Rep. Huffman Votes for Bipartisan Funding Bill to Avoid Government Shutdown
Washington, D.C.- Today, Congressman Jared Huffman voted for the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 to avoid a destructive government shutdown and to provide funding to key federal projects and agencies through the end of fiscal year, September 30, 2017. It was approved by a bipartisan House vote of 309-118.
“I voted for today’s funding bill not because I think that it is a perfect piece of legislation, but because it preserves key policies and activities that were under very real threat from President Trump and this Republican Congress,” said Rep. Huffman. “From Planned Parenthood’s health services to fisheries research that sustains our coastal economy, today’s bill protected many federal efforts that make a difference in the lives of my constituents.
“However, the bill’s omissions were disappointing, such as California fishery disaster funding and funding for the Secure Rural Schools program, both of which enjoy bipartisan support and should have been included in this bill. I will continue to fight in Congress to ensure these programs get the support they need to serve my constituents.
“Additionally, while it was not the $30 billion in additional budget authority that President Trump requested, I vehemently oppose the egregious level of extra Pentagon spending that was still included in the final bill. America already spends hundreds of billions of dollars on defense, more than the next eight highest-spending nations combined, and there is no evidence to justify this extra spending or suggest that is at all necessary to protect the American people or our interests abroad. And if a massive new military buildup is truly needed to protect our security, then we should be fiscally honest about it- like prior generations were in times of war- and raise tax revenues to pay for it. Instead, this Congress just keeps adding more defense spending to the national credit card.”
“Overall, when you look at President Trump’s draconian budget proposal compared to the bill we passed today, it is clear that we won enormous victories, thanks to the persistent engagement of the American people. From striking dangerous provisions to defund Planned Parenthood, to preventing the construction of a damaging border wall, to preserving nearly all of the funding for the Environmental Protection Agency when Republicans were trying to gut the agency completely, to securing additional resources to fight the opioid epidemic, we succeeded in securing many key priorities through this omnibus bill. To continue making progress in this tough political climate, we’re all going to need to keep up the pressure.”
Rep. Huffman supported the following policy provisions in the omnibus, including:
- Medical Research – In a stark contrast with President Trump’s dangerous plans to cut billions from lifesaving medical research, the omnibus increased funding for the National Institutes of Health by $2 billion;
- Opioid Epidemic – The omnibus secured an additional $600 million for fighting the opioid epidemic;
- Education- The omnibus allocates $12 billion for Special Education state grants (IDEA), an increase of $90 million from FY2016.
- Protects EPA – The omnibus protects 99 percent of EPA's budget, despite Republicans’ hopes to gut it;
- Year-Round Pell Grants – Democrats restored hard-working students’ access to year-round Pell Grants;
- Science Funding – The omnibus increases funding for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the Department of Energy Office of Science, and ARPA-E, all initiatives President Trump wanted cut. It also protected 98.5% of NOAA’s funding, including the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund and the National Sea Grant College Program, both programs that President Trump wanted to eliminate;
- Emergency Famine Relief – The omnibus includes $1 billion in humanitarian assistance to alleviate famine resulting from war, drought, and displacement in Africa and the Middle East, saving countless lives around the world.