Barr Statement on Bill to Keep the Government Open
WASHINGTON – Congressman Andy Barr released the following statement upon passage of FY 2015 Omnibus:
“While I'm disappointed that the Senate continues to block legislation I voted for last week that would have nullified the President's Executive Order on immigration, this bill does successfully build upon the modest progress made in last year's Bipartisan Budget Agreement to further reduce spending, and it delivers on a number of important priorities for the people of Kentucky. The short-term nature of the portion of the bill that funds the Department of Homeland Security will allow the next Congress to effectively respond to the President's illegal immigration actions, once Republicans take control of the Senate.”
The bill includes full Appropriations legislation and funding for 11 of the 12 annual Appropriations bills through the end of the fiscal year, September 30, 2015. The 12th bill, which funds the Department of Homeland Security, is also included in the legislation, but is funded under a temporary “Continuing Resolution” mechanism that expires on February 27, 2015.
Key Kentucky Priorities
- Cuts funding from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and rejects efforts to expand EPA regulatory programs.
- Prevents Army Corps from regulating farm ponds and irrigation ditches under the Clean Water Act.
- Provides increased funding for USDA Rural Development programs critical to central and eastern Kentucky.
- Provides flexibility for Kentucky schools facing hardships in meeting one-size-fits-all federal nutrition guidelines mandates that have increased costs for school districts.
Blue Grass Army Depot:
- Provides full funding to complete construction of the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP) at the Blue Grass Army Depot.
- Provides full funding to Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternative Program (ACWA) to complete the demilitarization at the Blue Grass Army Depot.
- Provides funds to begin construction on a new consolidated shipping center that will create jobs and save money.
- Prohibits funding for the Obama Administration’s efforts to block the export of coal.
- Strategically targets funds to ensure balanced investment into fossil, nuclear, and renewable energy to improve our nation’s energy independence and fight high-energy prices.
- Increases oversight of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to break the deadlock in the coal permitting process and prohibits a redefinition of “fill material” within the Clean Water Act that would effectively ban Appalachian coal mining.
- Increases funding to meet our obligations to our nation’s veterans.
- Increased funding will help improve the efficiency and interoperability of the combined Department of Defense (DoD)/Veteran Affairs (VA) medical records system, and reduce the claims backlog at the VA.
Violence Against Women Act:
- Increases funding for the implementation of the Violence Against Women Act.
- Increases transitional housing assistance grants for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault
- Provides 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 from current and future threats.
- Continues funding for Military Sexual Assault Prevention and Response programs, and provides an additional $25 million to continue the expansion of the Sexual Assault Victims’ Counsel program to all the military services.
- Fully funds critical FAA air traffic control and aviation safety operations, while reducing overall department funding.
- Provides no new funding for Obamacare, and holds the line on funding for the IRS and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services – the primary agencies responsible for the implementation of Obamacare.
- Maintains all existing pro-life policy and funding provisions that have been carried in Appropriations legislation in previous years.