H.R.3280 – Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, 2018

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Week ending September 8, 2017

H.R.3280 – Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, 2018

Brief

The bill provides a total of $20,231,000,000 in discretionary budget authority for fiscal year 2018 which is $1,284,000,000, or 5.97 percent, below the fiscal year 2017 discretionary allocation. The bill is $2,468,000,000, or 11 percent, below the Administration’s request.

The Congressional Research Service:

Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, 2018

Provides FY2018 appropriations to the Department of the Treasury, the Executive Office of the President, the judiciary, the District of Columbia, and several independent agencies.

 

Department of the Treasury Appropriations Act, 2018

Provides appropriations to the Department of the Treasury, including the Internal Revenue Service.

 

Executive Office of the President Appropriations Act, 2018

Provides appropriations to the Executive Office of the President and Funds Appropriated to the President.

 

Judiciary Appropriations Act, 2018

Provides appropriations to the judiciary, including the U.S. Supreme Court, other federal courts, administrative offices, and the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

 

District of Columbia Appropriations Act, 2018

Provides appropriations to the District of Columbia, including Federal Funds and District of Columbia Funds.

Provides appropriations to independent agencies, including:

the Administrative Conference of the United States,

the Consumer Product Safety Commission,

the Election Assistance Commission,

the Federal Communications Commission,

the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation,

the Federal Election Commission,

the Federal Labor Relations Authority,

the Federal Trade Commission,

the General Services Administration,

the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Fund,

the Merit Systems Protection Board,

the National Archives and Records Administration,

the National Historic Publications and Records Commission,

the National Credit Union Administration,

the Office of Government Ethics,

the Office Personnel Management,

the Office of Special Counsel,

the Postal Regulatory Commission,

the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board,

the Public Buildings Reform Board,

the Securities and Exchange Commission,

the Selective Service System,

the Small Business Administration,

the U.S. Postal Service, and

the U.S. Tax Court.

Sets forth requirements and restrictions for the use of funds provided by this and other appropriations Acts.

Includes several provisions that modify various financial services laws and were included in H.R. 10 (Financial CHOICE Act of 2017), as passed by the House of Representatives on June 8, 2017.

Financial Institution Bankruptcy Act of 2017

Amends federal bankruptcy law to establish a new bankruptcy process for certain large financial institutions.

 

(Additional and Dissenting Views)

 

(Full text of H.R. 3280 at congress.gov)

SponsorRep. Graves, Tom [R-GA-14] (Introduced 07/18/2017)

Status:

VOTES and FLOOR ACTION

HOUSE

On Passage:

House Amendments:

Motion to recommit:

Text of the motion:

SENATE

On Passage:

Procedural Actions:

Senate Amendments:

COST AND IMPACT

Cost to the taxpayers:  Data not available

Pay-as-you-go requirements:  Data not available

Regulatory and Other Impact: Data not available

Dynamic Scoring:   Data not available

Tax Complexity:  Not applicable to this bill.

Earmark Certification:  Data not available

Duplication of programs: Data not available

Direct Rule-Making:  Data not available

Advisory Committee Statement: Data not available

Budget Authority: Data not available

Constitutional Authority:   Assumed.

 

More Bill Information:

Additional and Dissenting Views

DISSENTING VIEWS OF REP. NITA LOWEY AND REP. MIKE QUIGLEY

 

The Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) bill funds critical programs that impact the lives of every American in their capacity as consumers, as investors, and as taxpayers.

The bill’s jurisdiction covers a diverse range of agencies including those that provide oversight and regulation of the financial and telecommunications industries, manage government buildings and infrastructure projects, and oversee the federal workforce. In addition, funding in this bill supports the operations of the White House, the Federal Judiciary, and the District of Columbia.

We appreciate Chairman Graves’ efforts in assembling the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 FSGG bill. We were pleased to cooperate with the Chairman to identify areas of common ground. However, the overwhelming share of funding decisions and policy provisions in this bill reflect an unprecedented degree of focus on partisan priorities from the Majority’s side of the aisle.

