 2002 Supplemental Appropriations Act for Further Recovery From and Response To Terrorist Attacks on the United States, with respect to the Capitol Police and Buildings and Ground Account, to: (1) specify that the uses for the account include AOC resilience and security programs; and (2) permit the AOC, with congressional approval, to receive interagency transfers of funds to carry out the purposes of the account.
(Sec. 133) Modifies the AOC's small purchase contracting authority to permit the AOC to use special simplified procedures for purchases of property and services if the aggregate amount does not exceed $250,000.
(Sec. 134) Permits the AOC to enter into a joint agency agreement to provide for interagency employee detailees.
(Sec. 135) Permits the AOC to accept, or authorize an AOC employee to accept, payments from nonfederal sources for travel, subsistence, and related expenses for the attendance of an employee (or the spouse of an employee) at a meeting or similar function relating to the employee's official duties.
Provides appropriations to the Library of Congress (LOC) for:
Salaries and Expenses, the Copyright Office, the Congressional Research Service, and Books for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. (Sec. 140) Limits the FY2019 obligational authority of the LOC for reimbursable and revolving fund activities funded from sources other than appropriations.
Provides appropriations to the Government Publishing Office for:
Congressional Publishing, Public Information Programs of the Superintendent of Documents, and the Government Publishing Office Business Operations Revolving Fund. Provides appropriations to:
the Government Accountability Office, the Open World Leadership Center Trust Fund, and the John C. Stennis Center for Public Service Training and Development. TITLE II--GENERAL PROVISIONS
(Sec. 201) Prohibits funds provided by this division from being used for the maintenance or care of private vehicles, except for emergency assistance and cleaning, as provided under regulations for the House and Senate parking facilities.
(Sec. 202) Prohibits funds provided by this division from remaining available for obligation beyond FY2019 unless expressly provided in this division.
(Sec. 203) Provides that: (1) rates of compensation or designations of offices or positions included in this division that are either not established by the Legislative Pay Act of 1929 or are contrary to that Act are considered permanent law, and (2) provisions in this division for official congressional expenses and clerk hire for Senators and Members of the House of Representatives are permanent law.
(Sec. 204) Limits contracts for certain consulting services to those where expenditures are a matter of public record and available for public inspection, except where otherwise provided under existing law or under an executive order issued under existing law.
(Sec. 205) Permits legislative branch entities participating in the Legislative Branch Financial Managers Council to use funds provided for administrative expenses to pay a share of the cost of the council if the total cost shared among all participating entities does not exceed $2,000.
(Sec. 206) Prohibits funds provided by this division from being transferred to any department, agency, or instrumentality of the U.S. government unless the transfer is pursuant to authority provided by an appropriations Act.
(Sec. 207) Prohibits the AOC from using funds provided by this division to eliminate or restrict guided Capitol tours led by congressional employees and interns other than through regulations authorized by the Capitol Visitor Center of 2008, subject to an exception permitting tours to be suspended for security or related reasons.
(Sec. 208) Prohibits funds provided by this division from being used to acquire telecommunications equipment produced by Huawei Technologies Company, ZTE Corporation or a high-impact or moderate-impact information system unless the agency, office, or entity acquiring the system meets certain requirements for reviews, assessments, reports, and mitigation strategies for risks.
(Sec. 209) Prohibits funds provided by this division from being used for a computer network unless pornography is blocked, with the exception of law enforcement, prosecution, or adjudication activities.
(Sec. 210) Requires agencies and offices funded by this division to confer and coordinate with their food service providers, in consultation with disability advocacy groups, to eliminate or reduce plastic waste, including waste from plastic straws, explore the use of biodegradable items, and increase recycling and composting opportunities.
(Sec. 211) Requires agencies, offices, and entities funded by this division to report to Congress regarding the estimated dollar amounts for cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) included in the FY2019 budget request for each appropriations account. Specifies that, if executive branch agencies do not receive a COLA, the legislative branch entities may only spend the reported dollar amounts after receiving congressional approval.
(Sec. 212) Prohibits COLAs for Members of Congress during FY2019.
DIVISION C--MILITARY CONSTRUCTION, VETERANS AFFAIRS, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2019
Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2019
This division provides FY2019 appropriations to the Department of Defense (DOD) for military construction, military family housing, the U.S. share of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Security Investment Program, and base closures and realignments.
The division also provides appropriations to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for veterans benefit and health care programs, departmental administration, and the National Cemetery Administration.
