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Congress outlines FY 2017 spending levels in omnibus spending package
Kirill Abbakumov   on Thursday, May 11, 2017 at 12:00:00 am

Congress outlines FY 2017 spending levels in omnibus spending package

After a last-minute effort to avoid the government shutdown on May 5th, Congress has passed an omnibus spending bill in order to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year. The massive legislation contains more than $1 trillion that funnels extra money to the military, but rejects many of President Trump’s other signature spending proposals.

The omnibus bill provides an annualized total of $1.07 trillion in base spending for fiscal 2017 and contains the 11 unfinished fiscal 2017 appropriation bills. The legislation provides renewed spending instructions for every facet of the federal government that begins after the May 5th deadline of the previous continuing resolution that extended funding by a week.

Democratic leaders consider the bill a victory, claiming to have blocked 160 “poison pill” Republican policy riders and stymied many of President Trump’s priorities. No funding was included for the proposed wall on the Southern border or a so-called deportation force, but the package would provide another $1.5 billion for border security efforts including new technology and repairing existing infrastructure. $15 billion is also included for supplemental defense spending, about half the amount sought previously, which somewhat reduces the burden on federal economic development programs.

The legislation also addresses such national urgencies as:

  • $593 billion for defense;
  • More than $8 billion in emergency and disaster relief funding to fight wildfires, flooding and other extreme weather events in North Carolina, California, Louisiana, West Virginia and more;
  • $34 billion for the National Institutes of Health, a $2 billion or 6.2% increase from current levels;
  • Restored year-round Pell Grants for low-income college students;
  • $990 million in emergency famine relief, including $300 million for Food For Peace program;
  • $103 million to combat opioid abuse;
  • $1 billion in funding for miner’s health care;
  • Rejection of cuts to women’s health group Planned Parenthood.

The omnibus will fund agencies and Congress for the rest of fiscal 2017, which ends September 30.