Federal Spending Bill Promotes Central and Eastern Kentucky Priorities

Legislation Cuts Obamacare Funding and Restricts Radical EPA

January 15, 2014

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.