House Approves Appropriations Package Critical to New Jersey

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House of Representatives gave bipartisan approval to the Conference Report to H.R. 6157, the Department of Defense, and the Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019.  This Conference Report, introduced by Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen, Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, includes funding for the Departments of Defense (DOD), Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS) and Education (DOE), as well as, a number of additional agencies. The House passed the measure by a vote of 361 to 61, sending the bill to the President’s desk.

“This legislation fully supports our warfighters and their families, and continues our efforts to rebuild our Armed Forces. When this bill is signed into law, it will mark the first time in over 20 YEARS that the Department of Defense will have its full yearly appropriation prior to the end of the fiscal year. In addition, the legislation funds critical Health and Human Services (HHS) programs that will protect and save lives both now and in the future. The bill includes investments in vital National Institutes of Health (NIH) research to cure diseases, job training, college preparation, special education, combatting opioid abuse, and protections against pandemics and bio-threats,” said Frelinghuysen.

This package also includes a short-term “Continuing Resolution (CR),” which provides continued funding to keep the federal government operating through December 7 until all yearly Appropriations funding bills can be signed into law.

Notably, with the completion of this package, Congress will have approved $1 trillion or 75% of all annual discretionary funding prior to the end of the fiscal year – a critical step in returning to the regular federal funding process, and an achievement that has not occurred in twenty-two years.

The Conference Report includes many provisions that are important to New Jersey residents!

Department of Defense

The legislation boosts funding for our Armed Forces to $674.4 billion, an increase of $17.0 billion above the FY 2018 enacted level.  The bill also provides $67.9 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO)/Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) funding for operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. More specifically, the legislation:

Includes $143.2 billion for Military Personnel and Pay to provide for 1,338,100 active-duty troops and 817,700 National Guard and Reserve troops, fully funding the requested 16,400 additional personnel, and the 2.6 percent pay raise.

Contains new funding to allow scientists, engineers and technicians at Picatinny Arsenal, the DoD Joint Center of Excellence for Armaments, to accelerate their urgent work to ensure that our weapons systems overmatch those of our adversaries, including over $300 million in funding to the Armaments Research Development Engineering Center (ARDEC) which assists Army, Navy and Special Operations programs.

Provides $148 billion for equipment procurement, including $2.3 billion to procure another 15 KC-46 Pegasus aircraft – the new airborne tanker that will be stationed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, beginning in FY 2021.

Provides an additional $10 million to allow the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) to hasten their critical work of recovering the remains of military personnel lost in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War and on the Korean Peninsula.

Maintains an increased special account used by the National Guard and Reserve to procure equipment to maintain readiness in key weapon systems and help close equipment interoperability gaps with the active Army and Air Force.  The National Guard Reserve Equipment Account (NGREA) is funded at $1.3 billion, up significantly from two years ago.

Supports Israel by providing $300 million for U.S.-Israel missile defense cooperation and $47 million for U.S.-Israel counter-tunnel cooperation.

Increases funding formilitary readiness programs that ensure our troops are prepared for their missions by providing $243 billion, an increase of $5.4 billion for more training, maintenance, and base operations.

Replenishes our military might by providing $148 billion for equipment procurement, including 13 Navy ships (including 2 Virginia-class submarines), 93 F-35 aircraft, 24 F/A/-18E/F Super Hornets, 18 C-130J aircraft, 58 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, 66 AH-64 Apache helicopters, 10 P-8A Poseidon aircraft and 13 V-22 aircraft.

Includes $125 million for traumatic brain injury and psychological health research, and $318 million for sexual assault prevention and response. All of these funding levels exceed the President’s budget request.

Labor-Health and Human Services

The bill provides $178 billion in discretionary funding for programs within the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and other related agencies. The bill targets investments in medical research, public health, biodefense, education, and important activities that help promote job readiness.  More specifically, the legislation:

Increases National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding by $2 billion to a total of $39.1 billion, supporting research at universities throughout New Jersey, such as 2018 grantees St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, Atlantic Health System in Morristown, Kessler Foundation in West Orange, and Montclair State University.  The bill contains a targeted increase of $100 million at NIH to support the Cancer “Moonshot” which increases support for New Jersey’s only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and provides:

$2.34 billion, a $425 million increase, for Alzheimer’s disease research.

$429 million, a $29 million increase, for the Brain Research through Application of Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative.

$376 million, an $86 million increase, for the All of Us research initiative, a historic effort to gather data on over 1 million people.

$140 million, an increase of $40 million, for research to develop a universal influenza vaccine.

$550 million, an increase of $37 million, for research on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria.

$12.6 million for the Gabriella Miller “Kids First” pediatric cancer research initiative.


Directs historic levels of funding, over $6.6 billion to programs across the bill to fight the opioid abuse crisis, felt by many communities throughout New Jersey.

Provides $10.1 billion for Head Start, a $200 million increase, supporting local Head Start programs.

Increases the maximum “year round” Pell Grant award by $100 to $6,195 to assist students attending colleges and universities throughout our state.

Supports senior nutrition programs by providing $907 million, of which $251 million is for Meals on Wheels.

Contains $1.5 billion for Community Health Centers.  These health centers, such as the Zufall Health Centers in Dover, Morristown, West Orange, Flemington, Hackettstown, Newton, Somerville, provide care to underserved communities in every county of New Jersey including Essex, Morris, Passaic, and Sussex.

Includes $3.7 billion forLow Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This vital program helps low income families afford heating and energy services. The President's budget sought to eliminate this program.

Provides a total of $12.1 billion in discretionary appropriations for the Department of Labor (DOL), supporting robust funding for job training programs and funding for labor enforcement and benefit protection agencies.

Contains $300 million for Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS), which is $5 million above FY 2018 level. This includes $50 million for the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program and $3.5 million for a new initiative to connect transitioning service members to apprenticeship opportunities.

Supports first-generation college students prepare for, enter, and complete college by increasing funding to TRIO and GEAR UP programs by $50 million and $10 million, respectively, bringing TRIO programs to a total of $1.06 billion and GEAR UP to a total of $360 million.

Supports special education  by including $12.4 billion for IDEA special education grants to states, an increase of nearly $87 million,  to ensure students with disabilities have access to free and appropriate public education

Includes $1.9 billion for Career, Technical and Adult Education programs, an increase of nearly $95 million, to prepare our workforce for high-skilled and high-demand jobs.