NEMWI Monitors Appropriations, Tracks Impact on Regional Priorities with Fact Sheets

The Northeast-Midwest Institute is monitoring the Congressional appropriations process that is in high gear with a special web page tracking the impact on regional priorities with fact sheets on five major appropriations bills critical to regional priorities. Fact sheets on the House Energy and Water Development appropriations bill, the House Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations bill, and the Interior and Environment appropriations bill are already available.

The Energy and Water Development fact sheet highlights a notable deviation from the President’s FY18 budget request: an additional $1.15 billion is appropriated to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Additionally, USACE is directed to release the draft Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Brandon Road Study and provide semi-annual updates on the progress and status of efforts to prevent the further spread of Asian Carp as well as the location and density of Asian Carp populations.

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) is appropriated only $176 million, according to the Commerce, Justice, and Science fact sheet. While representing a $100 million cut compared to FY17, the appropriated funds far exceed the $30 million requested by the President in order to conduct the orderly closure of the EDA by 2018.

The continued funding of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) at $300 million is a major takeaway from the Interior and Environment fact sheet. The President’s FY18 budget request zeroed out GLRI, resulting in bipartisan House and Senate letters urging the continued funding for this key regional program. Additionally, $30 million is included for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program, with $25 million of that being provided for direct loan subsidization which may translate into a potential loan capacity in excess of $3 billion to eligible entities for water infrastructure projects.

These and upcoming fact sheets can be found here, along with tables comparing F18 funding to the President’s budget request and funding levels from past fiscal years. NEMWI will be updating its website with new fact sheets as more appropriations bills exit House and Senate markup sessions. Readers can explore the rest of NEMWI’s work on appropriations by visiting our federal legislation and funding page here.

For more information about NEMWI’s appropriations tracking, contact Matthew McKenna, Director of the Great Lakes Washington Program at the Northeast-Midwest Institute.