Related agencies and programs funded in the division include:
the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims; the Armed Forces Retirement Home; and the Cemeterial Expenses of the Army, including Arlington National Cemetery. The division also includes additional military construction funds which are designated as Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO)/ Global War on Terrorism funds and are not subject to discretionary spending limits.
TITLE I--DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
Provides appropriations to the Department of Defense (DOD) for Military Construction for:
the Army; the Navy and Marine Corps; the Air Force; Defense-Wide agencies and activities (other than military departments); the Army and Air National Guard; and the Army, Navy, and Air Force Reserves. Provides appropriations to DOD for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Security Investment Program.
Provides appropriations for the DOD Base Closure Account.
Provides appropriations to DOD for Construction and Operation and Maintenance of Family Housing for:
the Army, the Navy and Marine Corps, the Air Force, and Defense-Wide agencies and activities (other than military departments). Provides appropriations to DOD for: (1) the Family Housing Improvement Fund, and (2) the Military Unaccompanied Housing Improvement Fund.
(Sec. 101) Prohibits funds provided by this title from being used for payments exceeding $25,000 under a cost-plus-a-fixed-fee contract for construction in the United States without a specific DOD approval in writing. Includes an exception for work that is to be performed in Alaska.
(Sec. 102) Permits construction funds provided by this title to be used for hiring passenger motor vehicles.
(Sec. 103) Permits construction funds provided by this title to be used for advances to the Federal Highway Administration for the construction of access roads DOD has certified as important to national defense.
(Sec. 104) Prohibits funds provided by this title from being used to begin construction of new bases in the United States without a specific appropriation.
(Sec. 105) Prohibits funds provided by this title from being used to purchase land or land easements in excess of 100% of the value as determined by the Army Corps of Engineers or the Naval Facilities Engineering Command. Includes exceptions for: (1) determinations of value by a federal court, (2) purchases negotiated by the Attorney General or a designee, (3) values less than $25,000, and (4) DOD determinations that the purchase is in the public interest.
(Sec. 106) Prohibits funds provided by this title from being used to acquire land, provide for site preparation, or install utilities for family housing, except housing for which appropriations have been provided.
(Sec. 107) Prohibits funds provided by this title for minor construction from being used to transfer or relocate any activity from one base or installation to another without notifying Congress in advance.
(Sec. 108) Prohibits funds provided by this title from being used to procure steel for construction unless American producers, fabricators, and manufacturers have been allowed to compete for the procurement.
(Sec. 109) Prohibits funds provided to DOD for military construction or family housing during the current fiscal year from being used to pay real property taxes in any foreign nation.
(Sec. 110) Prohibits funds provided by this title from being used to initiate a new installation overseas without notifying Congress in advance.
(Sec. 111) Prohibits funds provided by this title from being used for architect and engineer contracts estimated to exceed $500,000 for projects in Japan, NATO member countries, or countries bordering the Arabian Gulf unless the contracts are awarded to U.S. firms or U.S. firms in joint ventures with host nation firms.
(Sec. 112) Prohibits funds provided by this title for military construction in U.S. territories and possessions in the Pacific and on Kwajalein Atoll, or in countries bordering the Arabian Gulf from being used to award a contract over $1 million to a foreign contractor. Includes exceptions.
(Sec. 113) Requires DOD to notify Congress in advance of the plans and scope of any proposed military exercise involving U.S. personnel if the construction costs are anticipated to exceed $100,000.
(Sec. 114) Permits funds appropriated to DOD for construction in prior years to be used for construction projects authorized during the current session of Congress.
(Sec. 115) Permits expired or lapsed funds to be used to pay for supervision, inspection, overhead, engineering, and design costs for military construction or family housing projects being completed with lapsed or expired funds.
(Sec. 116) Permits funds provided for the construction of military projects to be available for five years if the funds for the project: (1) are obligated from funds available for military construction, and (2) do not exceed the amount appropriated or permitted by law for the project.
(Sec. 117) Permits the following transfers if Congress is notified and specified conditions are met:
to the DOD Family Housing Improvement Fund from appropriations for construction in Family Housing accounts, and to the DOD Military Unaccompanied Housing Improvement Fund from appropriations for construction of military unaccompanied housing in Military Construction accounts. Specifies that the transferred funds shall be available for DOD loans or loan guarantees pertaining to alternative means of acquiring and improving military family housing, military unaccompanied housing, and supporting facilities.
