CASE'S APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE $1 TRILLION FISCAL YEAR 2020 FUNDING BILL PASSES HOUSE
(Honolulu, HI) - U.S. Congressman Ed Case (Hawai‘i – District 1) announced that today the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2740, the first upcoming Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations bill including close to $1 trillion in overall federal spending and millions in federal funding for Hawai’i-specific programs.
The full House approved the overall recommendations of its Committee on Appropriations, the powerful panel responsible for over $1.3 trillion in annual federal discretionary spending. Case was appointed to the Appropriations Committee on his return to Congress this year, the first committee member from Hawai’i in three decades.
The bill passed today includes appropriations for the fiscal year beginning October 1st of this year in the areas of defense labor, health, human services, education, foreign operations, energy and water. One or more further bills, which the House majority has committed to passing by the end of June to keep the government on track to full funding in Fiscal Year 2020, will cover remaining areas including transportation, housing and urban development, military construction, veterans, interior, environment, homeland security, financial services, agriculture, commerce, science and justice.
“Since my return to Congress and appointment to Appropriations, one of my top priorities has been both responsible and prudent allocation of our financial resources on national priorities and assuring that our small state receives its fair share of federal funds targeted to our unique needs,” said Case.
“This first appropriations bill does all of that. It reflects not only my interaction with many throughout Hawai’i as to specific needs but also my coordination of priorities and requests with my colleagues in Hawaii’s congressional delegation.”
Case provided the following highlights of just some sections of the over 600-page bill:
- Native Hawaiian programs see an increase in funding
“I am very pleased to have achieved increased federal funding for several programs that provide key assistance to Native Americans and Native Hawaiians in the areas of healthcare and education,” said Case. “That will mean programs administered by such agencies including Alu Like, INPEACE, Keiki O Ka ‘Āina (KOKA), Partners in Development and the University of Hawai‘i Center on Disability Studies can be assured that funds can be accessed to service the needs of Native Hawaiians.”
- East-West Center is funded for next year
“In my short time on the Appropriations Committee, I have also worked to restore funding for programs that were previously zeroed out in the House. For example, while the East-West Center lacked support in previous years, I am pleased that the House has agreed to provide $17 million to continue the Center’s key work in Fiscal Year 2020.”
- Defense spending for Hawai‘i goes up
“The defense provisions of the bill clearly reflect that the House shares my prioritization of the Asia-Pacific region. Hawai‘i is in a forward position in this area and is home to the United States Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM). It is the largest combatant command in terms of area of responsibility and assets, but it needs additional resources. I am pleased to have successfully advocated for increased funding for such vital areas as missile defense, computer modernization, and even Impact Aid for the continued education of dependent children whose parents are based in Hawai‘i.”
- Hawai‘i harbors to receive funding assistance
“As another of my priorities, the bill increased funding for an account that is set aside for the operations and maintenance of harbors across the country. Harbors in Hawai‘i will benefit from that increase including funds for Barbers Point and Honolulu Harbors, as well as ports on Kaua‘i and the Big Island.”
The bill now moves to the Senate for its action. “My services on House Appropriations together with Senator Brian Schatz’s membership on Senate Appropriations give Hawai‘i a powerful one-two punch, to go with each of the delegation’s additional membership on key authorizing committees such as Armed Services”, said Case. “I look forward to working with the Senate to ensure that the House funding approvals are secured and where possible expanded.”
Here are some further details of H.R. 2740’s funding provisions (note references to Hawai‘i specific funding):
The legislation provides $690.2 billion in discretionary spending to defend our nation against evolving threats, prepare for future challenges and meet the needs of service members and military families.
This is an increase of $15.8 billion above the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 enacted level, though $8 billion below the Administration’s request (overall the Administration proposed more for defense and less for non-defense than Fiscal Year (FY) 2019).
The measure would provide $21.7 billion to buy 11 Navy ships, including three guided missile destroyers, two attack submarines, one frigate, one Ford-class aircraft carrier, two fleet oilers, and two towing, salvage and rescue ships.
The bill also includes advance funding for additional Virginia and Columbia class submarines.
The bill also provides robust support for aircraft for all the services, including:
- 90 F-35 aircraft ($8.7 billion),
- Eight F-15EX aircraft ($986 million),
- 73 UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters ($1.4 billion),
- 14 V-22 aircraft ($1.2 billion),
- Nine P-8A Poseidon aircraft ($1.7 billion), and
- 16 C/MC/KC-130J aircraft ($1.4 billion).
