Appropriations bills approved by House, Senate

Congress is nearly finished with the preliminary work on the fiscal year (FY) 2014 appropriations bills. As of July 31, 10 appropriations measures have been approved by the House and Senate appropriations committees. A few highlights of spending measures acted upon are featured below.

Labor department. On July 11, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved S. 1284, the FY 2014 spending bill for the Departments of Labor (DoL), Health and Human Services and Education. The DoL budget contains funding for veterans’ programs under the Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS). S. 1284 would provide a total of $300.5 million for VETS programs, an increase of $36.6 million above current year funding amounts. The major VETS accounts will be funded as follows:

  • $203.1 million for the Jobs for Veterans State Grants program, which is responsible for funding Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program (DVOP) representatives and Local Veterans’ Employment Representatives (LVERs) in each state;
  • $41.8 million for federal administration costs;
  • $38.2 million for programs of the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program;
  • $14 million for the Transition Assistance Program; and
  • $3.4 million for the National Veterans’ Service Training Institute, which is responsible for funding the state DVOPs and LVERs.

The House Appropriations Committee has not yet developed a companion measure to S. 1284.

Homeland security. On July 18, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved its version of H.R. 2217, the FY 2014 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spending measure. The House passed the original legislation on June 6. The House bill would set DHS spending at $38.9 billion, a decrease of $618 million over last year’s totals and $35 million less than the President Barack Obama’s request. The Senate measure would allocate $44.9 billion for DHS programs. Funding for programs of interest to The American Legion under these bills include:

  • $12.4 billion for U.S. Customs and Border Protection in the Senate bill; $12.7 billion in the House bill.
  • $10.1 billion for the U.S. Coast Guard in the Senate bill; $9.7 billion in the House bill.
  • $7.3 billion for Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in the Senate bill; $7.2 billion in the House bill.
  • $5.1 billion for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the Senate bill; $5.4 billion in the House bill.
  • $1.6 billion for the U.S. Secret Service in both bills.
  • $1.5 billion for state and local grant programs for "first responders" in both bills.
  • $821 million for U.S. Air Marshals (included under TSA) in both bills.
  • $259 million for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in both bills.

 

 

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