Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Bill
The Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill provides $21.3 billion in discretionary budget authority, $556 million, or 3 percent, below the enacted FY14 levels and $2.3 billion, or 10 percent, below the president's request, a 10 percent decrease.
The bill includes $11.5 billion for the Department of the Treasury, $7.2 billion for the Federal judiciary, and $863 million for the Small Business Administration. The spending levels in the bill do not exceed the 302(b) allocations adopted by the Appropriations Committee, which are consistent with the overall spending level approved by the House in the Budget Resolution (H. Con. Res. 96) and the Bipartisan Budget Act.
Department of the Treasury. Most of the funding in the Treasury Department ($11.0 billion) is dedicated to the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS is funded at 3 percent below the 2014 level and 12 percent below the administration’s request. The apparent size of the rest of the Department is somewhat obscured by a large rescission of $750 million from the Treasury Forfeiture Fund, which according to the Committee report, will prevent the excess funds from creating “an incentive to pursue cases suspected of high valued forfeitures rather than to target individuals or organizations that perpetrate the worst crimes against society.” Without the one-time Forfeiture Fund rescission, funding for Treasury operations is $1.3 billion not including IRS funds. The bill also removes a transfer from the Federal Reserve System as the source of funding to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau beginning in FY 16 in order to increase congressional oversight of this regulatory agency. CFPB estimates that a transfer of over $580 million will be necessary to fund operations in FY 15.
Federal Judiciary. The bill provides $7.2 billion in funding for the federal court system, an increase of 11 percent above FY 14 levels and slightly below the President’s request. The funding provided will ensure continuation of all federal court activities, supervision of offenders and defendants, court security, and efficient processing of federal cases.
Small Business Administration. A total of $863 million is provided to the Small Business Administration by this bill. This represents a 7 percent decrease compared to FY 14 and is equal to the President’s request. The level is sufficient to support all expected loan activity and fully funds disaster loan implementation costs to ensure quick and efficient emergency loan response when natural disasters strike.
General Services Administration [GSA]. The large negative balances for the GSA reflect the rental income (from other Federal departments and agencies) on buildings that GSA owns. In addition, the bill provides funding for space consolidation and to dispose of surplus property as well as other oversight measures.
Executive Office of the President [EOP]. There are two main components within this category: staffing for the White House and closely related agencies, e.g. the Office of Management and Budget, and the federal drug control programs administered by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, which is administratively housed in the EOP. A total of $321 million is provided to the EOP by this bill which is 2 percent below FY 14 levels and 6 percent below the President’s request.
Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC]. The SEC collects fees in the course of its regulation of the securities markets. The proceeds of the fees (once appropriated) offset the cost of operating the agency with any excess in fees above operating cost being recorded as a savings on the bill. This bill provides $1.4 billion for operating the SEC, an increase of $50 million compared to the FY 14 amount. The increase in funding above FY 14 levels is specifically targeted towards information technology initiatives.