Senate Democrats

S. 965, the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans’ Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007

Summary

S.965, the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans’ Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007, would provide $121.6 billion in funding for Fiscal Year 2007 activities related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, improving the health care for returning soldiers and veterans, providing continued Hurricane Katrina recovery for the Gulf Coast, funding critical homeland security initiatives, and providing emergency drought relief for farmers.  The Senate version of the legislation would provide $18.6 billion more than the President’s request and $2.7 billion less than the House-passed bill (H.R.1591).

The legislation does not include any restriction on funding for the troops in Iraq or Afghanistan but would call for a change of our mission in Iraq and a phased redeployment of troops, beginning within 120 days of the bill’s enactment, with the goal of having only a limited number of troops remaining inside the country on March 31, 2008.  This language is similar to the resolution offered by Senator Reid on March 8, 2007 – S.J.Res.9, a joint resolution to revise United States policy on Iraq.

Major Provisions

Title I – Global War on Terror Supplemental Appropriations

Chapter 1: Department of Agriculture 

  

International Food Assistance.  The bill would provide $475 million for P.L. 480 Title II grants, which is $125 million more than the President’s request.

Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust.  S.965 includes $82 million for the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust, which was not included in the President’s request.

Chapter 2: Department of Justice

Chapter 2 of the bill would provide $430.7 million in appropriations for commerce, justice, and science programs.  This amount is $257.2 million above the President’s request. 

Highlights of this chapter’s appropriations include:

Inspector General.  The bill would provide $500,000 for the Justice Department Inspector General to continue oversight and monitoring the FBI, not included in the President’s request.

Legal activities.  S.965 would provide $4.093 million for Legal Activities for the Justice Department’s criminal division to train law enforcement in Iraq and Afghanistan.  This allocation is equal to the President’s request.

United States Attorneys.  The bill would provide $5 million to prosecute terrorism cases in the U.S., which is equal to the President’s request.

United States Marshals Service.  $25 million would be provided for the U.S. Marshals for court and witness protection in Iraq/Afghanistan and for increased court security in the United States for high-threat terrorist trials.  This amount is $9.1 million above the President’s request of $14.921 million.

National Security Division (DOJ).  The bill would allocate $1.736 million to prosecute high-value detainees at Guantanamo Bay.  This amount is equal to the President’s request.

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).  The bill provides a total of $348 million for the FBI to fight the global war on terror, weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).  This amount is $230 million above the President’s request.  The additional funding includes the following appropriations:

  • $160 in support of the Render Safe Program, the program to respond to and disarm WMD in the United States.  A Presidential Directive transferred responsibility for this program from the Department of Defense (DoD) to the FBI. 
  • $70 million in support of the FBI’s mission in Iraq and Afghanistan and to counter IEDs and fight the global war on terror.

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).  S.965 would provide $25.1 million for the DEA to continue anti-drug activities in Afghanistan to hire additional DEA agents.  The Senate version of the bill would provide $16.532 million above the President’s request, for the hiring of additional DEA agents.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).  The bill would provide $4 million to the ATF to train explosive specialists in Iraq and Afghanistan and to improve IED detection activities.  This amount is equal to the President’s request.

Bureau of Prisons.  The legislation would provide $17 million to monitor prisoner communication and mail in the federal prison system, which is equal to the President’s request.

Chapter 3: Department of Defense

The bill would provide $92 billion in emergency spending for the DoD, to support Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).  This amount is $500 million above the President’s request.

Highlight’s of the bill’s proposed defense-related appropriations include:

 

Senate Proposal

President’s Request

Change from Budget Request

Military Personnel

$13.4 billion

 $12.35 billion

 + $1.085 billion

Operation and Maintenance

48.8 billion

  $50.15 billion

 - $1.36 billion

Procurement

$24.5 billion

 $24.8 billion

 - $308 million

Research, Development, Test and Evaluation

$1.2 billion

 $1.44 billion

 - $257 million

Revolving and Management Funds

$1.3 billion

 $1.3 billion

 $0

Defense Health Program

$2.46 billion

$1.12 billion

 + $1.34 billion

Drug Interdiction and Counter-Drug Activities

$254.7 million

$259.1 million

 - $4.45 million

Intelligence Community Management Account

$71.7 million

$66.7 million

 + $5 million

Chapter 3would also include the following provisions:

