Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association

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Omnibus Appropriations Bill: Good news for construction spending

Jan 11, 2016

The fiscal year 2016 funding bill signed by President Obama at year-end adheres to all the terms set by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, enacted on Nov. 2, 2015. The legislation provides a total of $1.149 trillion to funding the operations of the federal government.

Energy programs and construction projects include:

  • General Services Administration. Included in the legislation is $10.2 billion for the General Services Administration’s Federal Buildings Fund (FBF), which is $1.07 billion above fiscal year 2015. This increase provides for the construction of an additional 11 federal courthouses to address building conditions and security. The bill also seeks to increase accountability of GSA spending by requiring extensive reporting on GSA’s facilities inventory, spending, and facilities exchanges.
  • Department of Energy. The Act provides $11 billion for energy programs within the Department of Energy to support programs that encourage U.S. economic competitiveness and help advance the nation’s goal of an “all-of-the-above” energy solution. This funding includes: $2.1 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy, which is $136 million more than the FY 2015 enacted level. It includes $206 million for activities to modernize the electricity grid, which is $59 million than the FY 2015 enacted level. Funds in this account will increase the resiliency and reliability of the electric grid against cyberattacks and extreme weather events.
  • Department of Defense (military construction). The bill provides $8.2 billion for military construction projects—an increase of $1.4 billion above the 2015 enacted level. The funds will provide for large and small construction and rehabilitation projects on military bases at home and abroad that support troops, operations, and our military families.
  • Department of Defense (Army Corps of Engineers-Civil Works). The Army Corps of Engineers is funded at $5.99 billion, an increase of $535 million above the fiscal year 2015. The bill prioritizes funding on navigation and flood control to advance public safety, boost U.S. export ability, and create jobs.
  • Department of Veterans Affairs. Major construction within the VA is funded at $1.2 billion, $100 million over the President’s request and $862 million above the 2015 level. Funds will be used for correcting critical seismic deficiencies, new hospital and clinic construction, and repairing crumbling infrastructure in some of the VA’s oldest structures. The measure fences off $649 million for construction until the VA enters into an agreement with a non-Department of Veterans Affairs federal entity (like the Army Corps or GSA) to serve as the design and/or construction agent for each major construction project with a total estimated cost of $100 million or above.
  • Department of State. The bill provides $2.22 billion for embassy security, construction and maintenance (ESCM), which is $102 million less than the FY2015 level.