The bill provides $149.4 billion for active, reserve and National Guard military personnel, $3.5 billion above the FY 2019 enacted level. This funding will result in an active duty end strength of 1,337,500, and it will provide the funds needed for a 3.1 percent pay raise to our troops. The bill includes measures to improve congressional oversight, including:
- Prohibiting the use of Defense funds for the Administration’s border wall at our troops’ expense without express Congressional approval, and
- Rejecting efforts to shift $98 billion of traditional defense spending into a wartime account that does not count against budgetary spending caps.
Hawai‘i-Specific Defense Funding
- Formerly Used Defense Sites. $260.5 million for Environmental Restoration/Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS), which is $44 million above the President’s Budget. Since World War II, large areas both onshore and offshore in Hawai‘i have been used for military training involving live ammunition. Most of these sites are no longer controlled by the U.S. military. According to some estimates, it could take nearly 100 years to remediate the hundreds of identified FUDS sites in Hawai‘i at the funding levels appropriated over the last few years.
- High-Performance Computing Program (HPCMP). $195 million for the HPCMP, a $10 million increase above the President’s Budget. The HPCMP was initiated in 1992 in response to the congressional direction to modernize the Department of Defense (DOD) laboratories’ high-performance computing capabilities.
The increase in FY 2020 will help the Maui High-Performance Computing Center in Hawai‘i, which specializes in image and signal processing of data from telescopes, satellites, radar, and other sensors as well as modeling and simulation of environmental and battlefield scenarios that are critical to developing operational plans.
- Defense Security Cooperation Agency’s (DSCA) Regional Centers. $70.3 million for DSCA Regional Centers, $5 million more than the prior year and $3.8 million above the President’s Budget. The Regional Centers support defense strategy objectives and policy priorities through: (1) offering executive-development strategic-security studies, research and outreach in rigorous outreach programs that foster long-term collaborative relationships; (2) developing and sustaining relationships and communities of interest among security practitioners and national security establishments, especially in defense, throughout the region; and (3) enhancing enduring partnerships among the nations of the region.
Among these five centers is the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (DKI-APCSS). It addresses regional and global security issues, inviting military and civilian representatives of the United States and Asia-Pacific nations to its comprehensive program of executive education and workshops throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Increased funding for DSCA’s Regional Centers will result in increased resources for the DKI-APCSS as it works to help execute our nation’s national security agenda in the Indo-Pacific region.
- Home Defense Radar – Hawai‘i (HDR-H). $274.7 million for HDR-H. The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act requires the Missile Defense Agency to develop a plan to procure and field a “discrimination radar” to improve the defense of Hawai‘i.
The HDR-H will provide this much-needed persistent capability to mitigate the effects of evolving threats to the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS), optimize discrimination capability in the Indo-Pacific architecture and increase capability of ground-based interceptors in the defense of Hawai‘i.
- Sea-Based X-band (SBX) Radar. $128.2 million for the SBX Radar (the “golf ball”). The SBX radar provides precision midcourse tracking, debris mitigation and discrimination capabilities. The SBX is an integral component in flight tests to demonstrate discrimination and debris mitigation. Specifically, the SBX would log approximately 305 days at sea and 60 days for in-port maintenance in FY 2020.
The budget request also continues the x86 X-Band Radar (XBR) superdome replacement to address obsolete equipment and increase the XBR processing capabilities.
- Impact Aid for Children with Severe Disabilities Program. $10 million for the specialized Impact Aid program for children with severe disabilities. This program reimburses Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) for money previously spent on military dependent children with severe disabilities. The program is available to LEAs that have at least two military dependent children with severe disabilities that meet certain special education cost criteria.
- Local Control Bill for Navy. The Appropriations Committee again blocked efforts to change the command and control structure of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. There had been efforts within the department to streamline control of forces under one command structure, which would limit the ability of Naval forces in Hawai‘i to respond quickly to changing threats in the Indo-Pacific region.
- Native Hawaiian Contracting. The committee maintained and strengthened the DOD contracting preference language for Native American tribes and Native Hawaiian Organizations.
- Asia Pacific Regional Initiative (APRI): $14 million for APRI, a $4.8 million increase from the President’s Budget.
This program enables the military to execute Theater Security Cooperation activities such as humanitarian assistance and paying incremental personnel costs of training and exercising with foreign security forces. The initiative is a critical tool for the military to enable security cooperation activities in the Indo-Pacific region.
Labor, Health and Human Services and
In total, the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) bill includes $191.7 billion in base discretionary funding, an increase of $11.7 billion over the 2019 enacted level and $48 billion over the President’s Budget. The LHHS bill supports critical programs that impact Hawai‘i from federal financial aid to health research. The bill includes a total of $99.4 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), an increase of $8.9 billion above the 2019 enacted level and $21.3 billion above the President’s Budget. Specifically:
- The bill provides a total of $41.1 for National Institutes of Health (NIH) an increase of $2 billion above the 2019 enacted level and $6.9 billion
above the President’s Budget.