The bill’s FY 2018 allocation is $20,231,000,000. This level is $1,283,967,000 below the FY 2017 level, a cut of 6 percent. Such an allocation requires severe programmatic cuts and is unsustainable. Taxpayers would find an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) unable to handle basic requests for information after years of no growth budgets manifest in worsened customer service. Government agencies pay rent to a landlord that would not fulfill its basic repair responsibilities because this Committee uses those rent payments for other unrelated priorities and does not put it back into the Government Services Administration (GSA).

Despite the unrealistically insufficient allocation, the bill rejects at least a few of the Trump Administration’s worst proposals. For example, the bill restores funding to current FY 2017 levels for two Treasury Department functions that are key to national security–the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and the office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. It is clear that both are in need of even greater resources, but freezing investment at the fiscal year 2017 level is certainly preferable to the dangerous cuts proposed in the President’s budget request. In short, while we appreciate the efforts the Chairman made to adequately fund these particular programs, they are small bright spots in an otherwise dismal bill.

The best example of the inadequacy of this bill is the 23 percent cut to the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI). While the Committee does not fully embrace President Trump’s proposal to end CDFI grants, this steep cut would greatly reduce access to financing and affordable financial services in countless rural, urban, low-income, and Native American communities nationwide.

Another particularly irresponsible cut targets the GSA, which functions as the Federal Government’s developer and landlord. The bill decimates funding for the Federal Buildings Fund, forcing the agency to neglect high priority safety and security projects. This lack of sufficient funding for repair projects further exacerbates an already dire situation.

Persistently inadequate appropriations for GSA in recent years have resulted in a $1.1 billion backlog for GSA’s repairs and alterations programs. Again, these decisions do not make long-term fiscal sense. Every dollar that GSA does not reinvest back into basic maintenance and repairs now leads to a long-term capital liability of four to five dollars in the future.

In addition, zero funding for the new construction account at GSA means forgoing three critical Land Ports of Entry projects which would negatively impact the lawful trade, travel and the security of this country.

The bill even inexplicably rescinds previously appropriated GSA funding for a much-needed consolidation and modernization for the headquarters of the Federal Bureau Investigations (FBI), which Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger offered an amendment to reverse. The current FBI headquarters is in such disrepair that it constitutes a national security threat by preventing FBI employees from having access to necessary and secure facilities to do their important work protecting our nation. This project has been years in the making, and this rescission takes our

nation backward in addressing this urgently needed infrastructure improvement.

The bill contains numerous funding levels and legislative text to make it easier for large financial institutions to return to the practices that led to the collapse of the U.S. economy in 2008. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is funded at $1.602 billion for core functions, an inadequate level that would ensure a lack of enforcement on Wall Street.

Rep. Aguilar offered an amendment to boost resources for SEC that failed despite the fact that the proposed increase would be deficit neutral and does not spend taxpayer funds.

Republicans are hiding behind false declarations of fiscal responsibility in order to pursue policies that are in fact aimed at protecting Wall Street interest.

The Committee adopted an outrageous amendment that would significantly weaken consumer protections against Pyramid Schemes and make it easier for predatory businesses to target vulnerable populations, particularly immigrant communities.

Most troubling is the inclusion of an eighty-eight page authorization bill that significantly rolls back enhanced consumer protections implemented through the landmark Dodd-Frank Act. The distilled version of the majority’s Financial Choice Act would repeal mechanisms put in place to ensure that American taxpayers are never again forced to bail out Wall Street and suffer personal financial ruin as a result of the reckless practices at irresponsible institutions. Not only is the content of this legislative proposal wrong-headed and dangerous, but it has no place hiding in an appropriations bill. Congress has a process for debating and enacting this type of law which allows for transparency and public input.

Rep. Mark Pocan’s amendment to strip that authorization was unanimously rejected by Republicans.

