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House Committee Approves General Government Spending Bill

On June 17, the House Appropriations Committee approved, 30-20, the FY2016 Financial Services, General Government spending bill (as-yet-unnumbered). The Financial Services, General Government Subcommittee approved the measure on June 11 (see The Source, 6/12/15).

The bill would provide funding for the White House, federal judiciary, the Small Business Administration (SBA), the District of Columbia, and several other governmental agencies. According to the committee report, the measure would allocate $20.249 billion in discretionary funds for FY2016. This amount is $1.321 billion below FY2015 and $4.805 billion below President Obama’s FY2016 budget request.

Citing the important work of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in combatting human trafficking, the committee noted that “Whenever possible, FinCEN shall marshal its unique expertise in analyzing financial flows for this important effort in the course of ongoing strategic operations…and provide the appropriate assistance to law enforcement agencies in their human trafficking investigations” (p. 14).

With regard to the Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) program, the committee “notes the absence of WBCs serving many of the U.S. territories and other U.S. insular areas, and recommends that the SBA consider including these areas in WBC services” (p. 79).

During consideration of the measure, the committee approved the following amendments:

  • An amendment by Rep. Andy Harris(R-MD) to prohibit funding for abortions through Office of Personnel Management-negotiated “multi-state qualified health plans” offered under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148). The amendment was approved by a vote of 29-18; and
  • An amendment by Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS) to prohibit the District of Columbia from using federal or local funds to implement or enforce the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act (DC Act 20-593) (see The Source, 4/24/15). The amendment was approved by a vote of 28-22.

The following chart details funding for programs important to women and their families.

Program/Agency

FY2015

President’s FY2016 Request

FY2016

Small Business Administration $887.604 million $860.13 million $852.542 million
Entrepreneurial Development Programs $220 million $206 million $223.6 million

Women’s Business Centers

$15 million $16 million $16 million

National Women’s Business Council

$1 million $1 million $1.5 million

Microloan Technical Assistance

$22.3 million $25 million $25 million

Small Business Development Centers

$115 million $115 million $117 million

Outreach to veterans, including the Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V Wise) program, also is included in Entrepreneurial Development Programs. Veterans’ outreach would receive $12.3 million in FY2016.

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