Bloomberg Tax
Dec. 20, 2022, 9:19 AM

Congress Plans Funding Boost, No Abortion Changes in Omnibus

Jack Fitzpatrick
Jack Fitzpatrick

Congress would boost federal discretionary spending, keep restrictions on funding for abortions, and trim Internal Revenue Service funds in a $1.7 trillion government funding bill released early Tuesday morning.

The 12-bill omnibus appropriations package would increase base military and domestic spending, add supplemental funding to aid Ukraine, and provide relief to areas affected by natural disasters. It would leave in place longstanding restrictions on federal funding for abortions and exclude measures proposed by Democrats to mitigate the effects of the US Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling.

The bill must be enacted by midnight Friday night to avoid a shutdown. Senators are poised to vote first, after the House sent a legislative vehicle meant to expedite consideration.

Enactment would give victories to military-focused Republicans who touted the bill’s $76 billion boost in defense funding, but would frustrate conservatives who called on the GOP to oppose any funding deal until they take control of the House in January. The package provides increases for many domestic priorities for Democrats, though they had to compromise on abortion policy riders.

Top Lines: The fiscal 2023 funding package includes $858 billion in defense spending, a $76 billion increase over the fiscal 2022 level, according to a Senate Appropriations Committee summary. It includes $772.5 billion in nondefense funds, which would be a $42.5 billion increase. A House Appropriations Committee document says the nondefense figure totals $800 billion — a difference that likely reflects non-base funds included in supplemental spending bills. Staffers for each committee didn’t respond to a request for clarification.

The measure would provide $118.7 billion for medical care under the Department of Veterans Affairs, a $21.7 billion increase, according to the committee summaries.

The bill would fund a 4.6% pay increase for military and civilian federal employees. Lawmakers blocked an automatic pay raise for themselves, which they’ve done each year since 2009.

Each of the 12 appropriations bills in the package would get increases, to varying degrees, according to the Senate Appropriations Committee summary.

Attachments: As the last major bill of 2022, the package is also an important legislative vehicle for other measures. It carries the Electoral Count Act (S. 4573), a bill to set a higher threshold for challenging presidential election results. Lawmakers also attached a bill to ban federal employees from using Chinese app TikTok on government-owned devices (S. 1143).

The measure also includes $44.9 billion in supplemental spending to aid Ukraine and $40.6 billion in disaster aid for areas affected by drought, hurricanes, and other natural disasters.

It does not include the $10 billion requested by President Joe Biden for Covid-19 and related health measures.

Lawmakers also excluded a series of tax provisions they discussed. Democrats pushed for an extension of the expanded child tax credit while Republicans sought an extension of research and development tax credits under the 2017 tax law. The omnibus also doesn’t include a bill (S. 910) to clear the way for banking services for cannabis-related businesses, which supporters had unsuccessfully sought to tack onto a larger legislative vehicle.

Abortion Policy Riders: The bill includes longstanding restrictions on abortion funding, despite Democrats’ previous attempts to ditch those measures. That includes the Hyde amendment, which bars federal funding for abortions, except in the case of rape, incest, or to save the life of the pregnant person. It also includes the Weldon amendment, which bars funds for state and local governments that don’t work with insurance plans that refuse to pay for abortions.

It excludes a Democratic proposal to bar the Justice Department from investigating or prosecuting people who cross state lines to access abortions.

Internal Revenue Service: The IRS would get a slight funding decrease for its regular budget, a small success for Republicans upset over the $80 billion provided to the agency outside of the usual appropriations process in Democrats’ tax, climate, and drug-pricing bill passed without Republican support earlier this year. The IRS would receive $12.3 billion, a $275 million cut from the fiscal 2022 level.

Border Security: Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee, told reporters Monday the bill doesn’t include as much as he wanted for border security needs relating to the end of Title 42 pandemic immigration restrictions.

“It’s going to be significantly less money than the administration requested to deal with the border, as a consequence of Republican demands,” Murphy said. “We all hope that it will be enough.”

The Homeland Security section of the package includes $6.4 billion for US Customs and Border Protection’s border security operations work, a $1.2 billion increase from fiscal 2022.

FBI Headquarters: The bill would direct the administrator of the General Services Administration to meet with representatives from Maryland and Virginia about the three possible sites for the FBI’s new consolidated headquarters. The measure is compromise language regarding a high priority for House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who plans to become the top Democrat on the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee, which funds GSA.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jack Fitzpatrick in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Sarah Babbage at; Giuseppe Macri at

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