(Sec. 118) Permits the transfer of funds from the DOD Base Closure Account to the fund established to pay expenses associated with the Homeowners Assistance Program under the Demonstration Cities and Metropolitan Development Act of 1966.
(Sec. 119) Specifies that funds for operation and maintenance of family housing in this title shall be the only source of funds for repair and maintenance of all family housing units, including general or flag officer quarters. Sets forth limitations and requirements for expenditures for maintenance and repair of general or flag officer quarters.
(Sec. 120) Appropriates funds contained in the Ford Island Improvement Account to remain available until expended or transferred.
(Sec. 121) Permits the transfer of unobligated balances of expired military construction and family housing funds into the Foreign Currency Fluctuations--Construction--Defense account.
(Sec. 122) Prohibits the Army from using funds provided by this division to relocate a unit that: (1) performs a testing mission or function that is not performed by any other unit in the Army and is specifically stipulated under current law, and (2) is located at a military installation where the total number of Army civilian employees and contractor personnel exceeds 10% of the regular and reserve Army personnel assigned to the installation. Includes an exception if the Army notifies Congress of the relocation's compliance with Army Regulation 5-10 concerning stationing actions.
(Sec. 123) Permits funds provided to an account in this title to be transferred among projects and activities within the account subject to specified DOD reprogramming guidelines for military and family housing construction.
(Sec. 124) Prohibits funds provided by this title from being used for the planning, design, and construction of projects at Arlington National Cemetery.
(Sec. 125) Provides specified additional funds to remain available through FY2023 for unfunded military construction priorities.
(Sec. 126) Rescinds specified unobligated balances from the following VA accounts and programs:
the NATO Security Investment Program Military Construction--Air Force; Military Construction--Army National Guard; Family House Construction--Navy and Marine Corps; and the fund established in section 1013(d) of the Demonstration Cities and Metropolitan Development Act of 1966. (Sec. 127) Defines "congressional defense committees" to include the House and Senate Armed Services Committees and Appropriations Subcommittees on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs.
(Sec. 128) Prohibits funds provided by this division from being used for the closure or realignment of the U.S. Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
(Sec. 129) Prohibits funds from being used to consolidate or relocate any element of a U.S. Air Force Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineer (RED HORSE) squadron outside of the United States until the Air Force: (1) submits to Congress an analysis and comparison of the cost and investment required to consolidate or relocate a RED HORSE squadron outside of the United States versus within the United States, and (2) certifies to Congress that the preferred site yields the greatest savings.
(Sec. 130) Provides additional appropriations for completion of the Defense Access Roads project and land acquisition for Arlington National Cemetery.
(Sec. 131) Requires specified FY2019 Military Construction--Defense-Wide funds authorized to be appropriated by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 to be immediately available and allotted to contract for the full scope of authorized projects.
(Sec. 132) Provides additional military construction funds to the Air Force and the Navy and Marine Corps to remain available through FY2023 for enhancing force protection and safety at military installations.
TITLE II--DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
Provides appropriations to the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) for:
Compensation and Pensions, Readjustment Benefits, Veterans Insurance and Indemnities, the Veterans Housing Benefit Program Fund, the Vocational Rehabilitation Loans Program Account, the Native American Veteran Housing Loan Program Account, and General Operating Expenses. Provides appropriations to the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) for:
Medical Services, Medical Community Care, Medical Support and Compliance, Medical Facilities, and Medical and Prosthetic Research. Provides appropriations to the National Cemetery Administration.
Provides appropriations to the VA for Departmental Administration, including:
General Administration, the Board of Veterans Appeals, Information Technology Systems, the Veterans Electronic Health Record, the Office of Inspector General, Construction--Major Projects, Construction--Minor Projects, Grants for Construction of State Extended Care Facilities, and Grants for Construction of Veterans Cemeteries. (Sec. 201) Specifies transfer authorities and requirements for the VBA.
(Sec. 202) Specifies transfer authorities and requirements for the VHA.
(Sec. 203) Permits appropriations provided by this title for salaries and expenses to be used for employment of temporary or intermittent experts and consultants, hire of passenger vehicles, lease of a facility or land or both, and uniforms.
(Sec. 204) Prohibits appropriations in this title other than Construction--Major Projects and Construction--Minor Projects from being used for land acquisition for or construction of any new hospital or home.
