$410 Billion Appropriations Bill ReleasedFebruary 23, 2009 - by Donny Shaw
Another day, another thousand-plus-page, several-hundred-billion-dollar piece of legislation drops. The House Appropriations Committee today released the full text of the $410 billion Omnibus Appropriation Act of 2009, which covers the nine federal agencies that were not funded under the normal appropriations process last year because of a standoff between Bush and Congress.
When added together with prior appropriations bills for defense, veterans, and homeland security, it breaks the trillion dollar mark for non-emergency appropriations —providing $1.012 trillion for 2009, a 6.7% increase over 2008.
On balance, the 6.7% rate of growth is relatively equal between domestic programs and more international security functions like defense and foreign aid. But that in itself is a major change from the Bush years, and some of the added domestic funding is to forestall cuts proposed by the former administration.
Some examples: Labor, health and education programs would grow by $6.7 billion over 2008; the Federal Transit Administration is promised $10.1 billion, $773 million over 2008. The Food and Drug Administration budget is increased to $2 billion, a $335 million increase. Reflecting higher food costs, the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program targeted to pregnant mothers is increased to $6.9 billion, $1.2 billion above 2008.
Like just about all appropriations bill, this bill is chock full of earmarks. You can find them listed on pages 194-404 of the Labor, HHS, Education section summary (.pdf), including information on who requested them in both the House and Senate. Lots of money for equipment and facilities at schools and hospitals, but definitely worth a look around to see if you can find anything that is particularly interesting. For example, here are a few of the earmarks my Rep., John Olver [D, MA-1], got in this year’s bill:
- Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, North Adams, MA for a collection of science materials for K-12 educators and professional development …$95,000
- Community Health Center of Franklin County, Inc., Turner Falls, MA for facilities and equipment for Health Facilities and Services
centers in Turner Falls, Orange, Buckland and Northfield …$238,000
- Holyoke Medical Cenler, Holyoke, MA for facilities and equipment …$143,000