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Floor Action Begins on FY2005 Appropriations Bills

In the first week of floor action on the FY2005 appropriations bills, the House approved the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of the Interior and Related Agencies spending bills. The House Appropriations Committee approved the Department of Defense and Energy and Water Development spending bills. House Appropriations subcommittees approved the following spending bills: Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies; Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies; and Legislative Branch. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the Department of Homeland Security spending bill.

Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies

On June 14, a House Appropriations subcommittee approved, by voice vote, the FY2005 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies spending bill (as-yet-unnumbered).

The measure would allocate $16.77 billion in FY2005, $173 million less than FY2004 and $20 million above the administration’s request.

The bill would provide $4.9 billion for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, $261 million more than FY2004 and $120 million more than the administration’s request. In addition, child nutrition programs would receive $11.38 billion in FY2005, a $37 million decrease below the FY2004 level.

The measure would allocate $1.457 billion for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in FY2005, $7 million more than FY2004, but $37 million below the administration’s request. The Office of Women’s Health at the FDA would receive $4 million, $350,000 more than FY2004.

The Food Stamp Program would be funded at $33.6 billion, a $2.7 billion increase above the FY2004 level, but $6 million below the administration’s request. In addition, $1.18 billion would be provided for the Food for Peace Program, $12 million less than FY2004 and $5 million below the administration’s request.

During consideration of the bill, the subcommittee approved, 8-6, an amendment by Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) that would prohibit the FDA from using federal funds to prevent U.S. citizens from importing prescription drugs from certain Western countries.

The full committee is expected to consider the bill next week.

Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies

On June 15, a House Appropriations subcommittee approved, by voice vote, the FY2005 Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies spending bill (as-yet-unnumbered).

The measure would allocate $39.8 billion in FY2005, $2 billion more than FY2004 and $200 million above the administration’s request.

While all of the funding levels for programs of particular interest to women and their families were not available as of press time, some highlights from the bill include:

Department of Justice

Under the bill, the Department of Justice would receive $20.6 billion, $900 million more than FY2004 and $901.7 million above the administration’s request.

Office of Justice Programs

As approved by the House on March 30, a bill (H.R. 3036) to reauthorize the Department of Justice would consolidate the Byrne Grant Program and the Local Law Enforcement Block Grant into the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grants program (see The Source, 4/2/04). The new program would receive $634 million in FY2005. Last year, the Local Law Enforcement Block Grant received $225 million.

Programs under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) would receive $384 million in FY2005, $4 million less than FY2004 level and $1 million below the administration’s request.

The measure would provide $176 million for state and local crime laboratories to reduce and eventually eliminate backlogs of DNA casework samples. The amount is $76 million above the FY2004 level and $300,000 above the administration’s request.

The State Department

Under the bill, the State Department would receive $8.9 billion in FY2005, $770 million less than FY2004 and $80.4 million below the administration’s request.

Independent Agencies

The Legal Services Corporation would receive $335 million in FY2005, a $4 million decrease below FY2004 and $5.7 million more than the administration’s request. The measure would appropriate $335 million for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, $7 million more than FY2004, but $15 million below the administration’s request.

The full committee will consider the bill on June 23.

Department of Defense

On June 16, the House Appropriations Committee approved, by voice vote, the FY2005 Department of Defense spending bill (as-yet-unnumbered).

The measure would allocate $416.9 billion for the Department of Defense in FY2005, a $48.7 billion increase over FY2004 and $11.1 billion below the administration’s request. As requested by President Bush, $25 billion would be provided to partially cover the projected costs of continuing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The defense appropriations bill includes several women’s health research programs, but because the mark-up session was closed to the public, no additional information was made available.

During consideration of the bill, the committee approved the following amendments by voice vote:

  • a manager’s amendment by Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA) that would add $70 million in emergency spending for humanitarian assistance to Chad and the Darfur region of Sudan. The amendment also would require the Department of Defense to submit a report to Congress on a review of mental health options available to deployed members of the military and their families;
  • an amendment by Rep. David Obey (D-WI) that would require President Bush to provide Congress with a report detailing the projected costs through FY2011 of a continued military presence, reconstruction efforts, security needs and economic support in Iraq and Afghanistan; and
  • an amendment by Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) that would reaffirm that the torture of prisoners of war and detainees is illegal and does not reflect the policies of the U.S. government or American values.

 

The House is expected to consider the Department of Defense spending bill next week.

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