OEA Retains Funding for Core Programs

OEA Retains Funding for Core Programs

DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) will receive $90.6 million for fiscal 2016, an amount that fully funds the administration’s request except for a $20.0 million line item to cover civilian water and wastewater infrastructure improvements on Guam needed to accommodate an influx of Marines.

The agency’s spending is part of the omnibus spending package signed into law by President Obama on Friday. Earlier that day, the House approved the $1.15 trillion bill with surprisingly little drama, followed by the Senate. Both chambers also passed a package of tax break extensions.

The omnibus easily passed in the House, 316-113, with an unexpected strong showing of support by the GOP. And following late endorsements by the White House and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), Democrats overwhelmingly favored the spending bill, reported CQ Roll Call.

OEA’s allocation for the current year would seem to represent a deep cut from FY 2015, when Congress allocated $281.4 million to the agency. But that year’s funding included a one-time add-on to address capacity and facility condition deficiencies at public schools on military installations, making it difficult to compare OEA funding across years. The agency received $120.5 million in FY 2014.

The agency’s FY 2016 funding had been threatened earlier this year after the Senate version of the defense authorization bill called for stripping out $33.1 million from DOD’s request for the agency’s defense industry adjustment program, as well as the funding for the civilian infrastructure projects on Guam. The House version of the authorization bill, however, left the $110.6 million request for OEA intact.

When the compromise version of the defense policy measure was unveiled in September, the defense industry adjustment program and Guam projects had survived. But the reprieve for the water projects proved fleeting, as congressional appropriators ultimately denied them funding in the defense spending bill measure enacted last week.

The text of the defense spending component of the fiscal 2016 omnibus, along with the explanatory statement, is available on the House web site.

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