10 Things You Should Know About The Omnibus Appropriations Bill

John Boehner

The House Appropriations Committee has released the FY 2015 Omnibus Appropriations bill.  You can read the text here.  The bill contains a number of important measures to fulfill the people’s priorities, including protecting jobs, stopping wasteful spending, reining in government overreach, and funding our national security.

1. The bill abides by last year’s bipartisan budget agreement.  As a result, overall discretionary spending has been reduced by $165 billion since FY 2010.  When projected out over 10 years, that adds up to saving taxpayers $2.13 trillion. 

2. The bill addresses a number of national security priorities, including $64 billion for overseas contingency operations to combat the threat of ISIL, train our Iraqi allies, and reinforce European countries facing Russian aggression.  Notably, the bill stops the transfer or release of Guantanamo detainees into the United States.

3. The bill includes several provisions to protect jobs and rein in regulatory overreach, including a provision amending the Dodd-Frank law to protect farmers and other commodity producers from having to put down excessive collateral to get a loan, expand their businesses, and hedge production.

4. The bill protects jobs and advances a number of energy priorities, including a measure prohibiting funds for the Army Corps of Engineers to change the definition of “fill material,” a maneuver that would hurt many industries.  The bill also blocks an administration proposal to impose new fees on onshore oil and gas producers while providing additional resources to expedite domestic onshore, offshore energy, and minerals development.  Notably, the bill cuts funding for the EPA for the fifth consecutive year, and reduces its staffing to the lowest level since 1989. 

5. The bill includes no new funding for ObamaCare, prevents a taxpayer bailout of ObamaCare’s risk corridor program, and cuts the Independent Payment Advisory Board by $10 million.

6. The bill slashes funding for the IRS by $345 million, to below its FY 2008 level.  Notably, the bill prohibits funds for the IRS to target groups for scrutiny based on their political beliefs or to target citizens for exercising their First Amendment rights.  It also prohibits funds for the White House to order the IRS to determine the tax-exempt status of an organization.

7. The bill maintains all existing pro-life policy and funding provisions, including the Hyde Amendment and a ban on public funding of abortions in the District of Columbia.  Notably, the bill includes new measures requiring ObamaCare plans to tell customers if they provide abortion services and directing HHS to quickly respond to complaints regarding conscience protection violations.

8. The bill continues our work to deliver a 21st-century health care system for our veterans and their families, including provisions to address the VA goal of ending the disability claims backlog by the end of 2015, ensure the Department of Defense and the VA are developing electronic health care records that seamlessly transfer information between the two departments, and rescind $41 million from VA performance bonuses. 

9. The bill increases funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  Notably, the bill increases funding to boost Alzheimer’s, cancer, and brain research, funds the Gabriella Miller Kids First Act pediatric research initiative, and includes $2.7 billion in emergency funding to address the Ebola crisis.

10. The bill reflects the careful work of the House Appropriations Committee, which approved 11 appropriations bills in committee and seven on the floor of the House, despite the fact that the Democratic-run Senate passed no appropriations bills.  

More resources are available through the House Appropriations Committee.

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