NWC News Alert – Washington Update
March 22, 2018
House and Senate negotiators have reached agreement on a massive spending bill to fund the federal government for the remainder of fiscal year 2018. The government has been operating on a series of continuing resolutions since October, and this agreement removes the uncertainty that arises from those short-term measures.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers civil works program would receive funding of $6.8 billion, an increase of $789 million from the FY17 levels. That includes $3 billion for navigation projects and studies, with $1.4 billion from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund and full use of revenues from the Inland Waterways Trust Fund, and $1.9B for flood and storm damage reduction projects, an increase of $215M above FY17.
The Investigations account would receive $123 million; Construction at $2.085 billion; Mississippi River and Tributaries at $425 million; Operation and Maintenance at $3.630 billion; and $200 million for Regulatory.
The bill includes specific instructions for evaluating studies and projects that would be eligible for the additional funding provided, as well as directions for new starts. A detailed work plan must be provided to the Congress within 60 days of enactment. The bill also continues the prohibition on the implementation of the final Principles and Requirements, directing the Corps to continue to use the 1983 Principles and Guidelines.
The House is scheduled to take up the measure this afternoon. While passage is expected, this morning’s vote to proceed, 211 to 207, on the 2200-page bill required Republicans and Democrats to come together to fend off opposition from the Freedom Caucus who objected to the price tag and policies they consider contrary to what Republicans campaigned on, and some Democrats who were frustrated the bill does not include any provisions to the protect the Dreamers.
The Senate is expected to approve the bill tomorrow, sending it to the President for his signature before the midnight deadline.
Additional analysis will be provided in our upcoming newsletter. Bill text can be found here:
Energy and Water provisions:
Complete bill information: