The “Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act, 2018” (H.R. 3354), scheduled for House consideration this week, combines the remaining eight spending bills reported by the Committee on Appropriations: Interior (H.R. 3354); Agriculture (H.R. 3268); Commerce, Justice, Science (H.R. 3267); Financial Services (H.R. 3280); Homeland Security (H.R. 3355); Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (H.R. 3358); State and Foreign Operations (H.R. 3362); Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (H.R. 3353). Passage of this legislation would complete initial House action on all appropriations bills that must be enacted before the new fiscal year begins on 1 October 2017. Below is a summary of the legislation.
H.R. 3354 provides $511 billion in non-defense discretionary appropriations for fiscal year 2018. This level is consistent with the level called for in the House Budget Committee-reported fiscal year 2018 budget resolution.
Major Funding Priorities
H.R. 3354 provides funding for a number of critically important priorities, including:
- Fully funding the Memorandum of Understanding with Israel at $3.1 billion to address the constantly evolving security threats in the Middle East;
- Reducing State and Foreign Operations funding by 17 percent;
- Fully funding the President’s request for Border Patrol Agents and Enforcement and Removal Officers;
- Increasing funding for law enforcement to combat terrorism, violent crime, and drug trafficking;
- Terminating multiple wasteful or duplicative programs;
- Fully funding wildland fire suppression; and,
- Cutting Environmental Protection Agency funding to below fiscal year 2006 levels.
Major Policy Riders
The consolidated spending bill also includes a number of “policy riders” allowing Congress to exercise its Article I authority by directing how the Federal Government can spend appropriated funds. Examples include:
- Various longstanding pro-life provisions, including the text of the “Abortion Non-Discrimination Act”;
- A prohibition against using any new discretionary funds to implement the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”;
- Conditions on funds provided to the Palestinian Authority;
- Provisions expanding protection for those who choose to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
Steve Waskiewicz, Policy Advisor