On Wednesday, January 15, the U.S. House of Representatives
voted 359-67 and on Thursday, January 16, the Senate voted 72-26 to pass H.R. 3547, the Fiscal Year 2014 (FY 2014)
Consolidated Appropriations Act, which will fund federal government programs
and operations through September 30, 2014.
Below are summaries of the different sections of the bill important to ASLA
and landscape architects across the country.
Transportation Housing and Urban
The overall FY 2014 funding for the Departments of Transportation and
Housing and Urban Development is roughly $104 billion dollars.
- Department of
Transportation (DOT): DOT receives a net total of $71.1 billion
in budgetary resources for the FY 2014, a decrease of over $300 million from FY
2013. The measure includes $600 million for the
TIGER grants program, a 20 percent jump from $500 million in 2013. The bill also funds
the public transit “New Starts” program at $1.94 billion, an $88 million
increase from 2013 spending. Unfortunately, the Office of
Sustainable Communities and its Integrated Planning and Investment Grants (formerly
known as Regional Planning and Community Challenge grants) are zeroed out.
- Department of
Housing and Urban Development (HUD):The agreement appropriates a net
$32.8 billion for HUD, a decrease of $687 million from FY 2013. Notably, the measure
provides $3 billion for the Community Development Block Grants ($82 million
increase from 2013 spending) and $7 million for the U.S. Access Board.
Spending in FY 2014 on the Interior-Environment title of the
bill will provide a discretionary funding total of $30.1 billion for the United
States Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Interior and related
agencies, $231 million (8%) more than the sequester reduced FY 2013 level and
$206 million more than requested. Key provisions that fund the various agencies
under the Interior-Environment title include:
Overall spending for EPA is $8.2 billion, which is $143 million (2%) less than the enacted
FY 2013 level. The Omnibus allocates
$1.4 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and $906 million for Drinking Water
State Revolving Fund. However, the measure
reduces the EPA budget for water regulation (where a potential stormwater rule
would originate) by $23 million.
of the Interior: The omnibus
agreement provides $10.5 billion for the Interior Department and related
agencies. The amount provided for the department is $17 million more than the
enacted FY 2013 level.
Park Service: The measure provides $2.6 billion to the National Park
Service, $28 million (1%) more than the enacted FY 2013 level. The omnibus allocated $306 million for the
Land and Water Conservation Fund, a slight decrease from 2013, but
significantly more than the $0 that the House Interior Environment
Appropriations Subcommittee recommended in 2013.
Forest Service: The agreement
provides $5.5 billion for the Forest Service, which is $291 million (6%) over
the enacted FY 2013 level. The Urban and Community Forestry Program (U&CF)
received $28 million for FY 2014, a $2 million decrease from FY 2013.
Energy and Water
Army Corps of
Engineers: The Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for civil flood control, navigation and ecosystem
restoration projects. The omnibus spending proposal provides $5.5 billion for
the Corps’ operations, investigations and construction, $748 million more than
the FY 2013 sequester-reduced level. The measure also provides $28
million for training programs to prepare for and respond to floods, hurricanes
and other natural disasters, $1 million (4%) over the enacted FY 2013 level.
Programs: The bill provides $826 million for the Natural Resources
Conservation Service, which is in line with FY 2013 levels. These programs help farmers, ranchers, and
private forest landowners conserve and protect land.
Endowment for the Arts and the National
Endowment for the Humanities each received $146 million, equal to each
Endowment’s FY 2013 allocation.
Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission
— the bill provides $1 million for the Eisenhower Memorial Commission. The
memorial is slated to break ground this year near the National Mall, across the
street from the National Air and Space Museum, but the current design, by
architect Frank Gehry, is considered too grandiose by the Eisenhower family.
The agreement bans construction of a memorial through FY 2014.