Federal Spending Bill Promotes Central and Eastern Kentucky Priorities
WASHINGTON –Congressman Andy Barr today released the following statement following House passage of the FY 2014 Omnibus Appropriations bill:
“The people of central and eastern Kentucky sent me to Washington to rein in out-of-control federal spending, save our country from bankruptcy, and promote the long-term growth of our economy and our workforce.
“At a time when Kentucky families are struggling to stretch every dime, I am glad that this legislation reduces federal spending and sets priorities that honor hard-working taxpayers, while continuing to protect central and eastern Kentucky interests. While there is still much more work to do to achieve a balanced budget, this bill reflects my commitment to reducing federal spending and sets a solid foundation on which to work for the coming fiscal year. I appreciate the hard work of Chairman Hal Rogers in reaching this agreement.”
Highlights of the FY 2014 Omnibus Appropriations Bill:
Protects Kentucky’s Signature Coal Industry:
o Rolls back Obama Administration efforts to prohibit support for coal-fired power plants abroad.
o Provides $562 million fossil energy program which funds clean coal technology research and development.
o Prohibits funds for the Army Corps of Engineers to change the definition of “fill material” under the Clean Water Act.
o Cuts $143 million in funding for the EPA.
Halts New Funding for Obamacare While Cutting Existing Funding:
o Cuts $1 billion from from Secretary Sebelius’ discretionary slush fund.
o Cuts $10 million from Obamacare Independent Payment Advisory Board.
Continues downward trend of overall federal discretionary spending, which has now been reduced four years in a row:
o $165 billion below the Fiscal Years 2010 level.
o $500 million below Fiscal Year 2009 enacted levels.
Cuts foreign aid by $4 billion and withholds aid to government of Libya until they cooperate in Benghazi investigation.
Provides Protections Our Veterans Have More than Earned:
o Addresses VA Disability Claims Processing Backlog:
§ $140 million for information technology upgrades at regional offices to manage the improved paperless claims processing system.
§ $90 million for potential overtime, and $10 m for additional training for claims processors
§ $88 million for the Board of Veterans Appeals to address the growing appeals backlog
o Ensures Care of Our Troops, Military Families, and Retirees.
§ $256 million for cancer research.
§ $125 million for traumatic brain injury and psychological health research.
§ $20 million for suicide prevention outreach programs.
§ Reverses reductions to the pensions of medically retired vets and surviving families.
Funds Military Sexual Assault Special Victims Program and Violence Against Women Grants.
o $25 million is appropriated to the Department of Defense and made available for transfer to the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps, for purposes of implementation of a Sexual Assault Special Victims Program.
o $193 million for grants to combat violence against women; $24.8 million for transitional housing assistance grants for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or sexual assault; $10,000,000 is for a grant program to provide services to advocate for and respond to youth victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking; assistance to children and youth exposed to such violence; programs to engage men and youth in preventing such violence; and assistance to middle and high school students through education and other services related to such violence; $27 million for sexual assault victims assistance; $9 million for grants to reduce violent crimes against women on campus
Prohibits ending Saturday mail delivery and the closing of rural post offices.