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:
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: