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House passes annual government spending bill

Thornberry says bill cuts additional spending, protects national security

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Washington, Jan 16 | comments
The U.S. House of Representatives today passed a government spending bill that provides discretionary funding for the entire federal government for Fiscal Year 2014.  The legislation passed with a bipartisan vote of  359 to 67.  Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) voted in favor of the bill.  
 
“Republicans are working every day to change the culture of spending in Washington. With this bill, we have cut discretionary spending four years in a row--for the first time in nearly two decades--with spending reductions total more than $150 billion,” said Rep. Thornberry.   “The bill is obviously not perfect, but it is progress.  It protects key priorities for our country, notably our national security, while reducing regulatory burdens and requiring tougher oversight of agencies.  And it also offers the country some much-needed stability,” continued Thornberry, who serves as the Vice Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.
 
The Omnibus spending bill contains all 12 regular appropriations bills for Fiscal Year 2014.  Notably, the bill prevents the next round of sequester cuts, which would imperil military readiness and national security. The bill funds important Department of Defense programs and projects, offers a pay raise for our troops, and provides resources to help prepare for current and future threats.  The defense portion of the bill also includes funding for local national security facilities, including Sheppard Air Force base in Wichita Falls.  It also includes funding for both the Pantex plant and multiple programs at the Bell Helicopter facility in Amarillo.
 
Other highlights of the spending bill include:
 
Military Retiree Pension “Fix”: Amends the Ryan-Murray agreement to ensure that medically retired Armed Forces personnel and survivor benefit plan recipients receive their full pensions.
 
Post Offices: The bill bars the Postal Service from closing rural post offices.
 
GIPSA: Restricts the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) from implementing regulations that allow harmful federal government intrusion in the private market for livestock and poultry which would cost the industry billions.
 
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): The bill reduces funding for the EPA by $143 million below the fiscal year 2013 enacted level.
 
Stop certain EPA regulations: Contains provisions to exempt livestock producers from overly burdensome EPA greenhouse gas regulations.

Light Bulbs: The bill prohibits the Department of Energy from forcing manufacturers to stop producing incandescent light bulbs.
 
Benghazi: Requires that before the U.S. can send any more foreign aid to Libya, Secretary of State Kerry must report that the Libyan government is helping to find those responsible for the Benghazi attack.
 
Fast & Furious : Includes a provision preventing any funding from being used to implement any future Fast & Furious type activity.
 
Life: The Omnibus maintains all existing pro-life policy and funding provisions that have been carried in appropriations legislation in previous years, including the Hyde Amendment, a ban on public funding for abortions in the District of Columbia, and a ban on abortion funding for federal prisoners. The bill also reduces Title X family planning funding by $10 million.
 
Obamacare: The bill provides no new funding for ObamaCare, rescinds $10 million from the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), and prevents the Secretary of HHS from raiding the Prevention and Public Health “slush” fund for ObamaCare exchanges.
 
National Labor Relations Board (NLRB): The bill decreases funding for the agency. In addition, the legislation continues a provision intended to stop the NLRB’s harmful anti-business regulations related to the implementation of “e-Card Check,” which could promote coercion in union elections.
 
GITMO: Prohibits any funding from being used to transfer detainees in Guantanamo Bay from being transferred to the U.S. and for construction or acquisition of a prison in the U.S. to house such detainees.
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