Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022: What's in It, What's Not

$1.5 trillion, plus $13.6 billion in aid for Ukraine

Congress approved the massive FY 2022 $1.5 trillion omnibus spending package that also includes $13.6 billion in military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine on Thursday, March 11, 2022. The legislation moved at the congressional version of warp speed, passing the House late Wednesday, less than a day after it was introduced, and clearing the Senate 24 hours later. The 2,741-page bill was signed by President Biden on March 15.

The House conducted two separate votes late Wednesday, approving the military spending portion by a vote of 361-69 and, a few minutes later, approving the non-defense part by a vote of 260-171. The Senate passed the bill in bipartisan fashion, 68-31.

$13.6 billion

The amount of combined military and humanitarian aid being provided to Ukraine

Passage of the legislation came after months of delay and three temporary continuing resolutions (CRs) designed to keep the government afloat until legislators could agree on a final product. Congress was up against a midnight March 11 deadline before a government shutdown was set to occur.

The $1.5 trillion Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) 2022 contains $730 billion in non-defense spending, a 6.7% increase over FY 2021 appropriations, and $782 billion in defense spending, a 5.6% jump from the previous fiscal year. While the $1.4 trillion 2021 spending bill included an additional $900 billion in end-of-the-year COVID-19 funding, legislators removed $15.6 billion in COVID-19 funding from the FY 2022 legislation.

Key Takeaways

  • On March 11, 2022, Congress passed a $1.5 trillion omnibus spending package to fund the government through September 2022.
  • The legislation contains a separate amount of $13.6 billion in humanitarian and military aid for Ukraine.
  • COVID-19 relief funding was removed when agreement could not be reached on offsetting the cost with previously approved but unspent funds.
  • The bill contains $730 billion in non-defense spending and $782 billion in defense appropriations.
  • Funding is provided for 12 appropriation bills that make up the federal budget.

COVID-19 Relief Removed from the Bill

Language to provide additional COVID-19 relief was removed from the bill after House Democrats objected to language that would partially offset that $15.6 billion appropriation with unspent relief funds. Democrats said they hoped to pass a stand-alone bill to provide COVID-19 relief funding.

In a Dear Colleague letter sent March 9, Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated that COVID-19 relief funding would be removed from the omnibus legislation due to Republican demands that the funding be offset in part by reclaiming unspent funds allocated to states.

What's in the Legislation

The Consolidated Appropriations Act 2022 consists of 12 annual appropriation acts, Divisions A-L of the bill, along with the aid to Ukraine mentioned previously, and a number of other legislative actions such as extending the National Flood Insurance Program, reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, and retaining the Hyde Amendment which prohibits the use of federal funds to cover abortion services for people on Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

$13.6 Billion in Aid to Ukraine

The budget delivers nearly $14 billion in emergency humanitarian and military funding to help address the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and shore up the country’s defense against Russia. The Biden Administration originally requested $10 billion but bipartisan support and pleas for additional help from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenski, resulted in a $3.6 billion increase.

Division A—Agriculture-Rural Development-FDA $234.2 Billion

The 2022 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies funding bill provides $234.2 billion for both discretionary and mandatory programs. Following up on 2021's bipartisan infrastructure bill investment of $65 billion in broadband access, this year's budget adds $4 billion to that total.

Additional spending will go toward basic utility infrastructure including for rural water and waste program loans, safe drinking water, and sanitary waste disposal systems. Other areas include expanded access to fruits and vegetables for the WIC program, expanded benefits for the SNAP program, ensuring equitable participation in USDA programs, and $78.3 million dedicated to addressing the impacts of climate change.

Division B—Commerce-Justice-Science $75.8 Billion

The 2022 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies funding bill provides $75.8 billion in funding, including resources for victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence as part of the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which was last authorized in 2019.

Division B funding also creates jobs in distressed communities with support for small businesses, including small- and medium-sized American manufacturers, provides support for local law enforcement, bolsters police and criminal justice reform, and expands gun-violence prevention efforts. Additionally, help for the climate crisis is provided by funding research at NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Science Foundation.

Division C—Defense $728.5 Billion

For 2022, the Consolidated Appropriations Act authorizes $728.5 billion in discretionary spending, up $32.5 billion from fiscal 2021. This funding includes a 2.7% pay increase for all active-duty troops.

Defense funding for FY 2022 also includes the elimination of the Overseas Contingency Operations budget loophole, provides funding to counter China by protecting a free and open Indo-Pacific, provides Department of Defense personnel with a guaranteed minimum wage of $15 per hour, and invests in clean energy and climate adaptation to protect facilities, readiness, and global security.

Gender-based violence receives attention, with funding to tackle sexual assault and a requirement that DoD report on extremist activities. The budget also includes $300 million for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative and $300 million for allies and partners in the region, including $180 million for the Baltic Security Initiative, $30 million for Poland, $30 million for Romania, $20 million for Bulgaria, and $40 million for Georgia.

Division D—Energy and Water Department $54.97 Billion

The 2022 Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies funding bill provides $54.97 billion, an increase of $3.2 billion above fiscal year 2021. This bill also creates jobs with a focus on deploying clean energy technologies and the green jobs of tomorrow in communities across the country, includes more than $14 billion of investments in clean energy and science, and funds rebuilding water infrastructure to protect from storm damage and drought

Division E—Financial Services & General Government $25.5 Billion

The 2022 Financial Services and General Government funding bill includes $25.5 billion, an increase of $1.1 billion over 2021. The bill assists small businesses and entrepreneurs through the Small Business Administration (SBA) and Community Development Financial Institutions.

