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Highlights of the FY05 VA-HUD Appropriations Bill

Press Release From: House Appropriations Committee
Posted: Tuesday, July 20, 2004

FY04 Bill (Discretionary): $90.8 billion
FY05 President's Request (Discretionary): $92.1 billion
FY05 Bill (Discretionary): $92.9 billion

Taking Care of Veterans:

n Provides total resources of $30.3 B for the Veterans Health Administration: $19.5 billion for Medical Services; $4.7 billion for Medical Administration; $3.7 billion for Medical Facilities and $385 million for Medical Research a total of $1.2 over the budget request and $1.9 billion above last year.

  • Does not contain additional fees as proposed by the President.
  • Total budgetary resources for all activities of the Veteran's Administration including retirement and medical benefits are increased by $4.3 billion over last year and $1.2 billion over the request.
  • Fully funds the President's request for the National Cemetery Administration, bringing FY05 funding to $149 million, $6 million above last year's level.
  • Fully funds the President's request for Veterans State Extended Care Facilities bringing total funding to $105 million, $4 million above last year's level.

Science and Space:

  • The National Science Foundation (NSF) is funded at $5.5 billion, $111 million below last year and $278 million below the request. Funding includes: $4.2 billion for research; $208 million for research equipment; and $843 million for education and human resources.
  • NASA is funded at $15.1 billion, $229 million below last year and $1.1 billion below the request. The bulk of these savings come from the elimination of funding for new initiatives. The reductions include $30 million for technology maturation efforts; $230 million from Project Prometheus related to Jupiter Icy Moon Orbital; $438 million resulting from delaying the Crew Exploration Vehicle; and $100 million from Space Launch Initiatives by accelerating the termination of activities. The bill fully funds shuttle operations at the requested level of $4.3 billion. The committee fully funds Mars programs at the requested level of $691 million.

Protecting the Environment:

  • The Environmental Protection Agency is funded with an emphasis on state grants, particularly in the areas of clean water and safe drinking water.
  • Provides $7.8 billion for the EPA, $36 million below the President's request and $613 million below FY04. This includes funding of $2.2 billion for Environmental Programs and Management, $39 million below last year's level and 75 million below the request.
  • The Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund is funded at the budget request of $845 million, the same as FY 2004 and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund is funded at $850 million, at the President's request.
  • Funds state environmental program grants at $1.2 billion, about equal to the FY04 level.
  • Overall, State and Tribal Assistance Grants are funded at $3.4 billion, or $127 million over the request.
  • Funds Superfund at $1.3 billion, the same as last year's level

Addressing Critical Housing Needs:

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is funded at $37.7 billion, $108 million below last year's level and $1 billion above the President's Request. Total funding for HUD has increased $4.7 billion or 14% over the last four years. Despite this generous growth, funding for most HUD programs has remained flat or been reduced due to the rapid growth in the Section 8 programs which now consumes more than half of HUD's budget, up from 41% four years ago. Authorization legislation proposed in the President's budget to change and reduce costs in the Section 8 voucher program is not included in the bill. Absent these authorization changes and faced with a tight allocation the subcommittee had to decrease most HUD programs by 4% in order to fund the continued rapid growth in the Section 8 program.

Funding for Section 8 programs has been divided into two accounts to provide better accountability and oversight:

--Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (vouchers and associated administrative costs) is funded at $14.7 billion, $491 million over last year and $1.56 billion over the request. This includes $13.3 billion for Section 8 voucher renewals, $581 million, or 5% over last year, and $1.5 over the request. This is in addition to the 15% increase the program received last year.

--(Project-Based Rental Assistance (project-based contracts and associated adminsitrative costs) is funded at $5.3 billion, $270 million over last year and $10 million below the request.

  • Public and Indian Housing programs are funded at $6.8 billion, including $2.58 for the Capital Fund, $3.4 billion for Operating Subsidies, $143 million for HOPE VI, and $622 million for the Native American Housing Block Grant.
  • HOME Investments Partnership is funded at $1.9 billion, including $1.8 billion for HOME formula grants and $85 million for the American Dream Downpayment program.
  • Includes $1.2 billion for Homeless programs, $282 million for Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA), $741 million for Elderly Housing, and $238 million for Housing for Persons with Disabilities.
  • Restores programs proposed in the budget for termination to 4% below the enacted level, including $24 million for Rural Housing and Economic Development, $14 million for Round II Empowerment Zones/Enterprise Communities, and $24 million for Brownfields Redevelopment.
  • Does not include funds for the President's new Samaritian and Prisoner Entry initiatives.

Other Items of Interest:

  • The Corporation for National and Community Service is funded at $572 million, $9 million below last year and $70 million below the President's request. This supports a volunteer level of 70,000, 5,000 less than last year but 20,000 more than the previous year.
  • Consumer Product Safety Commission is funded at $60 million, the same as the President's request and $3 million above last year's level.

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