FY18 Appropriations move forward

Jul 16, 2017

The House Appropriations Committee has begun publishing and, in some cases, voting on its recommendations for the twelve fiscal year 2018 spending bills. The bills contain a number of provisions important for the Northern Marianas Islands that I have worked for:

  • Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies
    • President Trump’s FY18 budget proposed cutting funding for Assistance for Territories, such as the Technical Assistance grants the Commonwealth received this month. I asked that appropriators provide more funding. The bill released this week adds almost $10 million to Assistance for Territories.
    • Because of the formula change I advocate for every year, the Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water Funds have provided $59 million to the Marianas since fiscal year 2010. Appropriators agreed to continue the enhanced formulas for these two programs, as I asked.
    • The President proposed eliminating funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities. Full funding for NEH was one of my spending requests and the Committee bill provides $145 million nationwide.
  • Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations
  • House appropriators accepted a joint request from myself and colleagues representing Guam and Hawai’i to ensure that federal agencies support the Department of the Navy’s Regional Biosecurity Plan. The Plan is intended to block invasive species that might be introduced in Micronesia due to the relocation of military personnel from Okinawa to Guam.
  • The improved funding formula for Marianas schools that I was able to have enacted in the Every Student Succeeds Act in the last Congress, requires a threshold appropriation of $15 billion. For fiscal year 2017, that requirement was met and Marianas schools will be receiving approximately $11 million as a result. The fiscal year 2018 appropriation bill keeps funding at the same level, meaning once again our schools will be seeing the extra money from my funding formula change.
  • Labor, Health and Human Service, Education Appropriation

We will be continuing to work to lock in good spending numbers and policy for the Marianas as the FY18 appropriations come together over the next weeks.