Monies are also provided for Election Security Grants that ensure the integrity and safety of elections, as well as funds to help the Internal Revenue Service crack down on corporations and wealthy taxpayers who aren't paying their fair share of taxes and to provide better customer service to working families navigating the tax system. Additional funding is provided for consumer protection activities at the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Federal Trade Commission.

Division F – Homeland Security $57.5 Billion

The 2022 Homeland Security funding bill provides $57.5 billion after offsetting collections and excluding major disaster funding. This is $5 billion above the budget request and $5.6 billion above the FY2021 enacted level. More than $23 billion will go to two federal agencies that oversee immigration: Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Border Protection (CBP).

Funding also includes an increase in support for critical physical infrastructure to help prevent cyberattacks, and other measures to root out cyber intrusions. This division also invests in maritime security through operational funding and investment in new fleet assets for the Coast Guard. Finally, significant investments are being made in border security to improve migrant processing and reduce backlogs in refugee, asylum, and immigration benefit applications

Division G – Interior-Environment $38 Billion

The 2022 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, includes $38 billion, an increase of $1.893 billion over the 2021 enacted level. The legislation creates jobs through investments in renewable energy development, including offshore wind, and a national initiative to reclaim abandoned mines and cap orphan oil and gas wells.

Environmental enforcement is expanded with renewed focus on land and water conservation. Native American families will receive additional educational and healthcare programs. Funds will also be expended to address pollution in communities of color.

Division H – Labor-HHS-Education $213.6 Billion

The 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies funding bill provides $213.6 billion, an increase of $15.3 billion—7.7%—above 2021. This includes increasing the maximum Pell Grant by $400 and the authorization of $363 million in funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). In total, the bill provides $24.6 billion in funding for federal student aid programs.

The bill provides expanded funding for the the National Institutes of Health, and includes funding to establish the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health. This also includes funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and for state and local governments to strengthen infrastructure and capacity

Division I – Legislative Branch $5.925 Billion

The 2022 legislative branch funding bill appropriates a total of $5.925 billion, an increase of $625 million or 11.8%, over 2021. The bill strengthens legislative branch capacity by increasing funding for Congressional offices by 21% so they can recruit and retain a talented and diverse workforce.

Legislative branch funding builds on the Emergency Security Supplemental Appropriations Act passed in July in response to the January 6 attack. Funds are authorized to secure the United States Capitol, improve training, and bolster wellness support for Capitol Police. Also included is an increase in funding for internships to support more interns from working- and middle-class families.

Division J – Military Construction & Veterans Affairs $284.6 Billion

The 2022 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill provides $284.6 billion, an increase of $32.7 billion—more than 13%—above 2021. Of this amount, discretionary funding for programs such as Veterans’ healthcare and military construction totals $127.6 billion, an increase of $14.4 billion above 2021.

The legislation supports veterans with investments in healthcare, including targeted investments that advance women's health, mental health, and homelessness assistance. It rebuilds infrastructure with construction of critical facilities on military installations including family housing and child-development centers, and building, repairing, and retrofitting Veterans Affairs facilities.

Investments in national security respond to challenges posed by Russian and Chinese aggression while increased climate change and resiliency funding helps military installations adapt to rising sea levels and worsening natural disasters. Additional funding remediates harmful substances and chemicals leaked into the land and into water sources.

Division K – State and Foreign Operations $56.1 Billion

The 2022 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations bill includes funding of $56.1 billion, $595 million above 2021. In addition, the legislation includes $6.8 billion in humanitarian, economic, and security assistance for Ukraine, other countries affected by the situation in Ukraine, and other assistance to vulnerable populations and communities, and $5 billion to enhance the global COVID response.

This legislation also includes $9.83 billion to support the health of families and communities around the world, a $634 million increase over FY2021. It includes substantial investments in global health security to prevent future pandemics through both bilateral and multilateral mechanisms and provides an additional $5 billion to enhance the global COVID response.

It provides $6.8 billion in humanitarian assistance to address historic levels of global displacement and humanitarian need resulting from natural disasters, conflict, and the pandemic, and to rebuild the U.S. Refugee Admissions program. It recommends more than $1.5 billion to address the climate crisis and other environmental issues. Additional funds support women’s health globally by preserving funding for bilateral family planning and reproductive health at $575 million and a U.S. contribution to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) of $32.5 million.

Division L – Transportation-Housing & Urban Development $81 Billion

The 2022 Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies funding bill provides funding of $81 billion, an increase of $6.4 billion—more than 8%—above 2021. This includes a discretionary increase of $4 billion for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and $1.6 billion for the Department of Transportation (DOT). In total, the bill provides $157 billion in budgetary resources, an increase of $20.3 billion above 2021.

The just passed legislation helps rebuild infrastructure with significant investments in airports, highways, transit, passenger rail, and port systems and fully implements investments in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Funding is provided for up to 25,000 new housing-choice vouchers targeted to individuals and families experiencing or at risk of homelessness and more than 4,000 new units for older people and those with disabilities. Support for vulnerable populations includes public housing safety, maintenance and improvement investments, such as the remediation of lead paint and radon.

What Does the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022 Do?

The Act provides funding for U.S. government operations through September, 2022. This includes spending authorizations for 12 separate bills that cover all executive branch departments—Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs.

What Time Period Does the Consolidated Appropriations Act Cover?

The federal budget begins Oct. 1 of one year and ends Sept. 30 of the following year. This is known as the federal government fiscal year (FY) budget. For example, the FY 2022 budget runs from October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022.

Which Division of the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2022 Has the Largest Budget?

Unsurprisingly, Division C—Defense, has the biggest budget at $728.5 billion. In fact, total defense spending for FY 2022 adds up to $782 billion when including defense authorizations from other divisions.cThe smallest allocation by division is in the 2022 Legislative Branch funding bill, which appropriates a total of $5.925 billion.

Article Sources

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