The Senate Appropriations Committee has reported substitute legislation to the floor to replace the text of House-passed HR 933, funding for the federal government through the end of FY 2013. Like the House bill, the Senate measure keeps the current spending cap of $1.043 trillion. The cap will drop to $984 billion under the sequester.
The Senate spending package expands the House bill by incorporating three pre-conferenced appropriations bills that the House and Senate had begun to work on last DEC, in addition to the DOD and VA appropriations bills that were included in the House continuing resolution. The three additional appropriations measures include Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science, and Homeland Security. The latter two bills are of great interest to IME.
The Senate provided $1.153 billion for ATF. The same amount as in the Administration’s original budget request of FY 2013.
The Homeland Security bill provides funding for implementing the Infrastructure Security Compliance Division (ISCD). ISCD is charged with implementing CFATS and ammonium nitrate security rules. The Senate version provides $78 million for CFATS, $4 million more than the President’s budget request. However, the Senate proposes to withhold $20 million of that amount until NPPD provides Congress a plan for the implementation of this program, including the number of facilities covered by the program, inspectors on-board, inspections pending, and inspections projected to be completed by September 30, 2013.
In addition the Senate bill contains a number of exceptions or “anomalies” that were agreed to last year during advanced House-Senate negotiations on potential FY 2013 compromise versions of the spending bills. Among these, the Senate bill would restore funding for road, bridge, safety, transit and air service programs at levels that Congress authorized last year in “MAP-21.” No adjustments were made to the PHMSA account. The hazmat program will continue at the FY 2012 appropriation, minus the 5 percent sequestration cut.
The Senate is fast-tracking this legislation because the current CR expires on MAR 27. Congress would like to conclude this matter before the Easter Recess MAR 22.