Spending Bills Increase Agency Funding, Avert Shutdown

Press Release December 19, 2019

Washington D.C. – The IRS and Customs and Border Protection are among the agencies in line for funding increases in spending legislation that, if signed into law by midnight Friday, would give federal employees an average 3.1 percent pay raise and avert a government shutdown for the rest of the fiscal year.

The 2020 spending plans, divided into two packages of bills, were approved by the House and Senate and now await a presidential signature.

“The progress on appropriations is welcome, but federal employees will continue to be on edge until agency funding is officially set in law,” said NTEU National President Tony Reardon. “Last year at this time it appeared a deal was in place, only to be scuttled at the last minute, so NTEU will keep up our efforts to encourage the president to finish the job by Friday night.”

Many NTEU-represented agencies will see increased funding for what remains of the fiscal year.

At the IRS, for example, the agency will have $207 million more to spend than in fiscal year 2019, including increases for taxpayer services, enforcement, operations support and business systems modernization.

At CBP, the Office of Field Operations will have $104 million to create 800 new positions, putting a dent in the staffing shortages at the ports of entry. The hiring will include 610 new CBP Officers and Agriculture Specialists who do critical work handling legitimate trade and travel, interdicting illegal drugs and protecting our nation’s farms and forests from invasive species.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is in line for $70 million more than what the administration requested and the National Park Service would receive $155 million more than this year. Congress also rejected $12.4 billion in cuts the administration had sought for the Department of Health and Human Services.

At the Department of Energy, three popular advanced research and science offices that would have been decimated by the president’s proposed budget instead get funding increases: the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the Office of Science and the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy.

The Environmental Protection Agency is in line for an increase of $208 million, a complete reversal of the 30 percent cut the administration originally proposed.

“We are pleased that Congress chose to recognize the important missions of our agencies and decided to give federal employees more tools and resources they need to carry them out,” Reardon said. “We encourage the White House to sign these funding bills as soon as possible so federal employees – and taxpayers – can rest assured that a shutdown is not imminent.”

NTEU represents 150,000 employees at 33 federal agencies and departments.