(Sec. 205) Requires the VA to be reimbursed for medical services it provides to any person not defined as a beneficiary under specified laws.
(Sec. 206) Permits appropriations provided by this title for Compensation and Pensions, Readjustment Benefits, and Veterans Insurance and Indemnities to be used for payment of prior year accrued obligations for the accounts recorded in the last quarter of FY2018.
(Sec. 207) Permits appropriations provided by this title to be used to pay specified prior year obligations. Requires obligations from trust fund accounts to be paid only from the Compensation and Pensions account.
(Sec. 208) Requires the VA to use surplus earnings from the National Service Life Insurance Fund, the Veterans' Special Life Insurance Fund, and the United States Government Life Insurance Fund to reimburse the General Operating Expenses--Veterans Benefits Administration and Information Technology Systems accounts for the costs to administer the insurance programs during FY2019.
(Sec. 209) Permits amounts deducted from enhanced-use lease proceeds for reimbursement of expenses from a prior year to be obligated in the year in which the proceeds are received.
(Sec. 210) Permits funds provided by this title for salaries and other administrative expenses to be used to reimburse the following offices for services provided, subject to specified limits:
the Office of Resolution Management, the Office of Employment Discrimination Complaint Adjudication, the Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. (Sec. 211) Requires the VA to collect third-party reimbursement information prior to providing hospital care, nursing home care, or medical services for a non-service connected disability. Permits the VA to recover reasonable charges for care from anyone who has not provided the required disclosures.
(Sec. 212) Permits enhanced-use leasing revenues to be deposited into the Construction--Major Projects and Construction--Minor Projects accounts to be used for construction, alterations, and improvements of VA medical facilities.
(Sec. 213) Permits funds provided for Medical Services to be used for: (1) furnishing recreational facilities, supplies, and equipment; and (2) funeral and burial expenses for beneficiaries receiving care from the VA.
(Sec. 214) Permits funds deposited in the Medical Care Collections Fund to be transferred to the Medical Services and Medical Community Care accounts and remain available until expended for the purposes of those accounts.
(Sec. 215) Permits the VA to enter into agreements with Federally Qualified Health Centers in Alaska and Indian tribes and tribal organizations which are party to the Alaska Native Health Compact with the Indian Health Service to provide healthcare, including behavioral health and dental care, to veterans in rural Alaska. Defines "rural Alaska" as those lands which are not within the boundaries of the municipality of Anchorage or the Fairbanks North Star Borough.
(Sec. 216) Permits funds deposited into the Department of Veterans Affairs Capital Asset Fund to be transferred to the Construction--Major Projects and Construction--Minor Projects accounts to remain available until expended.
(Sec. 217) Requires the VA to report quarterly to Congress on the financial status of the VA.
(Sec. 218) Permits specified FY2019 VA funds to be transferred to or from the Information Technology Systems account if approved by Congress.
(Sec. 219) Permits specified FY2019 VA funds provided for medical accounts, Construction--Minor Projects, and Information Technology Systems to be transferred to the Joint Department of Defense-Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Facility Demonstration Fund and used for the operation of combined federal medical facilities.
(Sec. 220) Permits specified FY2020 VA advance funding provided for medical accounts to be transferred to the Joint Department of Defense-Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Facility Demonstration Fund and used for the operation of combined federal medical facilities.
(Sec. 221) Permits transfers from the Medical Care Collections Fund to the Joint Department of Defense-Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Facility Demonstration Fund for the operation of combined federal medical facilities.
(Sec. 222) Requires specified funds from medical accounts to be transferred to the DOD-VA Health Care Sharing Incentive Fund to remain available until expended.
(Sec. 223) Prohibits the VA from using funds to replace the current system that the Veterans Integrated Service Networks use to select and contract for diabetes monitoring supplies and equipment.
(Sec. 224) Directs the VA to notify Congress of all bid savings in major construction projects that total at least $5 million or 5% of the programmed amount of the project, whichever is less.
(Sec. 225) Prohibits funds provided for the Construction--Major Projects account from being used to increase the scope of a project above the original budget request without congressional approval.
(Sec. 226) Requires the VA to submit to Congress quarterly reports containing performance measures and data from each VBA regional office.
(Sec. 227) Directs the VA to notify Congress before organizational changes that result in the transfer of 25 or more full-time equivalent staff from one organizational unit to another.
(Sec. 228) Requires the VA to report to Congress quarterly regarding any single national outreach and awareness marketing campaign exceeding $2 million.