The bill continues the Republican tradition of interfering in the local affairs of the District of Columbia by restricting the District from spending its own funds with autonomy. As in past years, the bill contains a variety of provisions that impose limits on the District’s ability to govern itself. Even worse, a disappointing Republican amendment was adopted prohibiting the District of Columbia from implementing a new law adopted by its locally elected government to allow city residents access to medical aid in dying in certain cases. We were particularly offended by the statement in Committee that the law would encourage terminally ill persons to flock to the District to obtain such aid, when the law clearly makes such aid available only to its residents.

Democrats also tried to roll back the provisions that interfere in women’s health decisions. Our Republican colleagues evidently are not satisfied with the restrictions already in place under current law, so this year’s FSGG appropriations bill carries a new provision to make it even more difficult for a woman to purchase the health insurance she wants. Federal law already prohibits Federal funds from being used to pay for abortion services, so these poison-pill riders are utterly unnecessary. Mrs. Lowey offered an amendment to strike these harmful provisions and protect a woman’s right to make legal and private health choices without government interference. By opposing adoption of this important amendment while passing the amendment related to medical aid in dying, the Republican Majority continued its hypocritical allegiance to limited government, until it concerns a women’s right to choose or an individual’s right to die in a manner of his or her choosing under a doctor’s care.

In an attempt to undermine the Affordable Care Act, this bill blocks the IRS from enforcing the individual coverage mandate. This will create greater uncertainty within individual healthcare exchanges around the country and cause insurance premiums to rise substantially. The American people have made it increasingly clear that they want Congress to fix the ACA, not sabotage it. That’s why we were extremely disappointed that the Republicans would not agree to Rep. Quigley’s amendment to repeal this harmful rider.

Rep. Aguilar offered an amendment, which passed by voice vote, to make sure that Dreamers, certain non-criminal immigrants that entered the country as children and remain without U.S. citizenship, can lend their talents to the Federal workforce. Democrats will work to ensure that this language remains intact.

Unfortunately, that was the only case of success in our attempts to oppose the long list of ideological riders in the bill. Two common-sense amendments were not adopted that would have prevented President Trump’s so-called Commission on Election Integrity from compelling states to share non-publicly available individual voting data. Republican and Democratic Governors alike have objected to the Trump administration’s federal overreach and violation of privacy for individual voters.

All across the bill, similarly unwise cuts will reduce the ability of the government to effectively protect consumers and investors and investigate tax cheats and collect revenues. The bill will also necessitate the furlough of many hundreds of federal and private workers, increase unemployment, and reduce vital services to the public. Overall, the proposed spending reductions are not fiscally responsible since they will actually increase costs in the future through reduced revenue and diminished enforcement. As a consequence, we are gravely concerned that the bill fails to make the necessary investments to confront the challenges facing this nation. Of equal concern are the reckless and ill-advised policy riders that do not belong on an appropriations bill. Many of these provisions threaten to impose even greater damage to the nation’s democratic principles and core financial infrastructure.

 

Mike Quigley.

Nita M. Lowey.

 

ADDITIONAL VIEWS OF ROBERT B. ADERHOLT, JOHN ABNEY CULBERSON, JOHN R.

CARTER, KEN CALVERT, TOM COLE, TOM GRAVES, STEVE WOMACK, THOMAS J.

ROONEY, CHARLES J. FLEISCHMANN, DAVID P. JOYCE, ANDY HARRIS, MARTHA

ROBY, CHRIS STEWART, DAVID YOUNG, EVAN H. JENKINS, STEVEN PALAZZO, AND

JOHN R. MOOLENAAR

 

During Full Committee markup, Representative Aguilar of

California offered an amendment regarding work eligibility for

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals participants, which

resulted in the adoption of Section 746 in the bill.

Each of us voted no, however the amendment passed by voice

vote. Had this amendment received a roll call vote, each of us

would have voted no then as well.

 

Robert Aderholt.

John R. Carter.

Tom Cole.

Steve Womack.

Charles J. Fleischmann.

Andy Harris.

Chris Stewart.

Evan H. Jenkins.

John R. Moolenaar.

John Abney Culberson.

Ken Calvert.

Tom Graves.

Thomas J. Rooney.

David P. Joyce.

Martha Roby.

David Young.

Steven Palazzo.

 

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