Revision of U.S. policy on Iraq.  The legislation calls for a gradual redeployment of troops in conjunction with concerted efforts to train and equip the Iraqi security forces and to build regional and international support for the Iraqi government.  The legislation would direct the President, within 120 days of enactment, to begin to redeploy troops from Iraq, with a goal of having only a limited number of troops remaining in the country on March 31, 2008.  Some American forces would remain in Iraq for force protection, training and equipping Iraqi troops, and targeted counterterrorism options.  The legislation does not include any restriction on funding for the troops in Iraq or Afghanistan. 

The legislation contains critical improvements from the resolution recently considered by the Senate (S.J.Res.9).  The supplemental legislation includes a series of benchmarks for the Iraqis to meet the inclusion of regular progress reports to Congress from the U.S. commander in Iraq.  In addition, it would require a classified report from the President.  These measures were not included in the earlier Senate resolution.

Full funding for deployed troops and escalation forces.  The bill provides funding for 140,000 troops deployed in Iraq and 20,000 in Afghanistan and also fully funds the escalation force of 21,000 combat troops and 4,729 support personnel in Iraq and 7,200 troops in Afghanistan.

Army National Guard equipment.  The bill would provide $1 billion above the President’s requested amount to address Army National Guard equipment shortfalls.

Increased funds to address DoD Health Program shortfalls.  S.965 would provide an additional $1.3 billion above the President’s request for defense health programs.  This includes $20 million to repair facilities at Walter Reed as well as $100 million for brain trauma injury and post-traumatic stress disorder treatment and research.

Afghanistan and Iraq security forces funds.  The bill includes $9.7 billion to train and equip Afghan and Iraqi security Forces.  $5.9 billion would be provided for Afghanistan and $3.8 billion to Iraq, which are each equal to the President’s request.

Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Fund.  S.965 includes $2.4 billion to counter the threat of improvised explosive devices in Iraq and Afghanistan.  This amount is equal to the President’s request.

Chapter 4: Department of Energy 

The bill would provide an additional $63 million for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, which is equal to the President’s request.  Of the total, $49 million would be for International Nuclear Materials Production, and $14 million would be for the Global Threat Reduction Initiative.

Chapter 5: Department of Homeland Security

S.965 would provide $2 billion in funds for homeland security programs, not requested by the President.  Highlights of the proposed allocations include:

Customs and Border Protection.  The bill would provide $100 million for the Secure Freight Initiative and SAFE Port Act implementation and $40 million for additional staffing and resources to increase security at Northern Border ports of entry.

Air and marine interdiction.  The legislation includes $75 million for Air and Marine Operations on the Northern Border and Great Lakes.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  The bill would provide $10 million for the Human Smuggling and Trafficking Center and $10 million for the Visa Security Program.

Transportation Security Administration (TSA).  The bill would allocate funds as follows: $600 million for Explosive Detection Systems (EDS) procurement and installation of in-line baggage systems to meet the backlog of funding requirements at the nation’s top 25 airports; $60 million for air cargo security to double the number of air cargo inspectors, expand the National Explosives Detection Canine Team program; and $15 million for Federal Air Marshals to increase flight coverage.

Chemical security standards.  S.965 would allocate $18 million for chemical site security for enforcement of chemical security regulations.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  The legislation would provide FEMA funds as follows:

  • $100 for Emergency Management Performance Grants to update state and local emergency plans;
  • $190 million for Port Security Grants (for a total of $400 million in Fiscal Year 2007 funding, which is the full amount authorized in the Safe Port Act);
  • $625 million for rail and transit security grants;
  • $35 million for regional grants and technical assistance to high risk urban areas for catastrophic event planning and preparedness; and
  • $20 million for FEMA administration.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  S.965 would provide $30 million to address the backlog that exists between USCIS and FBI on background checks for immigrants filing for benefits.

Science and technology.  The bill would provide $15 million for air cargo research.

Domestic Nuclear Detection Office.  The legislation includes $39 million for non-container rail, aviation, and intermodal radiation detection activities.

