The U.S. House of Representatives has voted on and passed the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill which outlines the funding for the federal government for the remainder of the 2018 fiscal year. The bill now heads to the Senate, and if passed, it avoids another government shutdown. While the bill clocks in at more than 2,200 pages, Congressman Steven Palazzo gave a “cliff notes” version of where the majority of the funds are headed.
- 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 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.
Palazzo praised the plan for not only for what it means for the country, but what it means specifically for Mississippi.
“This spending package brings smart federal investment not only to south Mississippi, but the entire state. This critical funding bill also takes strong concrete steps to protect Mississippi values.
“Specifically, it includes funding for 90 miles of new border wall, but also increases the amount of dollars used toward securing the border such as increasing the boots on the ground at our southern border. It also gives our military a pay increase of 2.4%, and increases defense funding so our troops have the resources they need to win and return home safely to their loved ones. We continue to prioritize NASA, which will ensure Stennis continues to test rockets that will soon send American astronauts to space from American soil on American rockets. Very importantly, we continue to include strong pro-life protections like the Hyde Amendment which explicitly prohibits any taxpayer money from being used to pay for abortions.” – Palazzo
Congressman Gregg Harper also voted in favor of the spending bill, and rejoiced over its impact on the military.
This congressional action delivers on our commitment to fully fund our national defense at the levels that Defense Secretary James Mattis has said are needed in order to rebuild our military. It is the largest year-to-year increase in defense funding since the beginning of the War on Terror, and it fully funds a 2.4% pay increase for our troops – a much-needed pay raise that those who defend our country deserve!” – Harper
Harper concluded his statement, similarly to Palazzo, by outlining some of the bill’s highlights.
“The measure also includes funding to help secure our homeland, invests in America’s infrastructure, provides the largest investment to date to combat the opioid crisis, keeps our kids and schools safe while maintaining all provisions to preserve Second Amendment rights government-wide. It also preserves existing pro-life provisions while protecting the President’s Mexico City policy.” – Harper
President Trump expressed his support for the bill and specifically the nearly $700 billion allocated to military funding.
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