The FCC would be able to spend about $384 million in fiscal year 2016 under an omnibus appropriations bill unveiled, including more than $44 million for consolidation of its Washington headquarters. Congress is expected to consider the legislation in the coming days. The White House endorsed the bill today. FY 2016 runs through Sept. 30, 2016.
First responder programs overseen by the Federal Emergency Management Agency would get $2.5 billion, which is $10 million above the FY 2015 level. The funding includes $1.5 billion for state and local grants – the same level as FY 2015. That includes $467 million for the State Homeland Security Grant Program and $600 million for the Urban Area Security Initiative. The Obama administration had asked for $1.043 billion for a new consolidated National Preparedness Grant Program.
The omnibus bill also includes $50.5 million “to promote Internet freedom globally.” The funds are to “be prioritized for countries whose governments restrict freedom of expression on the Internet, and that are important to the national interests of the United States.” During a call with reporters today, Chris Painter, the State Department’s coordinator-cyber issues, said Congress has appropriated such funding in the past.