Chapter 6: Military Construction

S.965 would provide $1.644 billion for military construction activities.  This amount is $96 million below the President’s request (as amended).  It would reduce or delete funds for the following projects requested by the President:

  • parallel taxiway for Bagram, Afghanistan (Air Force);
  • new roads for Bagram, Afghanistan (Army); and
  • water production plant and wastewater treatment plant, Camp Lemonier, Djibouti (Navy/Marine Corps).
 

Senate Proposal

President’s Request

Change from Budget Request

Military Construction, Army

$1.261 billion

 $1.289 billion

 - $28 million

Military Construction, Navy and Marine Corps

$347.89 million

  $390.5 million

– $42.61 million

Military Construction, Air Force

$34.7 million

$60.2 million

-$25.5 million

Prohibition on the use of funds to establish permanent bases in Iraq.  The legislation includes language that would ensure that none of the military construction funds are used to provide facilities for permanent bases in Iraq.

Chapter 7: Department of State and Related Agencies

The bill would provide $5.75 billion for State Department and Foreign Operations programs, which is equal to the President’s request.  The majority of the funding – $3.2 billion – would be allocated for work in Iraq. 

Highlights of this chapter include:

Iraq.  S.965 includes $2.9 billion for work in Iraq, $238 million below the President’s request.  More specifically, the legislation would:

  • Increase funding for the Community Action Program by $50 million;
  • Increase funding to address the number of Iraq refugees and internally displaced persons by $70 million above the President’s request;
  • Increase oversight funding by $4.3 million to provide a total of $39.3 million for oversight of funding in Iraq;
  • Fund Provincial Reconstruction Teams at $1.03 billion, which is $101 million below the President’s request; and
  • Enhance oversight of Iraq reconstruction funds, by requiring the Secretary of State certify that specific benchmarks on certain reconstruction funds be met prior to the obligation of 50 percent of funds.

Afghanistan.  The legislation would include $824 million for reconstruction programs, which represents an increase of $103 million over the President’s request of $720.8 million.  Additional funding is provided as follows: $33 million for reconstruction programs; $7.8 million for embassy security; $36 million for meeting the emergency needs of refugees, and internally displaced persons; and $1.2 million for the Inspector General of USAID and the Department of State.

Lebanon.  The bill would provide $769.5 million, which is equal to the President’s request.

Sudan.  The bill includes $215.9 million, which represents an increase of nearly $4 million above the President’s requested $212 million.  It would provide the requested $150 million to support the African Union peacekeeping mission and $49 million for disaster and famine assistance, which is $9 million more than the President’s request.

Kosovo.  The legislation would provide $229 million to support activities following the settlement of Kosovo’s status early this year.  This amount is $50 million less than the President’s request, with funding for reducing Kosovo’s share of Serbian debt reduced by 1/3.

Pakistan.  S.965 would provide $110 million in assistance for the tribal areas of Pakistan, which is equal to the President’s request.

Jordan.  The bill would allow the Administration to transfer up to $100 million in Economic Support Funds.

Chad.  The legislation includes $98 million for Chad, which is $10 million above the President’s request for humanitarian assistance to meet the needs of internally displaced persons.

Somalia.  The bill would provide $65 million for peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance to Somalia, which is $5 million above the President’s request for humanitarian assistance to meet the needs of internally displaced persons.

Avian flu.  S.965 would provide $161 million for enhanced efforts to stop the spread of the avian flu virus, which is equal to the President’s request.

International exchanges.  The bill would provide $25 million to support the expansion of exchange programs among low income populations in predominantly Muslim countries.  This amount is $5 million above the President’s request.

Public diplomacy.  The legislation includes $20 million for programs to improve the image of the United States in 18 target countries, which are predominantly Muslim.  This is equal to the President’s request.

Contributions to international organizations.  The bill would include $59 million to address a portion of the U.S. shortfall in organizations involved in the fight against international terrorism and the avian flu.  These organizations include: North American Trade Organization, International Atomic Energy Association, Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, World Health Organization, Food and Agriculture Organization, and Pan American Health Organization.

Refugees.  The bill would provide $115 million for refugees, including $55 million for the Emergency Migration and Refugee Assistance account and $60 million for the Migration and Refugee Assistance account.  This amount is $28.5 million above the President’s request.

