House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers today issued the following statement on the release of the President’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget request.
“The President’s final budget unfortunately doesn’t look much different than other years – it is a spending wish list that doesn’t reflect our real budgetary constraints and that would saddle hard-working Americans with additional taxes and fees.
“The job of the Appropriations Committee is now to scrutinize this request. We will hold extensive oversight hearings and briefings to make informed, thoughtful, line-by-line funding decisions. At the end of the day, the ‘power of the purse’ lies with the Congress – not the White House – and we will use that power to decide what to cut and what to fund. We are going to hit the ground running with this work – holding our first budget hearings tomorrow – so that we can bring our Appropriations bills to the floor in regular order and in record time.
“My Committee intends to produce bills that abide by the budget caps set into place by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 – a total of $1.070 trillion in discretionary spending. But most importantly, they will be fiscally responsible, reflecting the needs of our federal government and the American people while protecting our financial future."
The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies will hold American Indian and Alaska Native public witnesses hearings on Thursday, March 17, and Friday, March 18, 2016.
No other outside public witness hearings are scheduled at this time. However, as in the past years, written testimony from tribes or other organizations will be accepted in accordance with the guidelines below.
All testimony will be reviewed by the subcommittee and will be included in the public record. Click here to view the fiscal year 2016 testimony.
The deadline to submit requests to testify is Monday, February 15, 2016.
The deadline to submit written testimony is Wednesday, March 23, 2016.Read More
U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) released the following statement in response to President Obama’s last State of the Union address.
“Eight years ago, President Obama promised our country “hope and change.” And, unfortunately, it’s clear that he hasn’t delivered. In his final State of the Union address, the President demonstrated a total disconnect between his liberal agenda and the will of the everyday American -- making a clear case for why this country needs to chart a new course.
“The President is still out of touch with the struggles confronting Main Street. For many communities, the only thing that has changed is the number of jobs – and the only hope is for a President who understands their plight and wants to turn things around.
"Domestically, and particularly in Appalachia, times are tough. We’ve lost 9,000 coal mining jobs in Eastern Kentucky, and even for those lucky enough to have a job, wages are stagnant. Our small businesses are crushed under the weight of Obamacare and the tens of thousands of pages of regulations that power-hungry bureaucrats have drafted under the President’s watch. Law-abiding gun owners fear the President will go around their elected officials in Congress to place additional obstacles between them and their constitutionally guaranteed rights.
“Internationally, we are reaping what the President’s failed policies have sown. He underestimated the threat of ISIS and cut a losing nuclear deal with Iran. The world is less safe today than when President Obama took office, and our nation continues to face growing threats without an adequate response.
“In addition, the President continues to propose new programs and more spending without offering a true way to pay for it. In contrast, I’m proud to say that this Republican-led Congress and the Appropriations Committee, together, have led the charge to reduce spending — $175 billion over the last five years — while improving transparency, making good investments, and expanding critical and effective programs across the country.
“At home in Eastern Kentucky, where our communities are reeling from this Administration's war on coal, we’ve worked to secure federal funds to support revitalization efforts in our rural economies. We need to restore the vision of unity in this nation and stand shoulder-to-shoulder during hard times. And thanks to federal, state and local partners, that’s exactly what we’re accomplishing through SOAR, the Shaping Our Appalachian Region initiative, to help our local economy thrive again.
“As we enter the final year under this Administration, Americans should evaluate the path this country has taken. We need to restore confidence in our nation, make responsible decisions with taxpayer dollars that won’t bankrupt our grandchildren, provide the tools needed for our military to execute a winning strategy to combat our enemies, and focus on building a better economy that provides opportunity to all. Let’s empower America and ensure that future generations will always be secure in this great Nation."
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers today praised House passage of the fiscal year 2016 Omnibus Appropriations bill. The bill passed on a vote of 316-113.
The legislation includes funding for virtually the entire federal government through the end of the fiscal year, September 30, 2016, totaling approximately $1.15 trillion. This level is in line with the discretionary funding provided by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, which was enacted on November 2.
The bill increases funding for national defense and important domestic priorities, and includes a myriad of policy provisions to stop waste and abuse, increase transparency and accountability at federal agencies, and halt administrative overreach that hinders economic growth.
The package also contains emergency Global War on Terror (GWOT)/Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and other U.S. enemies, to conduct successful military operations, and to maintain a well-equipped and prepared military force.
In addition to the 12 Appropriations bills, the package also includes additional legislative language such as reforms to the Visa Waiver program, a lifting of the ban on U.S. oil exports, and the reauthorization of U.S. intelligence activities.
Chairman Rogers made the following statement on the bill today:
“This is a solid package that reflects the priorities of the American people.
“It bolsters funding for our national defense and strengthens homeland security – protecting against harmful cuts that would gut our military readiness and put future security at risk.
“It cuts spending on wasteful, inefficient, unnecessary programs to save taxpayer dollars wherever possible, and holds federal agencies accountable for their funding.
