The Source

The Source on Women’s Issues in Congress, June 18-22, 2018

Floor Action:

Family Support— On June 21, the House approved, 213-211, H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act, also known as the 2018 Farm Bill. 

The bill would reauthorize several nutritional assistance programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Commodity Supplemental Food Program, Emergency Food Assistance Program, and Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Program.

Among other provisions important to women and their families, the provisions would impose stricter work requirements for SNAP eligibility and also create a pilot project for retail food stores to provide bonuses to families that purchase fruits, vegetables, and milk. Additionally, the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Program’s funding would be increased by $40 million from the FY2018 enacted level by 2023.

International— On June 19, the Senate passed, by voice vote, S. 2269, the Global Food Security Reauthorization Act. The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations passed the bill on May 22 (see The Source, 5/25/18).

Military— On June 18, the Senate approved, 85-10, H.R. 5515, the National Defense Authorization Act, as amended to substitute the text of S. 2987, the version of the legislation passed by the Senate Armed Services Committee on June 5. The House approved its version of H.R. 5515 on May 24 (see The Source, 5/25/18).

According to the Senate committee report, the bill would authorize $716 billion in overall funding for FY2019 national defense spending. The legislation would require the Department of Defense Education Activity to create a new policy combatting sexual harassment among students and establish multidisciplinary teams on child abuse and other domestic violence at military installations.

Mark-Ups:

Appropriations— On June 20, the House Appropriations Committee approved, 30-21, the FY2019 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs spending bill (as-yet-unnumbered). The House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs passed the measure on June 13 (see The Source, 6/15/18).

On June 21, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed, 31-0, S. 3107, the FY2019 Financial Services and General Government spending bill. The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government approved the bill on June 19.

According to the committee report, the measure would provide $23.688 billion in overall funding, $16 million above the FY2018 enacted level. Among other provisions important to women and their families, the bill would allocate $699.3 million to the Small Business Administration to fund several programs, including the Women’s Business Centers program and the National Women’s Business Council.

Also on June 21, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved, 31-0, S. 3108, the FY2019 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs spending bill. The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs passed the measure on June 19.

According to the committee report, the bill would provide $54.4 billion in overall funding. This amount would include $829.5 million for maternal and child health programs. The bill also would prohibit U.S. assistance to foreign nongovernmental organizations that promote or perform abortions, eliminate funding for the United Nations Population Fund, and cap funding for family planning and reproductive health programs at $461 million, the FY2018 funding level.