Title II – Katrina Recovery, Veteran’s Care and for Other Purposes 

The bill would provide a total of $341.9 million under this title, which was not included in the President’s request.

Chapter 1: Department of Agriculture

Emergency Forestry Conservation Reserve Program.  The bill would provide $115 million for the Emergency Forestry Conservation Reserve Program.

Chapter 2: Department of Justice and Commerce

Edward Byrne Discretionary Grants.  The bill would provide $170 million for Edward Byrne Discretionary Grants, including $100 million for the cities of Denver and St. Paul to cover costs associated with the 2008 Democratic and Republican National Conventions and $70 million to help Gulf Coast states fight the increase in crime resulting from Hurricane Katrina (of which, $55 million would go to Louisiana). 

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  S.965 would provide $171.9 million for fisheries and disaster recovery.  Funds would be provided as follows: $6 million for NOAA disaster response and recovery center for the Gulf Coast; $20 million for scanning and debris removal in Louisiana fishing grounds and waterways; $85 million for direct assistance to gulf fisherman; $500,000 for a PORTS system in Lake Charles, LA; and $60.4 million to fund fisheries emergency declared by the Secretary of Commerce for the Klamath River salmon in the Pacific Northwest.

Chapter 3: Department of Defense – Civil

This chapter would provide $1.7 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita recovery efforts and for other work related to other natural disasters.  Specifically, the bill would provide funding for Hurricane Katrina and Rita recovery as follows:

  • $150 million for drainage projects in the New Orleans metro area;
  • $107 million for construction of interim flood and storm damage reduction measures along the Mississippi Gulf coast; and
  • $1.3 million for increases in costs for Lake Ponchitrain and vicinity and the West Bank and vicinity projects.

Chapter 4: Small Business Association

The bill includes $25.065 million for administrative expenses for the Disaster Loan Program Account.  The legislation also includes $25 million for economic injury disaster loans in the gulf region.

Chapter 5: Department of Homeland Security

Hurricane Katrina response.  The legislation includes $4.31 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund, to address the needs of communities impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  This amount is $910 million above the President’s request. 

Match waiver.  The additional funds are included in order to waive the local match requirements for the repair of public facilities, public assistance, and individual assistance initiatives related to recovery from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, consistent with other major disasters such as 9/11.

Chapter 6: Department of the Interior

Emergency fire suppression.  The bill would provide $500 million for the emergency fire suppression reserve fund at the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management and the Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service.

Avian flu research and monitoring.  S.965 includes $13.193 million for avian flu research and monitoring as follows: $7.398 million for the Fish and Wildlife Service; $5.27 million for the U.S. Geological Survey; and $525,000 for the National Park Service.

Secure Rural Schools Program.  The bill would provide $425 million in emergency funding (along with another $100 million in receipts in the base) for payments to states under the Secure Rural Schools program, which expired at the end of September.  This would provide a one-year fix.

Chapter 7: Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Highlights of this chapter’s appropriations are as follows:

  • $13 million for mine safety activities, to meet deadlines outlined in the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006;
  • $640 million for Low-Income Energy Assistance (LIHEAP), including $320 million in formula grants and $320 million in contingency funding;
  • $870 million in emergency funding for pandemic flu activities at HHS;
  • $30 million for higher education institutions;
  • $747 million for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to address the program’s Fiscal Year 2007 shortfall; and
  • $3.6 million for health screenings for 9/11 workers offset from Department of Labor unexpended balances.

The chapter also includes provisions that would:

  • Allow extended availability of social services block grant funds impacted by Hurricane Katrina; and
  • Prohibit the Secretary of HHS from implementing for a two-year period a proposed Medicaid rule (published January 18, 2007) that would limit payments to government health care providers and alter state financing mechanisms and that also proposed to restrict Medicaid payments for graduate medical education.  This provision was adopted as an amendment during the Committee markup.  The amendment would be paid for through an existing Medicaid program that requires brand name drug makers to provide a 15 percent rebate to the federal government on any drug it sells through the Medicaid program, by raising the rebate percentage to 20 percent.