(Sec. 229) Permits the VA to transfer funds to the Medical Services account if the transfer is necessary to address the needs of the VHA, meets specified requirements, and is approved by the Office of Management and Budget and Congress.
(Sec. 230) Permits FY2019 funds provided for the Board of Veterans Appeals and General Operating Expenses--Veterans Benefits Administration to be transferred between those accounts if Congress approves the transfer.
(Sec. 231) Prohibits the VA from reprogramming more than $7 million in funds among major construction projects or programs without congressional approval.
(Sec. 232) Requires the VA to ensure that the toll-free suicide hotline authorized under current law: (1) provides individuals who contact the hotline with immediate assistance from a trained professional, and (2) adheres to all requirements of the American Association of Suicidology.
Prohibits funds provided by this division from being used to enforce or otherwise carry out any executive action that prohibits the VA from appointing an individual to occupy a vacant civil service position, or establishing a new civil service position, with respect to the hotline.
Requires the VA to study the effectiveness of the hotline based on an analysis of national suicide data and data collected from the hotline.
(Sec. 233) Prohibits funds from being used to close, conduct an environmental assessment, or diminish services at certain VA medical facilities as part of a planned realignment of VA services until the VA submits to Congress a national realignment strategy and specified details.
(Sec. 234) Requires the VA to use the breast cancer screening guidelines issued on May 10, 2017, by the VHA National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.
(Sec. 235) Permits VA Medical Services funds to be used to provide: (1) fertility counseling and treatment using assisted reproductive technology to a covered veteran or the spouse of a covered veteran, or (2) adoption reimbursement to a covered veteran. Defines a "covered veteran" as a veteran who has a service-connected disability that results in the inability of the veteran to procreate without the use of fertility treatment.
(Sec. 236) Rescinds specified funds provided by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 for the VHA Medical Support and Compliance Account.
(Sec. 237) Prohibits funds from being used to: (1) convert to contractor performance an activity or function performed by more than 10 federal employees unless the conversion is based on the result of a public-private competition and meets specified criteria, or (2) conduct studies comparing the costs of private and government provision of certain VHA products and services without a specific appropriation for that purpose.
(Sec. 238) Specifies that certain restrictions and requirements that apply to the use of funds to convert an activity of an executive agency to contractor performance do not apply to the conversion of an activity or function of the VHA, VBA, or National Cemetery Administration to contractor performance by a business concern that is at least 51% owned by one or more Indian Tribes or one or more Native Hawaiian Organizations.
(Sec. 239) Requires the VA to discontinue using Social Security numbers to identify individuals in all VA information systems. Includes an exception if the number is required to obtain information from an information system that is not under the jurisdiction of the VA.
(Sec. 240) Applies to FY2019 and FY2020 VA Medical Services funds a requirement for the VA to treat a marriage and family therapist that meets specified educational and licensing requirements as qualified to serve as a VA therapist.
(Sec. 241) Prohibits the VA from transferring funds from the Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation Fund to any other VA account.
(Sec. 242) Permits FY2019 and FY2020 Medical Services funds to be used to carry out and expand the pilot program for providing child care assistance to veterans receiving health care.
(Sec. 243) Applies to FY2019 and FY2020 VA funds a provision that specifies documentation that DOD may accept to verify that a coastwise merchant seaman performed active duty service under honorable conditions. Permits the individuals whose service is recognized as honorable to be: (1) awarded an appropriate medal, ribbon, or other military decoration based on the service; and (2) honored as a veteran with benefits limited to those described in this provision.
(Sec. 244) Permits the VA to use funds provided by this title to ensure that the ratio of veterans to full-time employment equivalents within any rehabilitation program does not exceed 125 veterans to one full-time employment equivalent. Requires the VA to report to Congress on rehabilitation programs including: (1) an assessment of the veteran-to-staff ratio for each program, and (2) recommendations to reduce the veteran-to-staff ratio for each program.
(Sec. 245) Prohibits the VA from using funds provided by this title to enter into an agreement related to resolving a dispute or claim with an individual that would restrict the individual from speaking to members of Congress or their staff on any topic not otherwise prohibited from disclosure or required by federal law or required by executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or the conduct of foreign affairs.
(Sec. 246) Applies to FY2019 and FY2020 VA funds a requirement for certain details to be included in the budget justification documents submitted to Congress for the Construction--Major Projects account.
