White House Seeks Protections for DOD in New Anomalies List

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By Cheryl Bolen and Nancy Ognanovich

Nov. 23 — The White House Office of Management and Budget forwarded a new set of 34 budget anomalies to Capitol Hill that includes provisions designed to ensure that the Defense Department is adequately funded in the event Congress fails to enact a final Defense authorization bill during the lame-duck session next month.

Anomalies, typically included in continuing resolutions, mostly amount to changes that are necessary to allow programs to continue functioning. But some also are extensions of programs that are due to expire.

The administration listed the anomalies required for a fiscal year 2017 CR through March. The list also assumes that all of the anomalies included in the first CR through Dec. 9 (Pub. Law No. 114-223) will be retained.

“Any and all anomaly requests will be thoroughly considered by the committee,” a spokeswoman for the House Appropriations Committee said in an e-mail to Bloomberg BNA.

Working on CR

To date, only one of the regular appropriations bills has been presented to President Barack Obama for his signature. The Military Construction and Veterans Affairs bill was tucked into a continuing resolution (H.R. 5325) to fund the rest of the federal government.On Nov. 17, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said Republican leaders had decided not to move forward with any more regular spending bills in 2016.

Since then, the committee has been working on a CR at the current rate of funding to extend the operations of government through March 31, 2017.

The OMB asked for House and Senate appropriators to include in the new CR development authorities for many DOD programs, including those to continue federal employee health benefits, ensure military construction new starts, and ensure special military pay and bonuses if it appears the House and Senate won’t be able to pass a final DOD authorization bill this year. The latter has been held up over a dispute about the Pentagon’s money for overseas operations.

Those provisions are on top of many other requests for programs throughout the federal government, including extra funds for the Department of Homeland Security to respond to surges in migration and the Department of Health and Human Services to respond to a greater demand for refugee assistance.

Export-Import Bank

In addition, the OMB is asking anew for up to $1 billion for a sovereign loan guarantee to Iraq to help combat the Islamic State. It also is asking Congress to change the quorum requirement at the Export-Import Bank that is seen as contributing to the bank’s inability to approve large loans.

Specifically, the administration is seeking to extend through the next three fiscal years, until Sept. 30, 2019, language that would allow the board of directors of the Ex-Im Bank to take official actions without a quorum present.

Under current law, a quorum of three board members is needed to approve transactions of more than $10 million; however, since the Republican-controlled Senate has not approved the president’s nominee to the bank, the board has been comprised of only two members since December 2015.

Another request by the administration was language to provide a rate for operations of $268 million for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. This anomaly would allow the commission to operate during the period of the CR at a rate necessary to maintain current services, it said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Cheryl Bolen in Washington at cbolen@bna.com; Nancy Ognanovich in Washington at nognanovich@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Hendrie at pHendrie@bna.com

For More Information

The full list of requested anomalies can be viewed here.

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