Appropriations

FY 2020 Budget and Congressional Appropriations

Background

The Administration is expected to release its proposed budget by mid-March 2019.

On March 11, 2019, the Administration issued its FY 2020 budget proposal – A Budget for a Better America – calling for significant cuts for EPA.  In the budget proposal, the Administration recommends $6.1 billion for EPA, which is approximately $2 billion less than Congress appropriated in FY 2019 ($8.06 billion).  The Administration’s proposals for air program funding also include large reductions.  These include the following: $151.96 million for state and local air quality grants under sections 103 and 105 of the Clean Air Act, which is $76.2 million (33.4 percent) less than the $228.2 million Congress appropriated for FY 2019; $10 million for grants under the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program, for which Congress appropriated $87 million in FY 2019; nothing for Targeted Airshed Grants, for which Congress appropriated $52 million in FY 2019; and $10 million for Multipurpose Grants, for which Congress appropriated $11 million in FY 2019.  The proposal now goes to Congress, which must consider the recommendations and determine how much to appropriate for FY 2020.  See EPA’s “Budget-in-Brief” (for the discussion about air quality, see p. 19 of the document [p. 23 of the  PDF] and for the charts see p. 64 of the document [p. 68 of the PDF]).  See “A Budget for a Better America” (EPA’s section begins on page 93 of the document [p. 97 of the PDF version]) and the “President’s Budget.”

Key Actions

December 20, 2019 – President Trump signed P.L. 116-94 into law (H.R. 1865), which is the “Consolidated Domestic and International Assistance Bill.” Its passage just prior to the expiration on December 20, 2019 of the Continuing Resolution (CR) that has been providing federal funding in the absence of approved appropriations bills.   Funding for EPA, among other agencies, is included in H.R. 1865, which the House adopted on December 17 by a vote of 297 to 120 and the Senate adopted on December 19 by a vote of 71 to 23.  The bill calls for $228.2 million in state and local air quality grants under Sections 103/105 of the Clean Air Act, which is an increase of $8 million over FY 2019 levels.  The FY 2019 enacted level for state and local air grants was also $228.2 million; however, after EPA instituted agency-wide funding rescissions for FY 2019, the amount in Section 103/105 grants was reduced to $220.8 million.  Pursuant to the FY 2020 final bill, EPA will not rescind funds further; the bill amounts already reflect the rescissions Congress made to each account directly.  Therefore, the amount in the bill – $228.2 million – constitutes an $8-million increase over last year’s final amount.  The bill also calls for the following: $9.057 billion for EPA’s total budget – the FY 2019 enacted level was $9.06 billion ($8.85 after rescissions); $87 million for Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grants ; $56.3 million for Targeted Airshed Grants; $13 million for Multipurpose grants for states and tribes; and retention of PM fine monitoring grants under Section 103.  NACAA has prepared a comparison chartBill language (see p. 461 for language on PM Monitoring under Section 103 and p. 534 for livestock and manure management provisions).  Report language (see p. 40 for explanation of rescissions; p. 49 for information on DERA, Targeted Airshed and Multipurpose Grants; and p. 110 for information on Section 103/105 grants).

November 21, 2019 – President Trump signed an amendment to H.R. 3055, the ‘‘Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2020, and Further Health Extenders Act of 2019,” which will extend funding for the federal government at FY 2019 levels until December 20, 2019.  Since the fiscal year ended on September 30, 2019 and Congress has not yet adopted appropriations legislation to fund the federal government in FY 2020, the enactment of a Continuing Resolution was necessary to avert a shutdown of the federal government.

November 21, 2019 – NACAA sent a letter to the leadership of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees urging Congress to include in the final FY 2020 appropriations legislation the higher amount for state and local air quality grants that is contained in the House bill ($238.2 million), rather than the level funding called for in the Senate version of the legislation.  On June 25, 2019, the House passed H.R. 3055, which included $238.2 million for grants for state and local air pollution control agencies under Sections 103 and 105 of the Clean Air Act. On October 31, 2019, the Senate adopted its version of H.R. 3055, calling for $220.8 million (when adjusted for last year’s rescissions, the Senate amount constitutes level funding from FY 2019).  A Congressional conference committee must now reconcile the differences between the two pieces of legislation and present identical versions to both houses for passage.

October 31, 2019 – By a vote of 84-9, the Senate adopted H.R. 3055, a measure that consolidates four appropriations bills and provides FY 2020 funding for a variety of federal agencies, including EPA.  The bill, known as the “Commerce, Justice, Science, Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, Interior, Environment, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act, 2020,” incorporates the provisions to fund EPA contained in S. 2580, which the Senate Appropriations Committee approved on September 26, 2019. Since the House’s version of H.R. 3055 – adopted on June 25, 2019 – differs from the Senate’s, a House/Senate conference committee will be appointed to negotiate a single compromise bill that both houses of Congress must then adopt.

September 27, 2019 – President Trump signed H.R. 4378, the “Continuing Appropriations Act, 2020, and Health Extenders Act of 2019,” which continues federal funding at FY 2019 levels until November 21, 2019.   Since the fiscal year ended on September 30, 2019 and Congress has not yet adopted appropriations legislation to fund the federal government in FY 2020, the enactment of a Continuing Resolution was necessary to avert a shutdown of the federal government.

September 26, 2019 – The Senate Appropriations Committee approved S. 2580, legislation containing EPA funding for FY 2020, calling for $220.8 million in state and local air quality grants under Sections 103/105 of the Clean Air Act, which would be the same level of funding as was provided last year (and in recent years).  The FY 2019 enacted level for state and local air grants was $228.2 million; however, after EPA instituted agency-wide funding rescissions contained in the FY 2019 bill, the amount in Section 103/105 grants was $220.8 million.  This year, the Senate bill does not call for rescissions to be instituted by EPA but rather apportions the rescissions to each account directly.  The FY 2020 appropriations bill adopted by the House on June 25, 2019 (H.R. 3055) includes $238.2 million for Sections 103/105 and the Administration’s FY 2020 request was $151.96 million.  The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies approved the bill on September 24, 2019.  The bill subsequently approved by the full Appropriations Committee also includes the following: $9.01 billion for EPA’s total budget; $85.2 million for Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grants; $56.3 million for Targeted Airshed Grants; $24 million for Multipurpose grants for states and tribes; retention of PM fine monitoring grants under Section 103; and direction to EPA to allocate Section 105 funds using the same formula as FY 2015 and recommendation that EPA find additional funds for the areas with the highest need.  The report language provides additional information.

September 12, 2019 – NACAA sent a letter to the Chair and Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee reiterating NACAA’s recommendation that state and local air grants under Sections 103 and 105 of the Clean Air Act be increased to $310 million in FY 2020.

June 25, 2019 – The House adopted H.R. 3055, containing funding for EPA’s FY2020 budget. The provisions in the bill were the same as those approved by the House Appropriations Committee on May 22, 2019 (see earlier entry for details).

May 22, 2019 – The House Appropriations Committee marked up and approved the FY 2020 appropriations bill containing EPA funding, including an increase of $10 million in state and local air quality grants under Sections 103/105 of the Clean Air Act.  This would raise the total from $228.2 million in FY 2019 to $238.2 million in FY 2020.  The Administration’s FY 2020 budget proposal called for $151.96 million in state and local air grants.  During full committee mark-up, the total for the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program was increased by $5 million over the amount the Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies had approved during its mark-up on May 15, 2019, raising the level to $55 million (as compared to $87 million in FY 2019 and $10 million in the Administration’s FY 2020 request). As adopted by the full committee, the bill also calls for the following: $9.52 billion for EPA’s total budget (as compared to $8.85 billion in FY 2019 and $6.1 billion in the Administration’s FY 2020 request); $30 million for Targeted Airshed Grants (as compared to $52 million in FY 2019 and zero in the Administration’s FY 2020 request); and funding for fine particulate matter monitoring to remain under the authority of Section 103, rather than shifting to Section 105 (NACAA has asked Congress to retain this funding under Section 103 authority). Other provisions were not adopted during the mark-up, although several were introduced and voted down, including reductions to EPA’s enforcement budget and a requirement that EPA certify that regulations would not cause net job losses. Click here for Draft Report Language for FY 2020 Appropriations Bill (EPA section begins on page 75 and EPA charts begin on page 196).

