Overview of the FY 2014 Omnibus Appropriations

Jeff Hurley 1/15/2014

In mid-January, 2014, House and Senate Appropriations Chairmen, Representative Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) and Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), released an appropriations agreement for FY 2014. The deal, officially titled the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014, will fund the federal government at an overall level of $1.012 trillion, an increase of $45 billion in comparison to FY 2013 levels, post sequestration.

The omnibus abides by the caps in last month’s Bipartisan Budget Act, allotting $520.4 billion for defense and $492 billion for non-defense discretionary spending. The latter non-defense level is an increase of $27 billion compared to the post-sequestration amount in FY 2013.

With current federal funding set to expire at midnight tonight, January 15, Congress is expected to pass a three-day continuing resolution that will provide lawmakers a few extra days to digest the 1,600 page bill. Congressional leaders expect the omnibus spending package to proceed without much contention, with the House scheduled to vote on Wednesday and the Senate following later in the week.

* FY 2014 program appropriations are compared to post-sequestration FY 2013 funding levels


U.S. CapitolThe spending package provides $20.9 billion for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration, an increase of $350 million over FY 2013. Additionally, the legislation includes a number of policy riders that would reinstate a ban on horse slaughter and prevents USDA’s Grain Inspection, Stockyards and Packers Administration (GIPSA) from finalizing regulations related to contracts for livestock and poultry growers. The bill also strongly encourages USDA to hold off Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) regulations until the World Trade Organization takes action.

Additional NCSL Agriculture Appropriations Information

Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for WomenInfants, and Children (WIC) - Full funding for WIC is set at $6.716 billion – $153 million below the FY 2013 enacted level – including the replenishment of the contingency reserve.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and the Child Nutrition programs - Provides for $82.169 billion in required mandatory spending for SNAP.

Child nutrition programs – Provides $19.3 billion in required mandatory funding is appropriated for child nutrition programs. Of this amount, $25 million is directed to help schools purchase needed equipment to operate the program.

Criminal Justice

The omnibus provides $1.17 billion in funding for state and local criminal justice programs. 

  • Violence Against Women - $417 million (level funding from FY13)
  • Byrne/JAG - $344 million ($8 million decrease from FY13)
  • Community Oriented Policing Services program (COPS) - $214 million ($2 million increase from FY 2013)
  • State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) - $180 million ($62 million decrease from FY 2013)
  • Juvenile Justice Programs - $255 million ($11 million decrease from FY 2013)
  • Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI) - $28 million to accommodate new states participating in JRI and to enhance implementation efforts in already participating states. This is a large increase from $6 million in FY13.


The U.S. Department of Education will receive $70.6 billion, $739 million less than FY 2013.

  • Title 1 - $14.4 billion ($103 million decrease from FY 2013)
  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) - $11.5 billion ($82 million decrease from FY 2013)
  • Head Start - $8.6 billion ($612 million decrease from FY 2013)

The omnibus bill also establishes a joint education /health and human services program competitive grant program. It will provide $250 million through the end of the calendar year for Pre-K grants to states to develop or expand high quality preschool for children from families at or below 200 percent of poverty level.

Environment | Interior

The Department of Interior is funded at $1.1 billion (an increase of $99 million) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at $8.2 billion (a decrease of $143 million). The Department of Energy (DOE) receives $26.4 billion, an increase of $1.1 billion.

  • $1.05 billion will be distributed to the states for state environmental programs (an increase of $22 million). Specifically, the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (SRF) were funded at a combined $2.35 billion.
  • $306 million is dedicated to the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). While this is a slight reduction from FY 2013, the House Appropriations Committee previously proposed to cut the program entirely.  The LWCF supports conservation across the nation through matching state grants and other easements.
  • No funds were dedicated to the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program, but the House Appropriations Committee says “payments for FY14 will be addressed expeditiously by the appropriate authorizing committees” in both chambers.

Additional NCSL Environment/Interior Appropriation Information

Financial Services

  • Securities and Exchange Commission – $1.35 billion, an increase of $29 million from FY 2013. The omnibus also rescinds $25 million from the SEC reserve fund.
  • Commodity Futures Trading Commission – $215 million, an increase of $20 million from FY 2013.
  • Federal Communications Commission (FCC)– Incorporates language compelling the FCC to consult with the secretaries of Transportation and Homeland Security, and the FBI, before issuing the final rule-making permitting airline passengers to use mobile devices in flight. Additionally, the FCC chairman is required to inform the appropriations committees in the House and Senate regarding any developments.