(Sec. 247) Prohibits funds provided by this division from being used to conduct research using canines unless: (1) the scientific objectives of the study can only be met by research with canines, (2) the study has been directly approved by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and (3) the study is consistent with the revised VA canine research policy document. Specifies reporting requirements for canine research.
(Sec. 248) Provides additional appropriations to the VA for infrastructure improvements, including new construction, for the following accounts and activities:
seismic improvement projects and seismic program management activities; Departmental Administration--Construction, Major Projects; VHA Medical Facilities for nonrecurring maintenance; and Departmental Administration--Construction, Minor Projects. (Sec. 249) Requires departments and agencies funded by this division to provide an Inspector General (IG) funded by this division with timely access to records, documents, or other materials available to the department or agency over which the IG has responsibility. Requires each IG to comply with specified statutory limitations on disclosure of the information provided.
(Sec. 250) Requires the VA to submit to Congress a plan to: (1) reduce the chances that clinical mistakes by VA employees will result in adverse events that require institutional or clinical disclosures, (2) prevent any unnecessary hardship for patients and families impacted by the adverse events.
(Sec. 251) Prohibits funds provided by this division from being used in a manner that would increase wait times for veterans seeking care at VA medical facilities.
(Sec. 252) Prohibits VHA funds provided by this division from being used to convert any program which received specific purpose funds in FY2018 to a general purpose funded program unless Congress is notified in advance and approves the proposal.
TITLE III--RELATED AGENCIES
Provides appropriations for related agencies, including:
the American Battle Monuments Commission; the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims; Cemeterial Expenses of the Army, including Arlington National Cemetery and Soldiers' and Airmen's Home National Cemetery; and the Armed Forces Retirement Home. (Sec. 301) Permits funds from concessions at Army National Military Cemeteries to be used to support activities at the cemeteries.
TITLE IV--OVERSEAS CONTINGENCY OPERATIONS
Provides appropriations to DOD for Overseas Contingency Operations Military Construction projects for the:
Army, Navy and Marine Corps, Air Force, and Defense-Wide agencies and activities. Designates the amounts provided in this title as for Overseas Contingency Operations/ Global War on Terrorism pursuant to the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985.
(Sec. 401) Specifies that funds designated in this division by Congress for Overseas Contingency Operations/Global War on Terrorism are only available if the President subsequently designates the amounts and transmits the designations to Congress.
(Sec. 402) Prohibits funds provided by this title for military construction projects outside of the United States from being used for planning and design of any project associated with the European Deterrence Initiative until DOD submits to Congress a list of the military construction projects associated with initiative that DOD anticipates will be carried out in each year during FY2020-FY2024.
TITLE V--GENERAL PROVISIONS
(Sec. 501) Prohibits the obligation of funds in this division beyond the current fiscal year unless expressly permitted in this division.
(Sec. 502) Prohibits the use of funds provided by this division for programs, projects, or activities not in compliance with federal laws related to risk assessment, the protection of private property rights, or unfunded mandates.
(Sec. 503) Encourages all departments and agencies funded in this division to expand their use of "E-Commerce" technologies and procedures.
(Sec. 504) Specifies the congressional committees that are to receive all reports and notifications required by this division.
(Sec. 505) Prohibits the transfer of funds to any part of the U.S. government without authority provided by an appropriations law.
(Sec. 506) Prohibits funds provided by this division from being used for a project or program named for an individual serving as a Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner of the House of Representatives.
(Sec. 507) Requires agencies to post reports submitted to Congress on the public website of the agency. Includes exceptions for national security and confidential or proprietary information.
(Sec. 508) Prohibits the use of funds provided by this division for a computer network unless pornography is blocked, with the exception of law enforcement, prosecution, or adjudication activities.
(Sec. 509) Prohibits the use of funds provided by this division for first-class travel by an employee of the executive branch.
(Sec. 510) Prohibits the use of funds provided by this division for any contract where the contractor has not complied with E-Verify requirements for verification of eligibility for employment.
(Sec. 511) Prohibits DOD or the VA from using funds provided by this division to purchase or lease a new vehicle except in accordance with Presidential Memorandum--Federal Fleet Performance, dated May 24, 2011.
(Sec. 512) Prohibits the use of funds provided by this division for the renovation, expansion, or construction of any facility in the United States to house any individual detained at the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for the purposes of detention or imprisonment in the custody or under the control of DOD. Includes an exception for modification to the facility at Guantanamo Bay.