Friday, December 18, 2015

Hartzler explains vote to fund the government

(From Fourth District Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler)

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) today voted to pass H.R. 2029, a bill to fund government activities through the end of the 2016 fiscal year.

“Missourians and Americans across the country want to focus on the holidays and spending time with their families,” Hartzler started. “They do not need to worry that the government isn’t going to be available when they need it. This package provides the certainty Americans need that their social security checks will go out on time, the Department of Homeland Security will have the resources it needs to keep them safe as they travel to see loved ones, and Congress will be able to focus on other American priorities as it goes forward.”

“I am pleased we were able to provide increased funding for our national defense—a priority I fought hard for since the beginning of the year as we were writing the budget. As a result of this bill, Missourians will be building seven E/A-18G Growlers and five F-18 E/F Super Hornets that the Navy truly needs, the administration will not be allowed to transfer detainees at Guantanamo to our shores, and our troops will get the resources and equipment they need to combat the threats of the world. Additionally, we fully repeal the financially dangerous country-of-origin labeling (COOL) law which would hurt American industry with billions of dollars in export tariffs if not repealed and we repeal the ban on exporting American crude oil which will create an estimated 1 million jobs here at home and add $170 billion annually to our GDP.”

“There are many good things in this bill for all Americans. But this bill is not perfect,” Hartzler stated, “there are some aspects we like and some we don’t. I am pleased we made some progress in reining in the IRS and the EPA, but more needs to be done. I am disappointed we didn’t make more progress on issues I have fought for such as overturning the Waters of the U.S. rule, which is nothing more than an executive land grab; stopping the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, which prevents the most vulnerable in our society from getting solid investment advice; rolling back the EPA’s unworkable clean air standards; and preventing Americans’ tax dollars from funding abortion providers. I look forward to 2016 and working for those things we couldn’t get into this bill.”

Funding highlights of the bill include:

Provides for the National Defense

· funds a new Consolidated Stealth Operations and Nuclear Alert Facility to be constructed at Whiteman Air Force Base to house B-2 operations

· calls for 7 E/A-18G Growlers and 5 F-18E/F Super Hornets to be built in Missouri;

· prohibits funding for transfers of Guantanamo detainees to the U.S.

· funds a 1.3 percent pay raise for our troops;

· provides for important research on traumatic brain injury and psychological health;

· ensures the military has the resources it needs to combat ISIS.

Keeps the Homeland Secure

· tightens the security requirements under the Visa Waiver program to ensure dangerous terrorists don’t slip into our country through this program. It also denies visa waiver status to any individual who has traveled to certain terrorist hotspots, including Syria and Iraq, in the last five years;

· provides $5.8 billion for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to strengthen enforcement of immigration and customs laws;

· does not fund the President’s climate change initiatives within Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and National Protection Programs Directorate (NPPD) within DHS.

Repeals the Decades-Old Crude Oil Export Ban

· creates an estimated 1 million American jobs in nearly all 50 states within a matter of years, and it would add $170 billion annually to our GDP;

· allows allies like Ukraine to buy oil from us instead of countries like Russia and Iran;

· will benefit consumers by lowering gas prices here at home as much as 13 cents per gallon so families can save more at the pump.

Peels back Obamacare

· delays the tax on medical devices which destroys jobs, hampers investment and innovation, and threatens the development of and access to medical technology that seniors, American families, and our most vulnerable rely on;

· delays Obamacare’s 40 percent “Cadillac Tax” on quality employer health insurance plans;

· stops the taxpayer bailout of insurance companies through the Obamacare risk corridor program;

· puts a one year moratorium on the Health Insurance Tax that drives up health care premiums and acts as a tax on small businesses.

Protecting our Robust Agriculture Industry

· repeals mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) requirements, ensuring that our economy does not suffer more than $1 billion in trade penalties;

· cuts EPA funding by $452 million below the President’s request, holding the agency to its lowest funding levels since 2008 and its lowest staffing levels since 1989;

· provides local schools increased relief from whole grain and sodium nutritional standards in school lunches.

Addresses Frivolous Executive Overreach

· protects farmers from having to get a permit to dredge farm ponds and irrigation ditches as a result of the Clean Water Act;

· prohibits funding for the “light bulb” standard regulations, allowing Americans to continue buying affordable incandescent light bulbs.

Protects Our Second Amendment Rights

· prohibits funds to implement the UN Arms Trade Treaty;

· prohibits the denial of permits for certain shotguns;

· prohibits the EPA from regulating lead content in ammunition and fishing tackle.

Pro-Life Provisions

· maintains existing protections that prohibit the use of federal funding for abortion;

· includes a ban on creating embryos for research purposes, or federal funding of research in which embryos are destroyed;

· includes restrictions on the use of funds by Legal Services Corporation grantees to participate in abortion-related litigation.

Cares for our Nation’s Bravest

· increases funds for veterans by 9.8% above FY15 levels to support health care, job training, and reducing the claims backlog at the VA;

· includes funding for mental health care, suicide prevention, traumatic brain injury, ending homelessness, and rural health for our veterans;

· ensures quality housing for nearly 2 million military families.

For the full text of the year-long spending bill, click here.

For a section-by-section summary of the bill, click here.

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