Democrats Are Celebrating These Conservative Policies Not Being in Omnibus Spending Bill
Philip Wegmann /
Democrats are claiming they scored significant policy victories in the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill.
Hours after the mammoth spending bill dropped, Democrats are counting their triumphs, outlining conservative policy riders and priorities that were not included in the final spending bill.
A top Democratic Senate aide summed it up in a single tweet. Adam Jentleson, Minority Leader Harry Reid’s deputy chief of staff, wrote:
In addition to nixing more than 150 GOP riders, the final agreement will secure major progressive policy successes. https://t.co/uATj5i9R8Q
— Adam Jentleson (@AJentleson) December 16, 2015
Reid credited Democrats for working to help craft a “good compromise.”
The omnibus deal isn’t perfect, but a good compromise for the American people. It could have been a lot worse if it weren’t for our efforts.
— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) December 16, 2015
Early Wednesday morning, the Democrats of the House Appropriations Committee released a summary detailing Republican provisions left out of the bill.
Below is their list of policy riders and provisions that were not included in the bill:
- The omnibus does not include a House provision allowing thousands of unregulated tobacco products to escape full FDA [Food and Drug Administration] review. The House provision would have exempted e-cigarettes, little cigars, cigarillos, hookah, cigars and other products from the Tobacco Control Act’s pre-market review requirement, allowing products to escape regulations and requirements that Congress enacted to protect the public health from the nation’s leading preventable cause of death.
- The omnibus does not include proposed language pre-empting state laws on the labeling of genetically modified foods.
- The omnibus does not include the “GIPSA rider” stopping implementation of a USDA [U.S. Department of Agriculture] rule protecting poultry farmers from strong-arm tactics of the processing industry (featured by John Oliver on HBO’s “Last Week Tonight.”
- The omnibus does not include a House provision limiting recommendations contained within USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Commerce, Justice, Science
- House provision prohibiting funding to facilitate or promote exports to the Cuban military or intelligence service, its officers, or the immediate families of the officers.
- House provision prohibiting funds from the Department of Justice to defend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy in the pending court case.
- House provision prohibiting funding to negotiate or finalize a trade agreement that includes provisions relating to L-1 visas.
- House provision prohibiting Justice grant funding for so-called “sanctuary cities.”
- House provision prohibiting funding for trade agreements establishing a limit on greenhouse gases.
- House provision prohibiting funding for certain climate-focused studies, reports, and plans.
- House provision prohibiting funding for implementation of the National Ocean Policy executive order.
- House proposal to make permanent the one-year provision restricting the federal government from prohibiting imports of curios and relics.
- House proposal to make permanent the one-year provision restricting the federal government from requiring licenses for Canada gun exports less than $500.
- House proposal to make permanent the one-year provision restricting the federal government from denying shotgun imports on the grounds they are not suitable for “sporting purposes,” if such imports have not previously been denied.
- House proposal to make permanent the one-year provision restricting the federal government from facilitating the transfer of a firearm to a known or suspected agent of a drug cartel (“Fast and Furious” provision).
- House provision preventing the Department of Justice from requiring federal firearms licensees to report on the sale of multiple long guns to the same person.
- House provision restricting the federal government from treating ammunition as “armor piercing,” except for handgun ammunition.
- House provision allowing funding to process applications for individual relief from firearms disabilities, a reversal of a funding prohibition that has been in place since 1993.
- Democratic proposal to block firearms sales to individuals on terror watch lists.
Energy and Water
- The omnibus does not include language from the House bill allowing firearms to be carried on all Corps of Engineers land.
- The omnibus does not include a House provision prohibiting the Corps of Engineers from clarifying the definition of navigable waters as directed by the Supreme Court of the United States.
- The omnibus does not include a House proposal regarding California’s drought, which was opposed by California’s senators.
- The omnibus maintains current law prohibiting the Corps of Engineers from requiring permits for certain agricultural practices.
Financial Services and General Government
- Prohibiting funds to subsidize abortion services in connection with a multi-state plan offered under the Affordable Care Act exchanges negotiated by OPM [Office of Personnel Management].
