Rules Committee Approves $1.3 Billion Supplemental Spending Bill for Floor Action on Wednesday

Rules Committee Approves $1.3 Billion Supplemental Spending Bill for Floor Action on Wednesday

American Farmers to Get Loan Extensions While Disaster Aid Provided to Central America

WASHINGTON - This evening the House Rules Committee approved tomorrow’s Floor procedures for handling the $1.3 billion supplemental spending bill for fiscal year 1999 (H.R. 1141), legislation that fully pays for loan extensions to American farmers and disaster aid to Central America without tapping into the Social Security surplus.

"This critical bill will help American farmers weather a severe crisis, as well as respond to a significant humanitarian disaster inflicted on many of our Latin American neighbors last year," said David Dreier (R-CA), Chairman of the Committee. "Not only do we have a national interest in promoting regional stability and restoring economic growth in the wake of last year’s hurricanes, we can’t lose sight of our great nation’s ability to help millions of families and communities struggling to recover. The depth and sincerity of our commitment to this relief effort is particularly highlighted by our willingness to make the tough budget decisions needed to pay for these efforts."

"I’m proud of this package and urge my colleagues and the President to support it - time is of the essence," Dreier said, noting that an open rule was approved for handling the debate and amendments to H.R. 1141. All germane amendments will be in order. The bill provides $1.2 billion in emergency appropriations and $90.9 million in non-emergency appropriations for a total of $1.3 billion. The bill also contains $1.12 billion in rescissions or offsets, meaning that the new spending has been offset by funding reductions in other programs. Only the Defense Department funding for Central American disaster related costs is not offset. Major provisions of the bill include:

  • $152.4 million for direct and guaranteed farm operating loans that will provide a loan authorization of $1.095 billion, providing relief to 12,000 American farmers and ranchers;
  • $687 million in emergency Hurricane relief for several Latin American countries, including $10 million in earthquake relief for Columbia;
  • $80 million for additional Immigration and Naturalization Central American disaster related border costs;
  • $194.9 million to reimburse the Department of Defense for disaster assistance transportation costs;
  • $100 million in economic support and foreign military financing for Jordan;
  • some non-emergency funding totaling $90.9 million, such as for the Corp. for Public Broadcasting; and
  • $1.12 billion in rescissions (offsets) from activities such as the Economic Support Fund; the Export-Import Bank; callable capital contributions to the World Bank; and, the Asian Development Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank