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House Passes Omnibus Spending Package

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Washington, December 12, 2014 | Anna R. Vetter ((202) 815-1685) | comments
On Thursday, December 11, 2014, the United States House of Representatives passed the Fiscal Year 2015 Omnibus Appropriations bill.
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Last night, Thursday, December 11, 2014, the United States House of Representatives passed the Fiscal Year 2015 Omnibus Appropriations Bill.

The legislation will provide discretionary funding for the federal government for the current fiscal year. Eleven of the Twelve annual Appropriations bills will be funded through the end of the fiscal year, September 30, 2014. The 12th bill, which provides funding for the Department of Homeland Security, is included in the legislation; however, it is funded under a temporary Continuing Resolution which will expire on February 27, 2014.

Congressman David G. Valadao (CA-21), a member of the House Appropriations Committee, the committee responsible for drafting this legislation, “Most of this bill is the result of months of work by the House Appropriations Committee. However, the Senate’s refusal to pass a single Appropriations bill prevented Congress from budgeting through regular order. However, funding the federal government is the most basic duty of Congress, and this omnibus fulfills that responsibility.”

He continued, “In addition to preventing a federal government shutdown, this bill also includes several important provisions for my constituents. For example, this bill ensures no additional federal dollars for California High Speed Rail, provides a $4,500,000 increase for specialty crop pest research, and prevents certain regulations that would allow harmful government interference in the livestock industry.”

H.R. 83, Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 was passed by a vote of 219-206 on Thursday, December 11, 2014.

Highlights of the bill include:

Funding – Provides a total of $1.013 trillion for the operation of the federal government and meets the $521 billion defense and $492 billion non-defense budget caps set forth by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 

National Security – Contains the fiscal year 2015 Defense Appropriations bill, providing funding for our nation’s security, military readiness, and resources for our troops at home and abroad
• Funds important Department of Defense programs and projects, a pay raise for our troops, and the advancement of our military operations to protect the nation
• Includes $64 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding to provide needed resources and training for our troops in the field, to combat the threat presented by ISIL, to train and equip our Iraqi allies, and to reinforce European countries facing Russian aggression.

Job Creation and Reining in Bureaucratic Overreach – Prioritizes funding for important programs that strengthen U.S. innovation and competitiveness, and that help our businesses thrive, such as small business loans, science research funding, resources to expedite domestic energy development, and critical infrastructure investments
• The bill also includes many provisions to rein in regulatory overreach that causes job loss and harm to our economy

ObamaCare – Provides no new funding for ObamaCare, and holds the line on funding for the primary agencies responsible for the implementation of Obamacare (the IRS and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) 

Life – Maintains all existing pro-life policy and funding provisions that have been carried in previous years, including a ban on public funding for abortions in the District of Columbia and a ban on abortion funding for federal prisoners
• Includes new language allowing states increased access to abstinence education funding

Other important policy provisions 
• A ban on the Administration’s onerous “light bulb” standard
• Provisions to protect Second Amendment rights, including a prohibition on funding for the EPA to regulate lead content in ammunition or fishing tackle
• The legislation also restricts the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) from implementing certain regulations that would allow harmful government interference in the private market for the livestock and poultry industry
• Provides schools with flexibility from whole grain standards and ensuring future sodium reductions will not take effect until supported by science
• Bans and limitations on federal agency conferences and awards
• Provisions to stop the transfer or release of Guantanamo detainees into the U.S.
• Provides a $4.5M increase for Specialty Crop Pests with a focus on a citrus greening control
• A prohibition on funding for the IRS to target organizations for regulatory scrutiny based on their ideological beliefs or for exercising their First Amendment rights

Savings and Oversight of Tax Dollars – The bill includes program cuts and oversight provisions to ensure the responsible use of taxpayer dollars
• No funding for high-speed rail
• A $345.6 million cut and extensive oversight requirements for the Internal Revenue Service
• A $60 million cut and oversight requirements for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
• Oversight and monitoring requirements to weed out waste and abuse in nutrition programs
• A pay freeze for the Vice President and senior political appointees 

For the full text of the bill and accompanying report, please visit: http://docs.house.gov/floor/.

Congressman David G. Valadao represents the 21st Congressional District, which includes Kings County and portions of Fresno, Tulare, and Kern Counties. 

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U.S. Congressman David G. Valadao

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