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Other domestic program funding.

On June 22, 2010, the Administration requested an additional $600 million for border security in response to concerns about a deteriorating security situation. (154) An earlier Administration request also included additional funding for the Capitol Police. The Administration did not request additional funding to prevent layoffs of teachers, law enforcement officers, and firefighters, or to provide additional financing for farmers, energy loans and Pell Grants to aid those affected by limited credit availability, or for mine safety, all matters of considerable congressional concern.

Congressional Action

In addition to the newly requested border security funding, the House Appropriations Committee the May HAC and June majority drafts include substantial funding not requested by the Administration primarily to prevent layoffs of teachers, law enforcement officials, and firefighters as well as provide additional Pell Grants, and to increase mine safety reviews and inspections in response to the recent mine accidents. Additional domestic funding totals $31 billion in the HAC May 26 draft and $14 billion in the June 25 draft (see Table 1).

Funds to Prevent Layoffs of Teachers, Law Enforcement Officers and Firefighters

The Administration did not request additional funds in FY2010 to prevent layoffs of teachers and other school staff, law enforcement officers, or firefighters. In letters to Congress, President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan emphasized the need for federal funds to prevent teacher layoffs, but a budget request for funds has not been made. (155)

Funds for Teachers (156)

The Senate-passed bill did not include funds to prevent teacher layoffs. The June majority leadership draft reduced the $23 billion in the May HAC majority draft to $10 billion estimated to reduce layoffs of school staff by 140,000 through a newly created Education Jobs Fund. (157) According to an estimate from the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) based on a survey of 1,479 school administrators in 49 states, about 275,000 teachers and school staff, including support personnel and administrators, are expected to be laid off in the 2010-2011 school year unless additional funding, like that provided in the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA), is provided this year. (158) If these layoffs were to occur, the AASA estimates that pupil-to-teacher ratios will increase from 15:1 to 17:1. However, there is mixed evidence to support the notion that lower class sizes leads to student academic achievement gains. (159)

Under the proposed Education Jobs Fund, funds would be distributed to state governors based on the same population-based formula used for the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund authorized through the ARRA. (160) Although the ARRA did not specifically target preventing teacher layoffs, funds were used for this purpose. To ensure that funds are available before schools open in the fall, the HAC majority draft bill would require the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to distribute funds to states within 45 days of enactment to states that had submitted applications for funding. To receive funds, each state would have to provide assurances that it would meet various maintenance of effort (MOE) requirements. (161)

Funds provided to governors to make grants to local educational agencies (LEAs) for the 2010-2011 school year would be distributed based on states' primary elementary and secondary funding formulae or LEAs' relative shares of funding provided through Title I-A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. (162) Funds received by LEAs could be used only for the following purposes:

* compensation and benefits and other expenses, such as support services, necessary to retain existing employees;

* on-the-job training as defined under Section 101(31) of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), which provides wage subsidies to employers for individuals in on-the-job training programs, for education-related careers; and

* hiring of new employees to provide early childhood, elementary, and secondary educational and related services.

Estimated state grant amounts under this program are included in Appendix Table B.

Of the $23 billion, $300 million would be reserved for grants to LEAs or for use by the Secretary of Education (163) to construct, renovate, repair, or expand the capacity or improve conditions in public elementary or secondary schools on military installations with priority given to schools with the most serious capacity or facility condition deficiencies.

Funds for Law Enforcement Officers (164)

The Senate-passed bill did not request FY2010 supplemental funding for hiring programs under the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office. (165) The June Majority leadership draft eliminated funding for the COPS program. (166) The May HAC majority draft bill proposes that $1.179 billion be appropriated for the COPS hiring program, in addition to the $298 million Congress appropriated for FY2010. That would bring total FY2010 funding to $1.477 billion, or almost four times more than the Administration's $298 million request for FY2010. According to the HAC majority draft report the additional funding would provide funding for the hiring or retention of an estimated 5,525 law enforcement officers. (167) For FY2009, Congress provided $1.0 billion for the hiring program as a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, 2009 (ARRA, P.L. 111-5), a level previously reached in FY1999. (168)

While the HAC proposed supplemental funding would help law enforcement agencies currently facing budget shortfalls to hire additional or retain current officers, this may provide only a temporary solution. If tax revenues do not rebound, states may again need to lay off officers. In addition, the proposed $1.179 billion might not be enough to meet the current demand for hiring funds in light of recent experience when COPS received over 7,200 applications requesting a total of $8.3 billion to pay for about 40,000 positions in response to the $1 billion provided in the ARRA. (169) The $1.0 billion in stimulus funding allowed COPS to award 1,046 grants for 4,699 positions. (170)

Funds for Firefighters (171)

The Senate-passed bill did not include money for firefighter hiring and retention. The HAC majority draft bill proposes that $500 million be appropriated to the Department of Homeland Security's Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program, (172) which provides grants to local fire departments to hire new firefighters and maintain current firefighter staffing levels (e.g. avoiding layoffs). The June majority leadership draft provided no funds for this program. (173)

Funding for SAFER was $210 million in FY2009, $420 million enacted in FY 2010, and $305 million requested in FY2011. Proponents of an additional $500 million for SAFER argue that budget shortfalls at the state and local level threaten to reduce firefighter staffing levels, posing a risk to local communities. Opponents argue that for FY2010, SAFER is already receiving the highest appropriation in its history, and that current funding should be viewed as appropriate in light of the need to reduce federal spending.

Agriculture and Energy Loans and Pell Grants

Congressional Action on Rural Housing and Agricultural Loans, Food and Forestry Programs (174)

In response to concerns about credit shortages, the Senate-passed version of H.R. 4899 includes $50 million and the May 26 HAC majority draft bill proposes an additional $250 million for the Department of Agriculture's rural housing Section 502 loan guarantee, the farm loan program, and TEFAP. These respond to the high demand for government loans because of lending constraints by banks since 2008, which have depleted regular appropriations for the rural housing program with more than 90% of appropriations for certain farm loan programs used by May 2010. Without supplemental appropriations, otherwise qualified loan applications from farmers or rural homebuyers may go unfunded for the rest of FY2010. (175)

For Section 502 rural housing loans, the Senate-passed bill raises the fees that banks pay for receiving loan guarantee and adds $697 million of loan guarantee authority, considerably below the $12 billion of additional loan guarantees at a cost of $173 million in the HAC majority draft version. These proposals would be in addition to the $12 billion in guaranteed loans and $1.1 billion in direct loans that are available from regular FY2010 appropriations.

For farm loans, the Senate-passed and HAC majority draft propose similar additional amounts for direct loans and loan guarantees for farm real estate and operating loans. The Senate provides $32 million to support $950 million of loans and guarantees, while the HAC Draft includes $27 million to support $850 million in loans and guarantees. These amounts would be in addition to $5.1 billion in loans and guarantees already available for FY2010.

For the regular FY2011 appropriation, the Agriculture Department is requesting $75 million for $1.2 billion of direct loans under Section 502, and a new fee structure to allow $12 billion of loan guarantees at no cost to the government. For the farm loan program, the FY2011 request is $151 million to support $4.7 billion of farm loans.

In other agricultural programs, the House draft bill includes $50 million for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) to purchase commodities for local food distribution networks, and rescinds $97 million from prior-year unobligated balances mostly in conservation programs. The Senate bill contains $18 million for a new emergency forest restoration program, and offsets $50 million by limiting outlays from a bioenergy program. (176)

Congressional Action on Department of Energy Loan Guarantee Program (177)

The Senate version of the supplemental bill did not request additional FY2010 funds for DOE's Loan Guarantee Program (LGP) but the May HAC majority and the June House leadership proposals both would appropriate $180 million to support innovative energy technology projects in the LGP. (178) Of that total, $90 million would support advanced nuclear power facilities and $90 million would support renewable energy and energy efficiency technology projects. (179)

The Director of the OMB requested that this funding be included in the supplemental bill in order to "accelerate our efforts to leverage private sector investment in clean energy projects," and said that DOE's FY2011 LGP request for $500 million for credit subsidy costs would be reduced by this $180 million, but the Administration has not submitted a budget request to do so. (180) The additional budget authority would allow up to three nuclear power plant LGP projects currently under review at DOE to "move forward to conditional commitment in 2010."

For FY 2011, DOE requests $36.0 billion in additional loan guarantee authority for nuclear power projects and $500 million in appropriated credit subsidy costs to support guarantees for innovative energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. DOE also seeks $58 million for administrative expenses in FY 2011, which it proposes to offset with an estimated $58 million in fee collections. The FY2010 appropriation for administrative expenses stood at $43 million. DOE states that it will also be offset with an estimated $43 million in fee collections.

The LGP was established in 2005 by P.L. 110-58 with the purpose of supporting innovative energy technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Aside from some initial funding to hire the first program staff, the Recovery Act (P.L. 111-5) provided the first real funding in FY2009 to support projects and it established job creation as a new purpose. The Recovery Act appropriated $6 billion solely for commercial renewable energy and related transmission projects--to be expended by the end of FY2011.