Chapter 8: Legislative Branch

Architect of the Capitol: Capitol power plant.  The bill would provide $25 million for continued repair of the utility tunnels of the Capitol complex.

Government Accountability Office.  S.965 includes $374 million to support the GAO’s ongoing presence in Iraq.

Chapter 9: Military Construction and Veterans’ Affairs

Military construction.  The bill would provide an additional $3.14 million in funds for the Base Closure Account of 2005, in order to fully fund the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2007 base closure request.  This amount was not included in the President’s request.

Department of Veterans’ Affairs.  The legislation would provide $1.767 billion in funds for the VA, not included in the President’s request.  Funds would be appropriated as follows: $454.1 million for VA medical services; $250 million for VA medical administration; $595 million for VA medical facilities; $30 million for medical and prosthetic research; $46 million for general operating expenses; $36.1 million for information technology; and $355.9 million for construction.

Highlights of this chapter include:

  • $50 million for new Level I polytrauma centers;
  • $9.4 million in operations costs associated with the establishment of new polytrauma residential transitional rehabilitation programs, which will be used to better treat and rehabilitate injured veterans, particularly those suffering from traumatic brain injuries and mental health problems;
  • $20 million for Vet Centers/Readjustment Counseling, which would allow the VA to open new Vet Centers and hire additional staff for existing centers;
  • $10 million for rehabilitation programs for the blind; 
  • $100 million for enhancements to mental health services;
  • $8 million to fund an additional 10 polytrauma clinic support teams;
  • $5.4 million for polytrauma points of contacts to ensure that smaller VHA facilities are able to meet the needs of polytrauma patients;
  • $201.3 million in additional funds necessary to meet the needs of global war on terror veterans, who are accessing VA health services at higher rates than estimated by the VA

Prohibition on the use of funds to close Walter Reed.  S.965 would prohibit the expenditure of funds to close the facility, unless certain requirements are met to provide continuity of care to patients.

Chapter 10: Department of Transportation

Federal Highway Administration Emergency Relief Program.  S.965 includes $389 million to cover an anticipated backlog of requests for Emergency Relief grants for Fiscal Year 2007, including $91 million to repair damage from Hurricane Katrina.

Transit Assistance for hurricane-impacted areas.  The bill would provide $75 million in emergency transit assistance for areas impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of the Inspector General.  The bill includes $5 million in funds to support the IG’s ongoing work in overseeing and auditing the use of HUD funds for Katrina and Rita recovery efforts.

Title III – Other Matters

Farm Service Agency.  The bill would provide $75 million for Farm Service Agency salaries and expenses, which was not included in the President’s request.

Bioterrorism research funds.  The bill would allow for the transfer of $49.5 million in bioterrorism research funds from the National Institutes of Health to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Cross-border trucking with Mexico.  The legislation includes an amendment adopted in committee that would require the Bush Administration’s proposed pilot project for cross-border trucking with Mexico to be a transparent process that would include public comment, benchmarks for success, and enhanced safety requirements.  It also would prohibit Mexican trucks from gaining access to U.S. highways as part of this project until comparable and simultaneous access is granted to U.S. truckers for travel on Mexican highways.

Title IV -   Emergency Farm Relief Act of 2007

Commodity Credit Corporation.  S.965 would provide $4.192 billion for agricultural disaster, (which includes $115 million for the Conservation Security Program), not included in the President’s request.

The bill includes an amendment adopted during Committee consideration that extends the milk income loss contract program for one month, through September 30, 2007.

Legislative History

On March 22, 2007, the Senate Appropriations Committee ordered S.965, the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans’ Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007, to be reported to the full Senate by voice vote. 

On March 23, 2007 the House of Representatives passed H.R.1591, the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans’ Health, and Iraq Accountability Act, 2007, by a vote of 218-212. 

                                                                       

Statement of Administration Policy

                                                                       

On March 19, 2007, the Bush Administration issued a Statement of Administration Policy for the House version of the bill, H.R.1591.  The Statement can be accessed on the Office of Management and Budget’s website: (http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/legislative/sap/110-1/hr___sap-r.pdf).  At the time of publication, no Statement of Administration Policy has been issued for S.965, the Senate version of this bill.

Possible Amendments

The DPC will distribute information on possible amendments as it becomes available.

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