- Prohibiting funds to implement the Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual mandate and prohibiting HHS [Department of Health and Human Services] transfers to IRS for ACA implementation.
- Prohibiting funds for the implementation or enforcement of the District of Columbia’s Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act.
- Prohibiting the implementation of the net neutrality order until the current court cases are resolved.
- Prohibiting the FCC [Federal Communications Commission] from regulating rates of either the broadband or wireless internet providers.
- Changing the process by which FCC passes regulations.
- Prohibiting funds to prevent a financial institution from engaging in commercial activities with entities producing or selling marijuana in states where it is legal.
- Prohibiting funds for the president to sign signing statements, executive orders, or presidential memoranda that abrogate legislation passed by the Congress.
- Prohibiting funds for the Consumer Product Safety Commission to implement, finalize, or enforce the proposed rules on voluntary recalls and 6(b) public disclosures of information.
- Prohibiting funds that would allow any financial transactions with an entity owned or controlled by the Cuban military and intelligence agencies, any employee thereof, or any immediate family member of such employee to occur.
- Prohibiting travel to Cuba for educational exchanges not involving academic study pursuant to a degree program.
- Prohibiting the importation of property confiscated by the Cuban government.
- Provisions related to opening trade and travel with Cuba and report language on agricultural commodities sales.
- Making the budgets of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Office of Financial Research (OFR) subject to the appropriations process starting in FY 2017.
- A provision making it more difficult for the Financial Stability Oversight Council to designate nonbanks as systemically important financial institutions.
- Removing limits on party expenditures in public communications.
- Changing the management structure of the CFPB and forcing it to revisit its rules on arbitration.
- Prohibiting the Department from enforcing guidance for U.S. positions on multilateral development banks engaging with developing countries on coal-fired power generation.
- The reauthorization of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (school vouchers), but does include changes to accreditation requirements for participating schools.
- […]The omnibus does not include a House provision related to the expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program.
- The omnibus does not include a House provision to eliminate ICE’s [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement] discretion to release certain categories of detainees from custody, except for removal.
- The omnibus does not include a House provision intended to prohibit Americans from bringing back merchandise from Cuba.
- The omnibus does not include a House provision to prohibit the award of terrorism preparedness grants to states or political subdivisions of states that do not permit law enforcement officers to assist or cooperate with the enforcement of federal immigration law.
- The omnibus does not include three House provisions related to ICE detainee access to abortion services.
Interior and Environment
- Prohibiting the use of funds for proposing, finalizing, implementing or enforcing new standards for existing and new sources of greenhouse gas emissions.
- Prohibiting EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] from implementing a final regulation clarifying the federal jurisdiction of navigable waters under the Clean Water Act.
- Prohibiting EPA from ensuring mining companies are financially capable of cleaning up pollution that operations cause to the land and water.
- Prohibiting EPA from changing the way discharge of fill material is regulated.
- Prohibiting EPA from enforcing rule on safe removal and renovation of lead paint.
- Prohibiting funding to update and revise EPA’s ozone standard. Prohibiting the use of funds to incorporate the social cost of carbon into any rulemaking or guidance.
- Requiring the EPA to treat air emissions from forest biomass activities as noncontributors of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
- Prohibiting funding for EPA to promulgate any rule or guidance that changes the status of any hydrofluorocarbon used as a refrigerant or in foam blowing agents, applications, or uses.
- Requiring EPA to treat air emissions from forest biomass as non-contributors in the atmosphere.
- Prohibiting funding for the development or revisions of regulations regarding imported ivory.
- Prohibiting funding to implement, administer, or enforce the final rule on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) on federal and Indian Lands.
- Prohibiting the Office of Surface Mining from developing or implementing the stream buffer rule, which attempts to address the adverse impacts of mountaintop removal mining.
