Budget 2007: Where spending bills stand

Lawmakers will have their hands full when they return next month from the election recess.

Congress passed only two fiscal 2007 spending bills'for the Defense and Homeland Security departments'before adjourning until early November, meaning that lawmakers must approve several pieces of appropriations legislation authorizing key IT programs. The federal year started Oct. 1.

And although appropriations chairmen in the Senate and House promise to approve each spending bill separately'i.e., not through a massive 'omnibus' spending bill in December'even they realize they are facing a tight timeline.

Lawmakers took the first step by attaching a continuing resolution to the fiscal 2007 Defense Department spending bill'passed in late September'that will keep the government funded through Nov. 17.

Below is a summary of the remaining appropriations bills and key IT programs they fund:

Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies HR 5384

Status: The House approved this May 23; the Senate Appropriations Committee passed June 22

Major Issues:
  • House would reduce funding of Agriculture's Common Computing Environment to $38.4 million; the Senate would combine funding for CCE with other programs, totaling $89 million.

  • Under the House bill, USDA must get congressional approval to transfer capital funds to financial-management modernization and IT services. No funds for IT systems or upgrades without approval of CIO and Executive IT Investment Review Board.

Military Construction, Military Quality of Life and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act (House) HR 5385

Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act (Senate)

Status: House passed May 19; Senate Appropriations Committee passed July 20

Major Issues:
  • House would earmark $1.3 billion for VA's IT, while Senate committee recommended $1.25 billion.

  • Senate committee wants the HeatheVet-Vista electronic health records modernization implemented.

  • Senate committee directs VA to report to Congress on measures taken to improve IT security and encrypt VA personal data.

  • Senate committee directs VA to report on progress in IT reorganization within two months of enactment of spending bill.

  • Senate committee provides no funding for e-government and believes that as e-government funding requests increase, the usefulness for VA is decreasing. The House prohibits any e-government funding without their approval.

  • Senate committee directs VA to submit to Congress semi-annual progress reports on Financial and Logistics Integrated Technology Enterprise system.

Energy and Water HR 5427

Status: Senate Appropriations Committee passed the bill June 29; House approved bill June 20

Major Issues:
  • Senate would allocate $1.25 million for Energy to develop an IT vulnerability and risk management solution.

  • It recommends almost $696 million'$78 million above budget request'for advanced simulation and computing, including $60 million for purchasing a petaflop computing capability at Los Alamos National Laboratory and $28 million for simulation and code development. The House approved spending $635 million'$17.2 million more than requested'on advanced simulation and computing.

Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriation Bill, HR 5386

Status: Senate Appropriations Committee approved the bill June 29; House passed the bill May 18

Major issues:
  • House bill includes $113.7 million for enterprise information. The Senate panel recommended $105.9 million for enterprise information projects. The House sent $2 million more to improve the geospatial data program and the Geospatial One-Stop project. The Senate committee took a similar action, sending an additional $2.3 million for geographic research.

  • House bill provides $22.4 million for the Financial Business Modernization System'equal to the administration's request but below last year's level of $27.2 million.

  • Both the House and Senate bills would provide the Environmental Protection Agency $4.3 million for data and IT security expenditures.

Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, HR 5647, S 3708

Status: Passed by Senate Appropriations Committee July 20; passed by House Appropriations Committee June 13

Major issues:
  • House version includes some of the most restrictive language concerning e-government funding. Agencies would be required to submit a reprogramming request with operating plans; career officials would have to certify the accuracy of previous estimated savings and that the benefits of reprogramming funds would exceed the benefits of using them for their original purpose.

  • House would earmark $98 million for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, which is $36 million more than last year but $17 million below the administration's request. Of the $98 million, $11.9 million should be used for the development of the health IT network. Senate would give $63.2 million for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, which is $2 million above the 2006 level. Of that, $11.9 million should be used for the development of the health information technology network.

  • Senate also would give $50 million for health IT to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

  • House and Senate would give $22.7 million to modernize Medicare's fee-for-service claims processing and modernization of the data environment.

  • Senate version includes less restrictive language on e-government'requiring committee approval before Health and Human Services could transfer funds.

  • Labor would receive funding of $143.5 million for salaries and expenses, some of that for its E-FAST filing and acceptance system to better protect employee pension and health benefits. The House bill would appropriate $28 million for Labor's IT projects.

