Thompson Supports House Appropriations Package

Sep 14, 2017

House approves 12 government funding bills for Fiscal Year 2018

WASHINGTON U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson today voted in favor of funding federal programs for Fiscal Year 2018 before current government funding expires on September 30.

H.R.3354, the Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act, was approved by a vote of 211-198. It allocates funding for federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, provides funding for homeland security, increases funding for NIH, addresses the opioid abuse epidemic, and invests in our nation's infrastructure needs.  The bill also contains previously passed legislation, H.R. 3219, which provides funding for the Department of Defense, Veterans’ Affairs and national security programs.

“This is the first time since 2009 that the House of Representatives has passed all 12 appropriations bills prior to the end of the fiscal year,” Rep. Thompson said. “The House continues to do its work on time and I was proud to support this fiscally-responsible legislation.

“This bill provides support for national defense, veterans, border security, law enforcement, health, education, transportation, infrastructure, agriculture, and combats the opioid epidemic that is ravaging every community across the country,” Rep. Thompson added.

ABOUT THE PROCESS

The House Appropriations Committee oversees 12 separate funding bills that support domestic and international programs.

Today’s legislation combines eight funding bills that were passed out of committee and received consideration on the House floor:

Agriculture
Commerce, Justice and Science
Financial Services
Homeland Security
Interior and Environment
Labor, Health and Human Services
State and Foreign Operations
Transportation, Housing and Urban Development

The final bill also includes legislation passed by the House in July that combined four additional funding bills:

Defense
Energy and Water
Legislative Branch
Military Construction, Veterans Affairs

That totals all 12 appropriations bills for Fiscal Year 2018.

AMONG THE HIGHLIGHTS

·         $658.1 billion for the Department of Defense, including $73.9 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO).  These levels are consistent with the House-passed Fiscal Year 2018 Defense Authorization Act, as well as the proposed Fiscal Year 2018 House Budget Resolution.

·         $416.3 billion in discretionary spending and prioritizes funding for border security, law enforcement, infrastructure, NIH, and critical response and preparedness for disasters

·         Increases funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

·         Provides funding for anti-opioid programs

·         Implements reforms, peels back regulations, and streamlines the bureaucracy

·         No new funding for Obamacare

·         Includes provisions protecting 2nd Amendment rights

·         Funds the “Payments In Lieu of Taxes” (PILT) program with $465 million

·         Pares back outdated, potentially harmful regulations, including the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) Rule

THOMPSON AMENDMENTS

Rep. Thompson offered three amendments during floor debate that were approved and included in the funding bill.

·         A restoration of funding for the Abandoned Mine Lands pilot program. Last year, Pennsylvania received $30 million through this program. Pennsylvania’s Fifth Congressional District has more abandoned mine sites than any other district in the country.

·         Funding for Statewide Family Engagement Centers in education. The program provides competitive federal grants to statewide organizations to increase parental participation in schools. The program was re-authorized in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) at the $10 million-level, but has lacked appropriate funding since passage.

·         A prohibition of establishing tolls on I-80 in Pennsylvania. Since 2007, Pennsylvania has unsuccessfully attempted to put tolls on Interstate 80 three different times. This has cost the taxpayers millions of dollars and led to the indictment of several political insiders. Thompson’s amendment will prevent the federal government from considering another attempt from Pennsylvania.

H.R. 3354 has been sent to the Senate for further consideration.