Donald Trump signs appropriations ‘minibus’ into law, contains critical funding for Alabama

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President Donald Trump on Friday signed into law a second appropriations “minibus,” which includes critical funding provisions for Alabama.

H.R. 6157, is part of a larger package. It contains two critically important funding bills – Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), Education, and Related Agencies – which make up over half of the total discretionary budget.  The bill also contains a continuing resolution (CR) through December 7, 2018, for any appropriations bills not enacted before October 1, 2018.

Alabama U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and its subcommittee on defense, on Wednesday praised the President’s signing of the second Fiscal Year 2019 appropriations minibus  into law, which was supported by Congress with overwhelming margins.

“The signing of this legislation marks a drastic turnaround in the way we have funded the government in recent years.  As of today, 75 percent of the government is funded – on time and through an open, bipartisan process,” said Shelby. “This package continues a historic increase in funding for our nation’s defense, helping the President deliver on his commitment to rebuild the military and keep our Armed Forces the strongest and best trained, equipped, and prepared in the world.

Shelby continued, “The critical funding impacting Alabama in this measure highlights our strong national defense capabilities and showcases our ability to lead the charge in medical breakthroughs and groundbreaking research.  I am confident that this legislation will positively impact the lives of all Alabamians, and all Americans, and I hope we can continue down this path for the good of our nation.”

The enactment of the Fiscal Year 2019 Defense and Labor-HHS-Education minibus marks the first time that America’s military has been funded on time through regular order in a decade. It also marks the first time that the Labor-HHS-Education bill has been enacted on time since 1996. With the President’s signature, five appropriations bills have been signed into law this month and 75 percent (74.9) of the government will be funded on schedule.  This marks the most spending bills enacted on time since Fiscal Year 1997 – more than two decades ago.

Both the Department of Defense and Labor-HHS-Education bills contain critical funding for the state of Alabama.

Department of Defense funding

The legislation includes the following provisions impacting Alabama:

The legislation includes the following provisions impacting the production and use of missiles and helicopters in the Wiregrass region:

  • An additional $95 million for Future Vertical Lift research, which will help accelerate development of helicopters flown at Fort Rucker.
  • $10 million to upgrade Navy MH-60 Seahawk helicopters.
  • $1.0 billion for Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missiles.
  • $111 million for Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASMs). The measure also encourages the Navy to evaluate the capabilities and costs of a surface-launched LRASM.
  • $307 million for Joint Air-to-Ground Missiles (JAGMs).
  • $663 million for Joint Air-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSMs), which recently made its debut in strikes on Syria in response to their use of chemical weapons.
  • $484 million for Hellfire missiles, which are made in Troy and used for training at Fort Rucker.
  • $254 million for Javelin missiles for the Army and Marine Corps.

The legislation includes the following provisions impacting North Alabama:

  • Army Research – $11.1 billion for investments in transformational technologies to address modern and future Army warfighting needs.
  • Missile Defense – $10.4 billion for the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), including $1.1 billion to support urgent MDA unfunded priorities and emergent threats.  The measure included $191 million for Standard Missile Improvements, which are built in Decatur, and supports work done by MDA at Redstone Arsenal and many local companies.
  • Directed Energy – $184 million in additional funding to further develop directed energy technology and transition these activities to both offensive and defensive capabilities.
  • Hypersonics – $664 million in additional funding to support and accelerate offensive and defensive hypersonics research and prototyping efforts.
    • Cyber – $306 million in additional funding to expand and accelerate cyber research across the Department of Defense, including $127 million for Army cybersecurity research efforts and $116 million in Missile Defense Agency cybersecurity enhancements.  The bill encourages the enhanced use of cyber red teams to address cyber intrusions that threaten our weapons systems, an area of particular excellence for Huntsville.
    • Space – $200 million in additional funding for Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) development efforts to ensure assured access to space.  United Launch Alliance (ULA), which builds rockets in Decatur, continues to be seen as the most reliable and capable space launch provider.
    • Advanced Shipbuilding Capabilities – $15 million to establish North Alabama as a center for classified, high power large-scale electron beam welding.  This technology is critical to new Navy Columbia-class submarines and many high-performance aerospace systems such as hypersonic reentry vehicles, scramjet missiles, and rocket and jet engine turbomachinery.
    • Small Glide Munitions – An additional $15 million to integrate Small Glide Munitions onto on Unmanned Aerial Systems.  This highly successful weapon is used by Special Operations Command and built in Huntsville.

The legislation includes the following provisions impacting Anniston:

  • $276 million for Hydra rockets, which are built in Anniston and fired from Army and Marine Corps helicopters.

Funding for Army Vehicles which are overhauled and maintained at Anniston Army Depot (ANAD):

  • $2.5 billion to continue modernizing M1 Abrams tanks;
  • $393 million for Stryker vehicles, including an additional $94 million to support increased Stryker DVH A1 conversions;
  • An additional $110 million for Paladin Integrated Management artillery vehicles; and
  • $18 million in additional funding for M88A2 Hercules Improved Recovery vehicles.

The legislation includes the following provisions impacting Mobile’s shipbuilding industry:

  • Two additional Littoral Combat Ships (LCS).
  • One additional Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) ship.
  • An additional $700 million in Advance Procurement for LPD and LHA amphibious ships.

Labor, HHS, Education funding

The Labor HHS Education bill includes the following provisions impacting Alabama:

  • $39.084 billion, a $2 billion increase, for the National Institutes of Health.
    • Opioid Funding – $3.8 billion, an increase of $206 million above FY2018. This level includes $1.5 billion for the State Opioid Response grant in SAMHSA, replacing the sun-setting 21st Century CURES funds, and maintains 15 percent set-aside to the most impacted states and $50 million for Tribes. Additional funding includes:
      • $65 million increase for Community Health Center opioid efforts;
      • $50 million increase for Behavioral Health Clinics;
      • $500 million to continue NIH research related to opioids and pain management.  In addition, NIH will spend $774 million, a $58 million increase.
      • $440 million for the Charter Schools Program, an increase of $40 million.
        • $325 million for the Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education Program, an increase of $10 million. The President’s Budget proposed to eliminate this program.
        • $20 million for HRSA’s Delta States Rural Development Network Grant program, an increase of $6 million.  This level includes $8 million, an increase of $4 million, to help small rural hospitals improve financial and operational performance.
        • $317.79 million for HRSA’s Rural Health programs, an increase of $27 million.
        • $6.14 billion included for NIH’s National Cancer Institute, an increase of $186.9 million.
        • $22.8 million for poison control centers, an increase of $2 million.
        • $7.5 million for CDC Lupus Patient Registry, an increase of $1 million.
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