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Senate Committee Approves General Government Spending Bill

On July 23, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved, 16-14, the FY2016 Financial Services and General Government spending bill (as-yet-unnumbered). The Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee approved the legislation on July 22; the House Appropriations Committee passed its version of the bill on June 17 (see The Source, 6/19/15).

The measure 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 bill would provide $42.101 billion in discretionary and mandatory funds. This amount is $1.089 billion below FY2015 and $4.687 billion below the President Obama’s budget request. The legislation would provide $20.6 billion in discretionary funds and $21.386 billion in mandatory funds.

The committee notes its support of efforts by the Department of Treasury to redesign Federal Reserve notes to improve their security and to include women who have made significant contributions (p.14).

The committee directs the General Services Administration to ensure that regional offices responsible for construction projects inform and engage local construction contractors, especially small businesses, minority-owned businesses, and women-owned businesses about federal procurement opportunities (p. 85).

The measure would continue the prohibition against using federal funds for abortions under the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program, except in cases of rape, incest, or to protect the life of the mother (p. 121). In addition, the bill would provide $5 million for HIV/AIDS prevention programs in the District of Columbia (p. 70).

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

Program/Agency FY2015 President’s FY2016 Request House FY2016 Senate FY2016
Small Business Administration $887.604 million $860.13 million $852.542 million $849.092 million
Entrepreneurial Development Programs $220 million $206.25 million $223.6 million $220.15 million
Women’s Business Centers $15 million $16 million $16 million $15 million
National Women’s Business Council $1 million $1 million $1.5 million $1 million
Microloan Technical Assistance $22.3 million $25 million $25 million $25 million
Small Business Development Centers $115 million $115 million $117 million $115 million

 

The bill would provide $11.450 million for veterans outreach programs at SBA, including the Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V Wise) program.

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