- The bill includes a total of $8.3 billion for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, $938 million above the 2019 enacted level and $1.7 billion above the President’s Budget. For the first time in more than 20 years, the bill includes funding, $25 million, to specifically support firearm injury and mortality prevention research.
- This bill also includes funding for early childhood programs which will receive an increase of $4 billion. This includes $7.7 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, an increase of $2.4 billion, and $11.6 billion for Head Start, an increase of $1.5 billion.
The bill provides a total of $75.9 billion in discretionary appropriations for the Department of Education – $4.5 billion above the 2019 enacted level and $11.9 billion above the President’s Budget.
- The bill includes, $16.9 billion for Title I Grants to Local Educational Agencies, an increase of $1 billion above the 2019 enacted level and the President’s Budget, and $14.5 billion for Special Education, an increase of $1.1 billion above the 2019 enacted level and $1.1 billion above the President’s Budget.
- The bill also provides $24.9 billion for Federal student aid programs, $492 million above the 2019 enacted level and $1.9 billion above the President’s Budget. Within this amount, the bill provides $6,345 for the maximum Pell Grant, an increase of $150 over the 2019 enacted level. The increase will help the maximum award keep pace with inflation.
- The bill also includes $1 billion for the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program, an increase of $188 million above the 2019 enacted level and $1.4 billion for Federal Work Study, an increase of $304 million above the 2019 enacted level and $934 million above the President’s Budget.
Hawai‘i Specific Funding
- Native Hawaiian Education. $40 million for Native Hawaiian Education, a $3.63 million increase over the 2019 enacted level.
- Native Hawaiian Higher Education. $18.1 million for the Strengthening Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions Program, a $2.1 million increase over the 2019 enacted level.
- Native Hawaiian Health Care $19 million for the Native Hawaiian Health Care Program to ensure that the federal government promotes education and health care for Native Hawaiians, an increase of $1.5 million over the 2019 enacted level.
- Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Higher Education Support. $17.86 million for the Strengthening Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions Program, an increase of $14 million more than the 2019 enacted level.
- Indigenous People Caregivers. $37.2 million for the Native American Caregivers program, a $2 million increase over 2019 enacted levels. These grants assist American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian families caring for older relatives with chronic illness or disabilities, and grandparents caring for grandchildren.
- Community-Based Health Care. $79.6 million for the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) Program was funded at, a $16 million increase over enacted level 2019. REACH is a national initiative vital to the Center for Disease Control’ s (CDC) efforts to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health. Through REACH, CDC supports partners that establish community-based programs and culturally-tailored interventions to eliminate healthcare disparities in minority communities.
- Minority AIDS Initiative. $46 million for the Minority AIDS Initiative was funded at a $5 million increase over 2019 enacted. This critical initiative targets funds for HIV/AIDS prevention, screening, treatment, education, and outreach to minority communities heavily impacted by HIV/AIDS. The funds are provided to community-based organizations that serve minority communities to help them develop capacity and deliver culturally and linguistically appropriate care and services.
- Impact Aid. $1.4 billion for the Impact Aid Program, a $50 million increase over FY 2019. The Impact Aid program is a critical part of financing public education in areas impacted by a federal presence including Hawai‘i which has one of the highest per capita military presences in the country.
Energy and Water
The Energy and Water Development (E&W) bill includes $46.4 billion in base discretionary funding, an increase of $1.8 billion over the 2019 enacted level for the Department of Energy, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and related agencies. The E&W bill supports programs that will mitigate and adapt to climate change and improve the water infrastructure in Hawai‘i.
The bill includes a total of $37.1 billion for the Department of Energy (DOE), an increase of $1.4 billion above the 2019 enacted level and $5.6 billion above the President’s Request. Specifically, the bill provides a total of $589 million for Renewable Energy, an increase of $61.2 above the 2019 enacted level. The bill also includes $425 million for the Advanced Research Project Agency (ARPA-E), which the President’s Budget proposed eliminating. This is an increase of $59 million above FY 2019.
The bill provides a total of $7.4 billion in discretionary appropriations for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, $357 million above the 2019 enacted level. Of this amount, the bill includes six new construction projects and six new feasibility studies.
The bill also includes tighter limits on reprogramming Corps funds than under the 2019 spending law. It would bar any repurposing of funds that affects amounts for any activity by more than $2 million or 10%, whichever is less. This measure would bar the current administration from reorganizing the Corps to transfer its civil works functions out of the Defense Department.