Health and Human Services

The following are select health and human services programs. Many but not all of these programs were exempt from sequestration . When this is the case, appropriations bill changes are compared to FY2013 enacted levels.

Affordable Care Act Related (ACA) Provisions - No additional funding for the Affordable Care Act  implementation is provided and funding for the Prevention and Public Health Fund is reduced by $1 billion and for the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) by $10 million.

 Administration for Children and Families (ACF)

Reductions from sequestration are restored by providing $3.425 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program(LIHEAP) program,

$8.6 billion, a $1.025 billion increase, is included, for Head Start, which provides comprehensive early childhood services to children and families from before birth through age five. This increase restores sequestration reductions and on top of that supports an approximately 1.3 percent cost of living adjustment for all current grantees. The increase includes $500 million to expand Early Head Start, for children and families from before birth through age 3, including the establishment of new Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships.

$2.3 billion is dedicated the Child Care and Development Block Grant program which provides grants to states for child care assistance to working families, a $154 million increase and $710 million for the Community Services Block Grant program.

 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)

$305 million is provided for CMS to allow for the timely processing and payment of benefits and the continuation of essential services for the increasing number of Americans who rely on traditional Medicare programs. Prohibits CMS for using these additional funds for ACA implementation.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

CDC is funded at $6.9 billion, $567 million above the FY 2013 program level. This includes:

  • $160 million for the Preventive Health & Health Services Block Grant, which allows each state to address its most critical public health needs, and
  • $1.3 billion for Public Health Preparedness and Response to help ensure the readiness of the Strategic National Stockpile, and provide ample resources for State and Local Preparedness programs.

Community Health Centers (CHCs)-- $3.6 billion is provided for community health centers, including $350 million to create over 450 new centers.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA)

  • Substance Abuse Block Grant  - Provides $1.8 billion, a $110 million increase over the fiscal year 2013 post-sequester level.
  • Mental Health Block Grant - Provides $47 million increase, along with a new set-aside for early intervention programs for those with serious mental illness such as psychosis.

Homeland Security

The bill provides $39.3 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This is a reduction of $336 million compared to FY 2013.

  • Customs and Border Protection (CBP) – $10.6 billion for CBP, an increase of $110.6 million above FY 2013.
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) – $5.3 billion for ICE, $164 million below FY 2013, but approximately $120 million above the sequester level.
  • $1.8 billion for both domestic and international investigation programs, including increases above the president’s request to combat human trafficking, child exploitation, cyber-crime, and drug smuggling, and to bolster visa overstay enforcement;
  • $2.8 billion for ICE detention programs, including funding to sustain the statutorily mandated 34,000 detention beds – the highest detention capacity in history; and
  • $114 million for the E-Verify program that helps companies check if their employees may legally work in the United States and prohibits funds for the ICE public advocate or similar position.
  • Transportation Security Administration (TSA) – $4.9 billion for TSA – a decrease of $225 million below FY 2013.
  • Cybersecurity – $792 million for cybersecurity operations, which is $35.5 million above  FY 2013.
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency – Allows $6.2 billion for disaster relief – fully funding FEMA’s stated requirement.
  • $2.5 billion for first responder grants which is $39 million above  FY 2013 enacted level, including:
  • $1.5 billion for State and Local grants;
  • $680 million for Assistance to Firefighter Grants;
  • $350 million for Emergency Management Performance Grants; and
  • the bill also includes a House amendment that delays certain premium increases in the National Flood Insurance Program.