Science, State, Justice and Commerce Appropriations Bill, HR 5672

Status: Senate Appropriations Committee approved markup on July 13; House passed the bill June 29

Major issues:
  • Senate Appropriations Committee would provide $40 million for the Sentinel case management system, on top of $100 million in reprogrammed 2006 funds. By contrast, the House passed a $100 million increase for Sentinel on top of the reprogrammed funds. The Senate panel said it expects the FBI to use all means necessary, including legal action, to recover funds from the contractor for Sentinel's failed predecessor, the Virtual Case File system, and use that money to help pay for the new system. Science Applications International Corp. of San Diego was the prime contractor for VCF.

  • Senate panel provided $449.5 million for the Criminal Justice Information Services division'funds that will largely be provided by CJIS user fees to other law enforcement agencies and private-sector organizations. Within this appropriation, provided $50 million to fully fund the Next Generation Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System project and to partially fund the Automated Biometric Identification System/IAFIS interoperability project. The House bill provides $48.3 million for the systems integration project.

  • House approved a $125 million appropriation for the Justice Department's Information Sharing Technology account, which is $50 million below the administration's request. The Senate Appropriations Committee provided $100 million for the account, $23.4 million below last year's enacted level and $75 million below the budget request.

  • Senate panel provided $75 million for narrowband communications and the Integrated Wireless Network, down from $88.9 million last year. The House approved $89 million.

  • Senate committee eliminated e-government funding for all agencies in the bill, placing stricter limits on funding transfers.

  • Senate panel provided $4.4 billion for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an increase of $535.9 million over last year's enacted spending and $735.2 million above the administration's budget request. The House approved $3.4 billion for NOAA, a decrease of $508.3 million from last year.

  • n House version cuts $85 million from the $16.8 billion funding request for NASA; the Senate version cuts $35 million.
  • Senate version would give the Small Business Administration $600,000 in grants funding for software and technology that can detect criminal and terrorist activities in commercial transactions.

  • Senate bill also precludes SBA from using any funds for e-government unless agency officials get permission from Congress.

State and Foreign Operations, HR 5522

Status: Senate Appropriations Committee passed June 29; House passed June 9

Major Issues:
  • State and DHS must work together to implement a plan to require visitors to the United States to show a passport or other approved document, including the People Access Security Service card. DHS and State secretaries must ensure that the card's architecture meets the standards to use short-range or proximity radio frequency identification tags; that the technological infrastructure is in place to process the cards; that border patrol employees have been trained; and establish a single implementation date for sea and land borders.

  • The committee recommends $2.5 million for computer network security for the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq.

  • House recommends $10 million to be derived from fee collections for a pilot study on 10-print fingerprint standards.

Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development, the Judiciary, the District of Columbia and Independent Agencies (House),
HR 5576

Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development, the Judiciary and Related Agencies (Senate)

Status: Senate Appropriations Committee passed July 20; House passed June 14

Major Issues:
  • Senate committee urges Treasury to fix IT security weaknesses. Treasury is to provide a status report by March 1.

  • House would give the IRS $197 million for Business Systems Modernization; the Senate committee recommended $245 million.

  • Senate version proposes $34 million, the same as the House version, to support Treasury departmentwide systems and capital investment program, including Treasury Foreign Intelligence Network, Treasury Secure Data Network and e-government initiatives.

  • Senate committee directs advance approval for limited reprogramming of funds.
  • Senate bill grants the administration's $5 million request for the E-Government Fund, while the House bill slashed it to $3 million.

  • Both versions would provide $52.5 million for the General Services Administration's Office of Governmentwide Policy.

  • House version contains no funding for the Office of Personnel Management's Retirement Systems Modernization, which will automate OPM's retirement management program. The Senate version restored the project's full funding request of $26.7 million.

  • House allocated $1.4 million for OPM's Human Resources Line of Business project, while the Senate bill contained some harsh words about ensuring agencies have flexibility in providing HR needs to their employees.

  • Transportation Department's CIO office would receive $12.2 million in both versions of the bill.

  • The National Archives and Records Administration's Electronic Records Archives project would receive $48.8 million in the Senate bill and $45.4 million from the House.


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