President Signs Omnibus Spending Bill


This afternoon, President Trump signed into law a $1.3 trillion fiscal year 2018 omnibus spending bill to keep the federal government running past midnight tonight when the current continuing resolution funding the federal government expires. Earlier today, the President had threatened to veto the measure, and was encouraged to do so by several Republican members of Congress. This signing comes after both chambers of Congress voted to pass the bill yesterday. The House vote was 256-167, while the Senate overcame several individual holds on the bill to pass it by a vote of 65-32.

In terms of public works and infrastructure, the spending package includes multiple boosts to federal funding. The below highlights from the FY2018 omnibus spending bill aligns well with APWA’s Provide for Transportation Infrastructure policy priority document and the Infrastructure Financing & Funding policy priority document. Specifically, the bill includes:
  • Overall the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) will see a boost of $8.7 billion above the FY 2017 funding level.
  • Sticks to authorized levels for the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act Law (Public Law 114-94)--$45 billion from the Highway Trust Fund to be spent on the Federal-aid Highway Program. This is $1 billion above the FY 2017 level.
  • An overall increase of $10.6 billion above FY 2017 levels for infrastructure investment focused on airports, roads, bridges, rail, and community development.
  • $2.5 billion in additional discretionary funding for the Federal Highway Administration for a total of $3.5 billion increase over FY 2017 for roads and bridges.
  • A strong focus on U.S. DOT Safety programs with funding of $947 million in total resources for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA); $845 million for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA); and $272 million for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).
  • $100 million for research and demonstrations of automated vehicles.
  • Additional infrastructure investment via the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants program, tripled to $1.5 billion through FY2020. There is also language in the bill to direct 30% of the TIGER grant dollars to rural communities. TIGER will receive a $1 billion increase over FY 2017.
  • $1 billion increase above FY 2017 for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP).
  • $13.5 billion for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) which is $1 billion above FY 2017.
  • $1.2 billion increase for Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).
 
For water and environment, Congress allocated $8.1 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), keeping level funding despite the president’s wish to cut the Agency’s budget by over 30%. The bill also includes important funding for water infrastructure and environmental protection at agencies such as the Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Department of the Interior (DOI), and the Department of Commerce (DOC). These figures are in sync with APWA’s Water Resiliency policy priority document. Specifically, the bill includes:
 
  • $1.69 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (+ $300 million from FY17 enacted levels).
  • $1.16 billion for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (+ $300 million from FY17 enacted  levels).
  • $63 million for the Water Infrastructure Finance Innovation Act program (+ $43 million from FY17 levels).
  • $10 million for the US-Mexico Border Water Infrastructure Program (level with FY17 enacted funding).
  • $101.9 million for the Public Water System Supervision grant program (level with FY17 enacted funding).
  • $80 million for Brownfields project grants (level with FY17 enacted funding).
  • $400 million for USDA Water and Waste Disposal Grants (+ $21 million from FY17 enacted levels).
  • $50 million for USDA Water and Waste guaranteed loans (- $2 million from FY17 enacted levels).
  • $40 million for USDA Water and Waste Technical Assistance grants (+ $20 million from FY17 enacted levels).
  • $117.5 million for Department of Commerce Public Works and Economic Development program (+ $17.5 million from FY17 enacted levels).
  • $3.3 billion for the Community Development Block Grant Program (+ $300 million from FY17 enacted levels).
  • $54 million for Title XVI water reuse projects at the Department of the Interior (level with FY17 enacted funding).
 
Homeland security and emergency management programs were also funded at robust levels, in alignment with APWA’s Recognize and Support Emergency Management & Response policy priority document. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) received funding of $55.6 billion, a $6.3 billion increase over FY17 enacted levels. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is marked at $4.4 billion, which is $342 million above FY17 levels. And the National Protection Programs Directorate (NPPD) is earmarked for $1.91 billion, $93 million above the FY17 enacted level. Specific programs funded in the omnibus bill include:
 
  • $7.9 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund at FEMA (+ $573 million over FY17 enacted levels).
  • $249 million for the National Predisaster Mitigation Fund at FEMA (+ $149 million over FY17 enacted levels).
  • $263 million for the Flood Hazard Mapping and Risk Assessment Program (RiskMAP) at FEMA (+ $85 million over FY17 enacted levels).
  • $507 million for State Homeland Security Grants at FEMA (+ $40 million over FY17 enacted levels).
  • $630 million for Urban Area Security Initiative grants at FEMA (+ 25 million over FY17 enacted levels).
  • $3.8 billion for Wildland Firefighting and Prevention at the Department of the Interior.
  • $614 million for Hazardous Fuels Management at the Department of the Interior (+ $50 million over FY17 enacted levels).
  • The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will receive funding through July 31, 2018.
 
You may view the text of the omnibus as well as the explanatory statements on the House Rules Committee website.