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Congressman Harper talks Omnibus spending bill

 

  • Of the $1.3 trillion discretionary funding package, $78.1 billion will fund overseas contingency operations to assist the Global War on Terror.
  • Provides $654.6 billion for the Department of Defense and a 2.4% pay raise for American troops. This amount is $61.1 billion above the fiscal year 2017 levels.
  • Provides $1.571 billion for physical barriers and associated technology to be implemented along the southwest border.
  • Includes $1.24 billion for the National Security Cutter(NSC) Program, which includes funds for two Coast Guard ships to be built at Huntington Ingalls in Pascagoula. Provides robust funding to fight the opioid crisis. This funding will be used for the treatment, prevention, and law enforcement programs that stop the spread of these dangerous drugs.
  • Provides $2.3 billion for school safety training programs and mental health.
  • Includes the Hyde Amendment that explicitly states that no taxpayer funding will be used for abortion services.

Congressman Gregg Harper said that Mississippi will see some benefits from the spending bill with business being brought to the state to help arm the military.

“Specifically for Mississippi, a lot of the increase in defense spending that we discussed has a direct benefit,” Harper said. 

However, Harper said that in the future the goal would be to move toward a two-year budget rather than an omnibus or a continuing resolution.

“I’ve served for almost 10 years and we’ve never had a budget,” Harper said. “We’ve operated either under an omnibus, like what just got signed into law, under a continuing resolution, or we’ve had a few times that there has been a very short government shutdown. None of that has been official. Ideally, you want to get it to a budget.”

In addition, Harper said the measure also includes funding to help secure the homeland, invests in America’s infrastructure, provides the largest investment to date to combat the opioid crisis, works to keep kids and schools safe while maintaining all provisions to preserve Second Amendment rights government-wide. He added that it also preserves existing pro-life provisions while protecting the President’s Mexico City policy.

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