- Prohibiting the use of funds to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce the proposed rule on “Federal Acknowledgement of American Indian Tribes”
- Requiring the secretary of the Interior to reissue final rules to delist wolves in Wyoming and the Great Lakes region that were overturned by a federal court and exempting those reissued rules from judicial review.
- Requiring the secretary of the Interior to amend the interim rule on the northern longeared bat to allow incidental take of bats for activities done in accordance with habitat conservation measures and to reopen the comment period on the interim rule for not less than 90 days.
- Prohibiting the secretary of the Department of the Interior from implementing or enforcing the threatened species listing for the lesser prairie chicken.
- Requiring the secretary of the Department of the Interior carry out a land exchange for the construction of the King Cove Road within the designated wilderness of the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.
- Prohibiting the use of funds to carry out the National Oceans Policy developed under Executive Order 13547.
- Prohibiting funds for the Department of the Interior to prohibit the use of or access to federal land for hunting, fishing, or recreational access if such use or access was not prohibited as of January 1, 2013.
- Prohibiting the use of funds to carry out National Environmental Policy Act Guidance on considering climate change in NEPA reviews that was issued in December 2014.
- Requiring the secretary of the Interior and the secretary of Agriculture to make vacant grazing allotments available to grazing permittees impacted by drought or wildfire, without application of NEPA.
- Prohibiting the use of funds to require or request the transfer or relinquishment of any water right as a condition of a Forest Service or BLM [Bureau of Land Management] permit.
- Provisions regarding the Confederate battle flag.
Labor, HHS, and Education
- The omnibus continues a provision to prevent the CMS Program Management appropriation account from being used to support risk corridor payments.
- The omnibus continues to rescind mandatory funding from the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which has never had any board members appointed to it. The Omnibus does not include new policy provisions from the House bill, which would have:
- Blocked funding for Title X Family Planning programs.
- Blocked the Department of Education’s Gainful Employment, Credit Hour, State Authorization and Teacher Preparation rules and the College Ratings System.
- Blocked funding for a “fiduciary responsibility” rule – a rule designed to ensure that financial advisers provide advice in the best interests of their clients, rather than advice that is lucrative for the adviser.
- Blocked the NLRB’s Election rule, Joint Employer standard, and its ability to rule on the proper size of collective bargaining units.
- Added the text of H.R. 940, the Health Care Conscience Rights Act, which would have allowed an employer or health plan to refuse coverage of any service to which they have a religious or moral objection. It also would have permitted providers to refuse care and coverage of abortion – even in life-endangering situations.
State and Foreign Operations
- The omnibus does not include a House policy rider codifying the “Global Gag Rule,” which prohibits non-governmental organizations (NGOs) receiving federal funds from providing women information about the full range of health services.
- The omnibus does not include a House policy rider prohibiting U.S. contributions to the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Funding for UNFPA is $32.5 million, which is $2.5 million less than the 2015 enacted level, and IPCC is $10 million.
- The omnibus does not include a politically-motivated withholding regarding the Department of State email system, but does include appropriate transparency and records management directives.
- The omnibus does not lift the cap on U.S. assessments for international peacekeeping missions, but does fund at the prior year level of 27.14 percent and allows the use of credits to meet the full assessment.
Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development
- The omnibus does not include a House provision allowing twin 33-foot tractor trailers on the National Highway System.
- The omnibus does not include a House prohibition on the Department of Transportation issuing rules to increase minimum insurance requirements for motor carriers.
- The omnibus does not include a House provision exempting Texas and Arkansas from federal truck weight standards. However the omnibus does include an exemption from federal truck weight standards for Idaho, Maine, Vermont, and Kansas.
- The omnibus includes an extension of an existing suspension of portions of the Department of Transportation’s Hours of Service regulations, which require minimum levels of rest for commercial truck drivers.
- The omnibus does not include two funding prohibitions related to California high speed rail.
- The omnibus does not include three House funding prohibitions related to the Fair Housing Act.
- The omnibus does not include a House provision that would repurpose funds from the Housing Trust Fund.
- The omnibus does not include two House funding prohibitions related to travel to Cuba by ship or scheduled air service.