Congress Passes Omnibus Spending Bill – Funds Federal Programs through Fiscal Year 2014


On Wednesday, January 15, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 359-67 and on Thursday, January 16, the Senate voted 72-26 to pass H.R. 3547, the Fiscal Year 2014 (FY 2014) Consolidated Appropriations Act, which will fund federal government programs and operations through September 30, 2014.  Below are summaries of the different sections of the bill important to ASLA and landscape architects across the country.  


Transportation Housing and Urban Development (THUD)

The overall FY 2014 funding for the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development is roughly $104 billion dollars.

  • Department of Transportation (DOT): DOT receives a net total of $71.1 billion in budgetary resources for the FY 2014, a decrease of over $300 million from FY 2013.  The measure includes $600 million for the TIGER grants program, a 20 percent jump from $500 million in 2013. The bill also funds the public transit “New Starts” program at $1.94 billion, an $88 million increase from 2013 spending.  Unfortunately, the Office of Sustainable Communities and its Integrated Planning and Investment Grants (formerly known as Regional Planning and Community Challenge grants) are zeroed out. 
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD):The agreement appropriates a net $32.8 billion for HUD, a decrease of $687 million from FY 2013. Notably, the measure provides $3 billion for the Community Development Block Grants ($82 million increase from 2013 spending) and $7 million for the U.S. Access Board.


Spending in FY 2014 on the Interior-Environment title of the bill will provide a discretionary funding total of $30.1 billion for the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Interior and related agencies, $231 million (8%) more than the sequester reduced FY 2013 level and $206 million more than requested. Key provisions that fund the various agencies under the Interior-Environment title include:

  • EPA: Overall spending for EPA is $8.2 billion, which is $143 million (2%) less than the enacted FY 2013 level.  The Omnibus allocates $1.4 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and $906 million for Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.  However, the measure reduces the EPA budget for water regulation (where a potential stormwater rule would originate) by $23 million.
  • Department of the Interior:  The omnibus agreement provides $10.5 billion for the Interior Department and related agencies. The amount provided for the department is $17 million more than the enacted FY 2013 level.   
  • National Park Service: The measure provides $2.6 billion to the National Park Service, $28 million (1%) more than the enacted FY 2013 level.  The omnibus allocated $306 million for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a slight decrease from 2013, but significantly more than the $0 that the House Interior Environment Appropriations Subcommittee recommended in 2013.   
  • U.S. Forest Service:  The agreement provides $5.5 billion for the Forest Service, which is $291 million (6%) over the enacted FY 2013 level. The Urban and Community Forestry Program (U&CF) received $28 million for FY 2014, a $2 million decrease from FY 2013. 

Energy and Water

Army Corps of Engineers: The Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for civil flood control, navigation and ecosystem restoration projects. The omnibus spending proposal provides $5.5 billion for the Corps’ operations, investigations and construction, $748 million more than the FY 2013 sequester-reduced level.   The measure also provides $28 million for training programs to prepare for and respond to floods, hurricanes and other natural disasters, $1 million (4%) over the enacted FY 2013 level.


Conservation Programs: The bill provides $826 million for the Natural Resources Conservation Service, which is in line with FY 2013 levels. These programs help farmers, ranchers, and private forest landowners conserve and protect land.

Other Agencies 

National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities each received $146 million, equal to each Endowment’s FY 2013 allocation. 

Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission — the bill provides $1 million for the Eisenhower Memorial Commission. The memorial is slated to break ground this year near the National Mall, across the street from the National Air and Space Museum, but the current design, by architect Frank Gehry, is considered too grandiose by the Eisenhower family. The agreement bans construction of a memorial through FY 2014.


Kevin Fry
Director, PR and

JR Taylor
PR Coordinator