May 6, 2019 – NACAA submitted written testimony to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies regarding FY 2020 appropriations.  NACAA’s testimony requests that Congress 1) increase federal grants to state and local air pollution control agencies by $82 million above FY 2019 levels, for a total of $310 million (i.e., $158 million above the Administration’s FY 2020 request); 2) provide flexibility to state and local air quality agencies to use any additional grants to address the highest priority programs in their areas; and 3) retain grants for monitoring fine particulate matter (PM2.5) under the authority of Section 103 of the Clean Air Act, rather than shifting it to Section 105.

March 18, 2019 – The Administration released its Congressional Justification for EPA’s budget for FY 2020.

March 18, 2019 – The Administration released its detailed budget estimates for EPA’s budget for FY 2020.

March 14, 2019 - NACAA submitted written testimony to the House Appropriations Subcommittees on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies regarding FY 2020 appropriations.  NACAA’s testimony requests that Congress 1) increase federal grants to state and local air pollution control agencies by $82 million above FY 2019 levels, for a total of $310 million; 2) provide flexibility to state and local air quality agencies to use any additional grants to address the highest priority programs in their areas; and 3) retain grants for monitoring fine particulate matter (PM2.5) under the authority of Section 103 of the Clean Air Act, rather than shifting it to Section 105.  Miles Keogh, NACAA’s Executive Director, provided similar testimony during the Subcommittee’s hearing on February 26, 2019.  

March 11, 2019 – The Administration has issued its FY 2020 budget proposal – A Budget for a Better America – calling for significant cuts for EPA. The budget recommends $6.1 billion for EPA, which is approximately $2 billion less than Congress provided in FY 2019 appropriations ($8.06 billion).  The budget proposal also calls for large reductions in air programs.  These include the following: $151.96 million for state and local air quality grants under Sections 103 and 105 of the Clean Air Act, which is $76.2 million (33.4 percent) less than the $228.2 million Congress appropriated for FY 2019; $10 million for grants under the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program, for which Congress appropriated $87 million in FY 2019; nothing for Targeted Airshed Grants, for which Congress appropriated $52 million in FY 2019; and $10 million for Multipurpose Grants, for which Congress appropriated $11 million in FY 2019.  The proposal now goes to Congress, which must consider the recommendations and determine how much to appropriate for FY 2020.  For further information, see https://www.epa.gov/planandbudget/fy-2020-epa-budget-brief (for the discussion about air quality, see p. 19 of the document [p. 23 of the  PDF] and for the charts see p. 64 of the document [p. 68 of the PDF]), https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-fy-2020-budget-proposal-releasedhttps://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/budget-fy2020.pdf (EPA’s section begins on page 93 of the document, which is page 97 of the PDF version) and https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/

February 26, 2019 – Miles Keogh, NACAA’s Executive Director, testified on behalf of the association at a hearing of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies regarding the FY 2020 budget for the Environmental Protection Agency.  NACAA’s testimony urged Congress to 1) increase federal grants to state and local air agencies by $82 million above FY 2019 levels, for a total of $310 million; 2) provide flexibility to these agencies to use any additional grants to address the highest priority programs in their areas; and 3) retain grants for monitoring fine particulate matter under the authority of Section 103.