Obama has signed into law a $1.1 trillion bill that increases the budgets in many areas of the government by about 10 percent, including health, law enforcement and veterans’ programs. Obama signed the bill privately at the White House on Wednesday after receiving the bill from Congress on Sunday. The bill lumps together six of the 12 annual appropriations bills for the 2010 budget year that began Oct. 1. The 1,000-plus-page bill brings together six of the 12 annual spending bills that Congress had been unable to pass separately because of partisan roadblocks. The legislation includes 447 billion dollars U.S. government agencies’ operating budgets and about 650 billion dollars Medicare and Medicaid benefits. But it does not include the Pentagon’s spending, which is about 626 billion dollars. The measure includes 2 billion dollars, 75 million more than in2009, to study global climate change, and requires periodic reports on the status of diplomatic efforts to freeze Iran’s nuclear program. The bill also approves a 2 percent pay increase for federal workers. Earmarks In The $1.1T Federal Spending Bill
The 12 annual appropriations bills for the 2010 budget:
- Defense H.R.3326
- Labor, HHS, Education H.R.3293
- Commerce, Justice, Science H.R.2847
- Energy-Water H.R.3183, S.1436
- Agriculture H.R.2997, S.1406
- Interior and Environment H.R.2996 includes CR to 12/18/09
- Homeland Security H.R.2892, S.1298
- Military Construction & Veterans H.R.3082, S.1407
- Transportation & HUD H.R.3288
- State & Foreign Operations H.R.3081, S.1434
- Financial Services H.R.3170, S.1432
- Legislative Branch H.R.2918, S.1294 includes CR to 10/31/09
The Defense (H.R.3326) appropriations bill has passed the full House and Senate and is waiting to be discussed in conference. In the House version of the bill, Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E) programs receive $80.2 billion, $1.6 billion (2.0 percent) more than the President’s request ($78.6 billion) and a small increase of $216.1 million over FY 2009. The Senate version of the bill would provide less for RDT&E programs, $78.5 billion. The biggest discrepancy between the two bills is the Navy RDT&D appropriation with the House appropriating $1.0 billion more at $20.2 billion. The Navy programs of greatest contention are the VH-71A Executive Helicopter (House: $485 million; Senate: $30 million) and the Joint Strike Fighter (House: $2.0 billion; Senate: $1.7 billion) where the development an alternative engine for the aircraft has been the subject of much debate. In the Defense authorization bill (H.R.3326), which was signed into law on October 28, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter alternative propulsion system program was authorized in the amount of $430 million for RDT&E and $180 million for procurement and the President’s request for the VH-71 Presidential helicopter was agreed to, effectively canceling the program, but Congress “strongly encourage(s) the Department of Defense and the Executive Branch to consider a complete range of alternatives” for the President’s transportation requirements.
The Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (H.R.3293) appropriations bill has been conferenced. In the House version of the bill, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) would recieve $31.3 billion, a 3.1 percent ($942 million) increase over FY 2009 (not counting stimulus funds) and 1.6 percent ($500 million) more than the President’s request. The bill renews prior restrictions on the use of funds for abortion and research that creates or destroys human embryos. The bill also includes an amendment by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) to de-fund three peer-reviewed NIH grants related to HIV/AIDS prevention, a move to which AAAS and other scientific and medical organizations strongly object. The bill as passed would eliminate $99 million for grants to public and private organizations to encourage teens to abstain from premarital sex, with Democrats arguing that there is little scientific evidence of such programs’ effectiveness. In terms of Education, the bill raises the maximum Pell award by $619 to $5,350. Pell grants are awarded to low- and middle-income students for higher education expenses based on financial need.
The Commerce and Justice, and Science, and Related Agencies (H.R.2847) appropriations bill has been conferenced. The Senate version of the bill includes the following R&D spending figures: $11.2 billion ($611 million more than the House) for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), $5.2 billion ($14 million less than the House) for the National Science Foundation, $700 million ($22 million more than the House) for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and $672 million ($96 million more than the House) for the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Sen. Coburn’s (R-OK) amendment (SA 2631) to the bill that would have prohibited funding of the Political Science program at the National Science Foundation failed, but garnered 36 votes in favor of prohibiting funding.
The Energy and Water (H.R.3183, S.1436) appropriations bill conference report has been signed into law by the President. The conference report provides $27.1 billion to the Department of Energy with the Office of Science representing $4.9 billion of that total, a 2.7 percent ($131 million) increase over FY 2009. The report includes a $15 million for ARPA-E from the Office of Science. Three of the proposed eight Energy Innovation Hubs are funded (Fuels from Sunlight and Energy Efficient Building Systems Design under EERE, and Modeling and Simulation under Nuclear Energy).
The Agriculture (H.R.2997, S.1406) appropriations bill conference report has been signed into law by the President. The conference report includes $1.3 billion in R&D spending for the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), a 6.3% increase over FY 2009, and $808 million in R&D spending for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA; formerly CSREES), a 12.2% increase over FY 2009. The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI; formerly NRI), part of NIFA, received a large increase of $61 million (30.3%) over FY 2009 and the President’s request.
The Department of Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies (H.R.2996) appropriations bill conference report has been signed into law by the President. The conference report provides $1.1 billion for the United States Geological Survey, 6.5% ($68 million) more than FY 2009 (not including ARRA) and 1.3% ($14 million) more than the President’s request. The Science and Technology program in the Environmental Protection Agency receives $846 million not including Superfund transfers ($26.6 million), 7.1% ($56 million) more than FY 2009 and just over ($4 million) the President’s request.
The Homeland Security (H.R.2892, S.1298) appropriations bill conference report has been signed into law by the President. The conference report includes $863 in R&D spending for Science and Technology, 6.2 percent ($50 million) more than FY 2009 and 3.1 percent ($26 million) more than the President’s request.
Table. Congressional Action on the Department of Homeland Security FY 2010 Budget
The Military/Veterans (H.R.3082, S.1407) appropriations bill has been conferenced. Both versions of the appropriation include $580 million for Medical and Prosthetic Research which is typically matched by other federal grants for a total of $1.2 billion in R&D, a 13.7% ($70 million) increase over FY 2009. Additionally, a small percentage of military construction, typically around $200 million, is for R&D facilities and equipment.
The Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (H.R.3288) appropriations bill has been conferenced. The Department of Transportation, which conducts most of the R&D funded by this bill (FY2010 estimate of $939 million based on President’s request), would receive $100.1 billion, $1.3 billion less than the House version of the bill and $2.2 billion less than the President’s request. In the House bill, passenger rail would recieve the biggest funding increase through a new $4 billion grant program for high speed intercity passenger rail service. The Senate supports this initiative to a lesser degree, proposing $1.2 million for high speed intercity passenger rail service. The Senate bill also includes $50 million for the creation of a Railroad Safety Technology Program.
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