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H.R. 5895: Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2019

Jun 8, 2018 at 11:43 a.m. ET. On Passage of the Bill in the House.

This was a vote to pass H.R. 5895 (115th) in the House. The federal budget process occurs in two stages: appropriations and authorizations. This is an appropriations bill, which sets overall spending limits by agency or program, typically for a single fiscal year (October 1 through September 30 of the next year).

It was not the final House vote on the bill. See the history of H.R. 5895 (115th) for further details.

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[1] 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[2] 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.

Source: Republican Policy Committee


All Votes R D
Yea 57%
Nay 43%
Not Voting

Passed. Simple Majority Required. Source:

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