The Senate has passed a $915-billion spending package that funds a major portion of the federal government through Sept. 30, 2012, the end of the current fiscal year. The measure slices many key construction accounts, but hikes a few others.
The Senate's approval, which came on Dec. 17 by a 67-32 vote, followed the House's approval one day earlier. The measure now goes to the White House for President Obama's signature.
Obama has several days to act on the omnibus: On Dec, 17 he signed a short stopgap continuing resolution that ensures that the agencies the package would fund can stay open through Dec. 23. Previous extensions expired on Dec. 16 and on Dec. 17.
The more-than-1,000-page omnibus includes funding for the Depts. of Defense, Energy and Veterans Affairs--among others--as well as such agencies as the General Services Administration and Environmental Protection Agency.
The Depts. of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Commerce, Justice and Agriculture aren't included in this package. A separate measure funding their programs for fiscal 2012 was enacted on Nov. 18.
The new omnibus measure cuts spending for many construction accounts from their fiscal 2011 levels. (see below).
One notable exception is the Army Corps of Engineers civil works program, which won a 5% increase in its regular appropriations for fiscal 2012 plus $1.7 billion to help rebuild and repair infrastructure damaged by storms, floods and other natural disasters.
The Corps disaster aid is part of a separate $8.1-billion disaster-relief measure that the Senate approved on Dec. 17, one day after the House passed it. The Federal Emergency Management Agency would receive the other $6.4 billion in the bill.
The House also cleared a third measure, that sought to offset the $8.1 billion in disaster relief funds by cutting most line-items in the omnibus by 1.83%, except for defense and veterans' programs. But the Senate rejected the bill, sinking the across-the-board cut.
Here are funding totals for key construction accounts under the omnibus spending measure:
Corps of Engineers civil works (excludes one-time disaster relief funds, see below):
% chg: +3
Within that civil works total, Corps construction account:
DOE defense enviro restoration
EPA water infrastructure (State and Tribal Assistance Grants):
FY 12: 3,619
Within that broad water infrastructure category:
Clean Water State Revolving Funds (SRFs)
Drinking Water SRFs
GSA construction and acquisition
GSA repairs and alterations
%: no change
DOD Base Closure
DOD Family Housing Construction
DOD Other Military Construction
VA major construction projects
VA minor construction projects