“It stops unnecessary and harmful White House proposals and regulations that hinder growth and job creation, and that harm the very industries that make our nation and our economy strong – including eliminating a 40-year-old ban on the U.S. export of crude oil.
“And it invests in programs that the American people support and rely on, including veterans care, infrastructure, disease research and prevention, law enforcement, and border security, among others.
“The road to this final bill has not been without its bumps and obstacles, but I am proud we have finally come to a solution. While large, last-minute legislation is not the preferred way to fund the federal government, this bill makes the most of the current budgetary situation. This package reflects a hard-fought, fair compromise, I applaud House-passage today, and I urge its speedy enactment.”
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers gave the following statement on the House floor today in support of the full-year Consolidated Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2016:
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present Amendment #1 to the Senate amendment to H.R. 2029 – the fiscal year 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act – legislation that will fund the federal government for the rest of the fiscal year.
"This funding measure provides $1.149 trillion for critical government programs and services. This is the level agreed to in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, which was enacted last month.
"This funding meets the $548 billion defense and $518 billion non-defense base budget caps.
"The Omnibus contains full-year Appropriations legislation for each of the 12 annual Appropriations bills – weighing priorities and funding levels carefully to prevent waste and promote an effective federal government.
"This bill targets funding toward our national security – protecting against cuts that would damage our military readiness, and securing our homeland by strengthening our borders and prioritizing law enforcement.
"The legislation also focuses funding on our veterans – providing nearly a 10 percent increase for the Department of Veterans Affairs, while addressing VA’s problems with construction mismanagement, and disability claims backlogs.
"And it shores up other critical priorities such as the NIH and CDC, agricultural research, and infrastructure.
"The legislation also includes many policy items that will help rein in bureaucratic overreach, protect the rights of Americans, and encourage economic growth.
"The legislation blocks Administration proposals to impose new fees on ranchers, air passengers, and the oil and gas industries. And the legislation protects free speech by ensuring that the IRS does not suppress the civic participation of 501(c)(4) organizations.
"The bill also preserves the sanctity of life by carrying all existing pro-life policy and funding provisions from previous Appropriations bills, adds new provisions prohibiting genetic editing of human embryos, and reduces UNFPA funding by 7 percent.
"To prevent wasteful or questionable spending, the bill halts improper behavior at federal agencies – like making sure the IRS doesn’t spend any money on frivolous videos or conferences.
"Within the Labor, Health and Human Services portion of the omnibus alone, the legislation eliminates 17 duplicative and unnecessary programs.
"And the bill provides no new funding for expanded EPA regulatory programs – instead holding EPA to its lowest funding level since 2008.
"Finally, this bill includes a number of legislative provisions – the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Prevention Act, and the Intelligence Authorization Act, among others.
"And importantly, it includes legislation to lift the 40-year ban on crude oil exports – a huge win for our economy and job creation.
"This package reflects a hard-fought, fair compromise – and I believe my colleagues on both sides of the aisle can and should support it.
"The road to this final bill has not been without its bumps and obstacles – but I am proud we have finally come to a solution. Although one, big, catch-all bill like this Omnibus is not the ideal way to conduct business in this House, the legislation will do the important work of funding our federal government and preventing a shutdown.
"Before I close, Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my entire Committee – and in particular the hard-working staff – for their tireless efforts on this legislation. Most of them have not had a day off since before Thanksgiving. They have sacrificed family time, holiday dinners, and countless hours of sleep to help bring this bill to the floor today. Their hard work has resulted in a good bill that I am proud to support today.
"I would also like to thank my counterpart, the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Committee, Ms. Lowey, for her commitment to getting this done. She has been a fair, conscientious partner throughout this process, and I look forward to continuing to work together in this vein next year.
"And lastly, I would like to take a moment to commemorate Chuck Turner, and his decades of service to the Appropriations Committee and to this House. Chuck sadly passed away on December 8, but he leaves his final mark on this institution in the form of the Legislative Branch Appropriations bill that is part of this legislation. His presence will be deeply missed in the halls of the Capitol.
"With that, Mr. Speaker, I look forward to putting to bed our Fiscal Year 2016 Appropriations work, and turning toward next year – which, with any luck, will come in on time and under regular order.
"I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this bill. Thank you."
"Last night, we posted a full-year Omnibus funding bill. This bill will responsibly fund the government for the remainder of the 2016 fiscal year, at the levels set by the Bipartisan Budget Act passed in October. We are set to consider it later this week.
"However, our current funding mechanism expires today at midnight.
"To allow for enough time to read and process this legislation, it is necessary at this point that we pass another continuing resolution to keep the lights on in our government.
"The legislation you have before you today simply extends current levels of funding for critical government programs and services for six additional days – through next Tuesday.
"It is very short and limited in scope – buying us enough time to shepherd the omnibus through to enactment, and then for the bill to be enrolled, sent to the President, and signed into law.
"I urge my colleagues to support this bill to give us the time to consider the full-year appropriations package, and bring the fiscal year 2016 appropriations process to a close. Thank you."Read More
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