Provides $12 billion for the Department of Labor, a reduction of $449 million below FY 2013. In addition, the spending package:

  • Exempts medically retired personnel and survivor benefit plans from reductions in cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA).
  • Increases governors’ allowed set-aside of Workforce Investment Act (WIA) grants for state and regional workforce projects from 5 percent to 8.75 percent (cut from 15 percent to 5 percent in 2011).
  • Provides additional funding ($80 million – increase of $16 million) for  unemployment insurance (UI) - program integrity aimed at reemployment/eligibility assessments and improper payment reviews, estimated to save state UI trust funds $315 million through faster claimant exits, avoiding exhausting of benefits.
  • Appropriates $2.59 billion for WIA grants to states (increase of $121 million from FY 2013).
  • Provides $270 million to veteran’s employment/training services (increase of $19 million from FY 2013).


Provides $17.8 billion in discretionary funding and $53.5 billion in non-discretionary funding. Includes $41 billion for the highway and road funding, which matches the funding level authorized in MAP-21, more than $600 million above FY 2013.

Transit - contains $2.15 billion in discretionary funding for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), as well as $8.6 billion in funding from the Mass Transit Account. Within the discretionary pool, the bill allocates $1.943 billion for FTA’s “New Starts” program, which is FTA’s primary grant program for funding major transit capital investments, including rapid rail, light rail, bus rapid transit, commuter rail, and ferries.

Amtrak - includes $1.39 billion in funding for Amtrak, $47 million above FY 2013.

The Essential Air Service (EAS) program, which subsidizes flights to low-use rural airports, would receive $249 million.

The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program would receive $600 million, an increase of $474 million from FY 2013. The grant program provides DOT with funds to invest in road, rail, transit and port projects that will have a significant impact on the Nation, a region or a metropolitan area. Funds are awarded competitively with a certain set aside for projects in rural areas.

Additional NCSL Transportation Appropriations Information

A comparison of discretionary and mandatory funding for select state-federal programs has also been provided by Federal Funds Information for States (FFIS).

Summaries by Subcommittee


Federal Fiscal Certainty on the Horizon for States

Budget Agreement Reached: House Vote Expected this Week

In light of a looming deadline to reach a bipartisan budget deal, House and Senate Budget Committee Chairmen Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) reached agreement on spending for the next two years while also adjusting reductions from sequestration. What does this mean for states? Most important, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 would provide certainty on overall discretionary spending, including sequestration, for the next two federal fiscal years. While the budget agreement does achieve an estimated $23 billion in deficit savings, the proposed plan does not address the nation’s long-term debt problem, pushing broader deficit reduction solutions down the road.

NCSL officers sent a letter to Murray and Ryan on Dec. 2 urging a bipartisan compromise on the budget to ensure fiscal certainty for the states and encouraging Congress not to export the federal deficit to states by providing opportunities for commensurate savings. The budget agreement is a good first step for appropriations and future deficit reduction and tax reform discussions. 

The budget agreement raises overall discretionary spending for both FY 2014 and FY 2015 above the mandated caps set by the 2011 Budget Control Act. This increases spending by roughly $63 billion above sequestration levels over two years, with the savings applied equally between Defense and non-Defense discretionary programs. This averts a scheduled increase of sequestration to the Defense appropriations. Federal spending for FY 2014, which is currently operating under a continuing resolution set at $986 billion, would rise to $1.012 trillion. The increase to overall federal spending is fully offset by $85 billion in user fees and increased reductions to mandatory programs for two years after sequestration ends, FY 2022 and FY 2023. The proposal includes increased retirement contributions for new federal employees, changing cost-of-living adjustments for younger military retirees, raising fees for aviation security and increasing premiums companies pay into the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Provisions that may affect states are changes to medical child enforcement to recuperate costs from both noncustodial parents and benefit-liability settlements and reducing payments to states from mineral extraction by 2 percent.  

The Bipartisan Budget Act was filed on Tuesday, allowing members three days to review the legislation to ensure a vote by Friday, Dec. 13. A Senate vote would then be scheduled the week of Dec. 16. While the proposed legislation addresses spending for the next two years, it does not resolve a number of program extensions scheduled to expire at the end of 2013. This includes a number of tax provisions, such as state and local sales tax deductibility.

The Ryan/Murray agreement creates top line numbers for FY 2014 that House and Senate Appropriations Committees would use to create an Omnibus Appropriations bill. This would give appropriators about a month to reach a spending agreement and avoid a federal government shutdown. Under the continuing appropriations law for FY2014, the federal government has until Jan. 15, 2014, to make final appropriations for FY2014.