Congressional Action on Pell Grants (181)

The Senate version of H.R. 4899 does not include additional funds for the Federal Pell Grant Program. The May 26 HAC majority draft bill proposes that an additional $5.7 billion be appropriated to help cover a FY2010 shortfall, (182) estimated at $6.1 billion by CBO in March 2010 and driven primarily by higher unanticipated demand in the program due to an increase in college enrollment across all sectors of higher education and a weakened economy. The June 25, 2010, HAC Majority proposal includes $4.95 billion for Pell grants. (183) Updated estimates from CBO in April 2010, however, now reflect a funding surplus of $7.4 billion in the program as of FY2011 as a result of $13.5 billion in mandatory funds provided in the SAFRA Act as part of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (HCERA; P.L. 111-52) in March 2010. Therefore, it is not clear whether the additional $5.7 billion is needed as emergency supplemental appropriations, or whether it could be provided as part of the FY2011 annual appropriation. (184)

Current funding for the program in FY2010 totals $17.5 billion in discretionary funding for the base discretionary maximum award of $4,860 and indefinite mandatory appropriations to fund a $690 increase to the discretionary award amount. The $13.5 billion in mandatory funds provided in the SAFRA Act will be available the beginning of FY2011 and can be used to fund awards from prior years, including the estimated shortfall in FY2010. (185) In FY2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA; P.L. 111-5) and the FY2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act (P.L. 111-8) provided a combined discretionary and mandatory funding level of $35.7 billion.

The $5.7 billion emergency supplemental request appears to be the difference between the current FY2010 funding level and the additional amount required in FY2011 to maintain the current baseline discretionary maximum award level of $4,860. (186) In most years, additional funds required to maintain or increase the baseline discretionary maximum grant amount are provided in the annual appropriation, which for myriad reasons, is exceptionally large in FY2011. Furthermore, under current estimates, the program could again require an additional $7.8 billion in FY2012 over the FY2011 funding level to maintain the current baseline discretionary maximum award.

Authorized by Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), the Federal Pell Grant program is the single largest federal source of grant aid for postsecondary education attendance and is estimated to provide need-based grant aid to approximately 8.3 million undergraduate students in FY2010. (187) The program is funded primarily through annual discretionary appropriations, although mandatory appropriations play a smaller, yet increasing, role in the program.

Border Security Request (188)

Administration Request for Border Security Funds

In a June 22, 2010, budget amendment, the Administration requested an additional $600 million for border security along the Southwest Border of the United States, to be partially offset by rescinding $100 million in Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funds for the "virtual fence," which is currently undergoing a technical and cost review. The Administration requested that the remainder be designated as emergency requirements. Of the total, $399 million would be for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and $201 million would go to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Within the DHS total, $297 million would be used to hire 1,000 new Border Patrol agents, $37 million for two new unmanned aerial detection systems, $53 million for 160 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, $6.5 million for 30 new Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officers, and $6 million for 20 new CBP canine teams to improve border enforcement operations along the Southwest border.

The $201 million of DOJ funding would increase the presence of Federal law enforcement in the Southwest border districts by adding seven Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) Gunrunner Teams, five FBI Hybrid Task Forces, additional Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents, equipment, operational support, and additional attorneys and immigration judges and to support additional detention and incarceration costs for criminal aliens in coordination with DHS enforcement activities. The amendments would also provide funding to support Mexican law enforcement operations with ballistic analysis, DNA analysis, information sharing, technical capabilities, and technical assistance. (189)

Congressional Action on Border Security

Comparing the two border security proposals, the Administration's request proposes $600 million or $77 million less than the May 26, 2010, HAC draft bill for funding border security activities. The June House leadership draft includes $701 million for border security, $100 million more than the request. (190) The Administration requests $201 million to DOJ for border security efforts, largely for more law enforcement personnel, funds not included in the HAC majority draft bill. Rather, the draft bill would put funds towards supporting state and local law enforcement through Operation Stonegarden (distributed through FEMA), as well as towards funding the deployment of 1,200 National Guard troops at the southwest border. The Administration has begun to deploy these troops but did not include funding in its request. Generally, CBP would get $16 million more and ICE would receive $23 million less under the HAC draft bill than the Administration request. Also, the Administration's request would provide 200 less Border Patrol agents and 470 fewer CBP officers than the HAC draft bill.

Congressional Action on Other Funding

The HAC majority draft bill also recommended $48 million mine safety funding, above the request, while the June majority leadership draft included $22 million.
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Title Annotation:FY2010 Supplemental for Wars, Disaster Assistance, Haiti Relief, and Other Programs
Publication:Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports and Issue Briefs
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2010
Words:2780
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