Barr Votes to Fund Kentucky Priorities

Funding bill prioritizes national security, permanently fixes health benefits for retired miners, and fights opioid epidemic.

May 4, 2017

Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06) today issued the following statement after voting for the Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2017, which funds the government through September 30, 2017: 

“I am disappointed that the funding bill put before Congress today does not do more to balance our budget, much less address our growing national debt.  I am equally frustrated that this bill fails to shift resources to the extent needed to rebuild our military to deter and respond to growing threats.  However, this legislation does deliver on many of our promises to the American people including to make a vital down payment on our national security, give our troops a well-deserved pay raise, substantially improve border security, and to fight the growing drug epidemic that has been devastating to Kentucky.”

“This bill also ensures that retired mine workers and their widows do not lose their health benefits because of the devastating impact of the Obama Administration’s War on Coal.  I have long advocated for a permanent fix to this problem and am glad that Congress is not turning its back on these hard working men and women who have powered the American economy.”

“We have a lot more work to do to get our country on the right track.  I am confident that we will continue to keep our promises to the American people as we work to repeal and replace Obamacare, reform our tax code, strengthen our military, and address our long term spending problem.”

Among other provisions, the legislation will:

  • Increase defense funding by over $25 billion over 2016 levels, including $1.5 billion to enhance border security and technology;
  • Provide a 2.1 percent pay increase for the members of the military;
  • Prohibit funding to house, transfer, or release Guantanamo Bay detainees;
  • Increase National Institutes of Health spending by $2 billion, providing $34.1 billion total, including specific increases for research on Alzheimer’s disease and the brain such as the research being done at the University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging;
  • Battle the national opioid epidemic by increasing funding for substance abuse prevention and treatment programs by more than $650 million and fully funding the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act;
  • Permanently fix the funding deficit for the health benefits of retired union mine workers;
  • Block any new funding for Obamacare, and maintain pro-life protections.