The bill includes a total of $1.6 billion for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, an increase of $83 million above the 2019 enacted level and $528 million above the President’s Budget for water resource management and other water resources projects, including projects authorized in the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act.
Hawai‘i Specific Funding
- $3.9 billion for the Operation and Maintenance account, a $183.5 million increase over the 2019 enacted level. This will include funding going towards:
- Barbers Point Harbor ($297,000),
- Hilo Harbor ($582,000),
- Honolulu Harbor ($460,000),
- Port Allen Harbor ($460,000),
- Inspection of Completed Works ($613,000), and
- Project Condition Surveys ($581,000).
- $135 million for the Remaining Items Programs account. This will allocate strategy guidance for programs in the Investigations, Construction, Operations and Maintenance, and Mississippi River and Tributaries appropriations accounts subject to line items with allocations. This will include funding going towards:
- Flood Plain Management Services
- National Shoreline Management Study
- Planning Assistance to States
- Coastal and Deep-Draft
These programs will provide support for improvement projects throughout the nation, including Wailupe Stream in Hawai‘i where there are significant recent flooding and a resulting declaration of emergency.
State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs
Overall, the State and Foreign Operations bill provides $56.4 billion for the Department of State, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and related agencies and programs. This total amount is $2.2 billion above the FY 2019 enacted level and $13.7 billion above the President’s Budget.
The bill maintains our commitment to international development and multilateral institutions. Overall, the bill provides almost $8 billion for humanitarian assistance abroad through migration and refugee assistance and international disaster assistance.
The bill also provides $925 million for International Basic Education programs. The bill further provides $2.4 billion for democracy programs and $180 million for the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), thus sustaining the United States’ longtime commitment to promoting democracy and civil society abroad. The bill also restores the U.S. commitment to international multilateral institutions, including the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and more. The bill provides $1.5 billion in Contributions to International Organizations and $2.1 billion for Contributions for International Peacekeeping Activities, including arrears from previous FYs.
The bill provides robust funding for global environmental protection and conservation programs, including $295 million for biodiversity programs, $101 million for wildlife anti-trafficking, and $140 million for the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The bill also prohibits the use of funds for the Administration’s policy to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.
The bill supports global health programs, including $4.4 billion for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and $1.6 billion for the Global Fund.
The bill supports women’s reproductive rights by providing $750 million for family planning programs and $56 million for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
The bill also permanently repeals the Mexico City Policy, also known as the global gag rule, that prevents federal funds from going towards foreign non-governmental organizations that provide information, referrals or services for legal abortion or advocate for access to abortion services in their country. The bill also supports gender equality by providing $50 million for women’s leadership programs, $165 million to prevent gender-based violence, and $15 million to address women at risk of violent extremism.
In the Middle East, the bill maintains $3.3 billion in security assistance for Israel per the ten-year memorandum of understanding agreed to in 2016. The bill also reaffirms the importance of a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and provides $226.5 million to support urgent humanitarian and development assistance in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, including through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The bill also prevents the use of funds from supporting the sale of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia and requires an investigation and report on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
The bill sets a floor of $160 million to be spent on the Administration’s Indo-Pacific Strategy. These funds will be used to enhance security cooperation and economic and social development with key partners and allies in the Indo-Pacific region, sending a strong message to those countries and potential adversaries of our continued commitment to mutual security, trade and prosperity and human rights and democracy in the region.
The bill provides robust support for key international exchange and service programs, including $425 million for the Peace Corps and $730 million for Educational and Cultural Exchange programs. These international exchange programs have allowed dozens of Hawai‘i residents each year to go abroad and develop vital experiences and skills for our twenty-first-century economy.
This bill sustains our international security assistance commitments to key allies and partners by providing a total of $11.2 billion in such assistance. The bill provides $516 million for peacekeeping operations, including ongoing operations in Kosovo and Egypt where Hawai‘i Army National Guard (HIARNG) units are stationed. The bill also maintains international narcotics control and law enforcement activities, anti-terrorism programs, nonproliferation programs and more.
Hawai‘i Specific Funding
- $16.7 million for the East-West Center. For years, the Center’s funding was zeroed out in the House appropriations bills, but the renewed funding in the House reflects Congressman Case’s efforts on behalf of the Center and the importance of the Center’s work in the Indo-Pacific, a region of crucial interest to the United States. Since 1960, the East-West Center has fostered better relations and understanding between the U.S. and the Indo-Pacific region through education, research and professional development for students, scholars, and officials of all countries across the region.