"Mr. Speaker, I rise today first to reaffirm our solidarity with the people of France, our brethren in Beirut, and the victims of Metro Jet Flight 9268 who perished over the skies of the Sinai. The senseless and sinister violence, the deep-seated fanaticism, the utter and irrational disdain for western society advanced by ISIS – together they present a threat not just to national and global security, but also to the fundamental values that constitute the very fiber of human civilization.
"They must be stopped. The violence must end. And the United States must do more. More to stamp out this evil, more to eradicate the threats posed here and abroad, and more to ensure that Americans can tuck in their children with a feeling of security that they will wake up for school in the morning free from fear.
"That is why I support the SAFE Act, which we have under consideration today. It is a thoughtful bill which will further one of our principal national security priorities: keeping Americans safe as we work to eliminate the threat posed by ISIS.
"The instability in Syria and the surrounding region has continued unabated for more than four years, and we have witnessed an indescribable humanitarian crisis because of the brutality of the Assad regime and radical Islamist groups, such as ISIS. In the wake of the Paris tragedy, we must step back and review the procedures in place for admitting refugees resulting from this conflict into our own country. We can and must implement a system that assists the victims of this tragedy and that prioritizes American security first.
"HR 4038 will ensure that no refugee from Iraq or Syria steps foot on US soil without a thorough vetting by top US security personnel. The Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and the Director of National Intelligence must unanimously certify that a person seeking refuge in our country does not represent a security threat. This is an unprecedented vetting process to ensure dangerous people do not slip through the cracks. I urge your support so we can provide our military and intelligence personnel with the best possible chance for success as they work to keep us safe. Thank you, and I yield back."Read More
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers today released the following statement congratulating Congressman Paul Ryan on his election to the office of Speaker of the House:
“I congratulate Paul Ryan on being selected as the next Speaker of the House. At a time when we need a unifying force with clear vision and strong values, he is the man for the job. Paul is a tested leader, who has proven his mettle by taking on the challenges that others shy away from, and I expect he will do the same in his new role. He brings to the table fresh ideas, but he upholds the deepest respect for this institution and its traditions.
“Having worked with Paul in his roles as Chairman of the Budget Committee and now the Ways and Means Committee, I have seen firsthand his commitment to getting our fiscal house in order and I am proud to support him today. I look forward to continuing to work with him to return to regular order, balance our budgets, limit the reach of the federal government, and find workable and realistic solutions to our greatest fiscal problems.”
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers today commended the passage of a bipartisan budget bill that will provide a framework for federal funding legislation for the next two fiscal years.
The budget deal will undo automatic, harmful sequestration budget cuts and implement new caps on discretionary spending for both fiscal year 2016 and 2017. This will provide certainty in the budget process, and allow for negotiations on Appropriations bills – which fund the federal government – to proceed. The bill also includes offsets for this spending, including reforms to some mandatory and entitlement programs.
“I commend the passage of this bipartisan budget legislation today. This bill will allow for certainty in the budget process for the next two years – something that has been greatly lacking in this recent era of government ‘shutdown showdowns.’ With this stability, Congress can make thoughtful, responsible decisions on how to fund federal agencies and programs, and avoid the unnecessary waste and harm that comes from lurching, unpredictable budget cycles.
“In addition, this bill contains real reforms to some mandatory and entitlement programs – the true drivers of our nation’s debt. I applaud the leaders of the House and Senate for taking this courageous and necessary step to reduce our deficit, and hope that this will pave the way for future action.
“My Committee will now begin the hard work of negotiating and crafting an omnibus Appropriations bill that will fund the entirety of the federal government through fiscal year 2016. As always, we will go line by line through agency budgets and make decisions to ensure the best possible use of every taxpayer dollar. I look forward to this essential and important work, and to the completion of the Appropriations process before the December 11 deadline.”
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R. 1314, the Bipartisan Budget Agreement of 2015 – an agreement that helps advance this nation toward our goals of fiscal stability, strong national security, and entitlement reform.
"These are goals that we’ve been advocating for for years – ones that will secure significant long-term savings, provide our economy with the certainty needed to grow and prosper, and ensure the readiness of our military to meet current and emerging threats.
"First, this agreement prevents the economic damage of a default – which could happen as early as next week – by suspending the debt limit through March 2017.
"Next, the agreement includes the first significant reform to Social Security since 1983. These structural reforms will help maintain the solvency of vital Social Security trust funds by closing loopholes, increasing program integrity, and cracking down on fraud – resulting in $168 billion in long-term savings. The agreement also finds savings in other mandatory programs, including over $30 billion in Medicare entitlement savings.
"As I’ve said many, many times before on this floor: mandatory and entitlement programs make up two-thirds of the nation’s budget, and are the primary drivers of our deficits and debt. Reforms to these programs are necessary and overdue, and I hope that this bill today paves the way for additional action in the future.
"This bill also repeals a flawed provision of the President’s health care law – eliminating the automatic enrollment mandate that forces workers into employer-sponsored healthcare coverage that they may not want our need.
"Finally – and, in my opinion, most importantly – this agreement provides new topline spending caps of $1.067 trillion for FY16 and $1.070 trillion for FY17. This will roll back the harmful, automatic, meat-ax approach of sequestration cuts, which gut important federal programs and slice the good with the bad.
"A two-year plan provides much needed certainty to the appropriations process, ensuring our ability to make thoughtful, responsible funding decisions. Having established, agreed-upon topline numbers for both FY16 and FY17 will allow Congress to do its work on behalf of the American people, and avoid a harmful government shutdown. This is particularly crucial when it comes to our national security: It provides the Pentagon with the certainty needed to plan for the future, maintain readiness, and provide for our troops.
"These adjustments are fully offset by mandatory spending cuts and other savings – NOT through tax increases, as the Administration proposed in its budget submission earlier this year.
"And these new levels do not undermine our remarkable success in limiting federal discretionary spending. Since 2011, we have reduced discretionary spending by $175 billion – and we remain on track to save taxpayers more than $2 trillion through 2024.
"With passage of this important agreement, my Committee stands at the ready to implement the details of the deal – going line by line through budgets and making the tough but necessary decisions to fund the entire federal government in a responsible way.
"We will begin work with our Senate counterparts immediately.
"We have our eye on the December 11 deadline – and it is my goal to complete our Appropriations work ahead of that date to avoid any more delays, continuing resolutions, or ‘shutdown showdowns’ that hurt important federal programs, our economy, and trust in the Congress.
"I want to thank and commend our leaders for their courage, tenacity, and resolve. While I know that the deal isn’t perfect – and the process by which it emerged is less than ideal – I believe it is in the best interest of our country that we move forward.
"This agreement takes steps in the right direction – from finding savings in our entitlement programs, to protecting our economy from a dangerous default, to providing for the future of the nation through funding certainty.
"These are goals that I believe we can all get behind, and so I ask that my colleagues support this bipartisan agreement today.
"Thank you, and I yield back."
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers today released the following statement regarding the announcement that a two-year budget deal has been reached between House and Senate leadership.
“I am pleased that all sides have come to an agreement – taking the important and courageous steps to find common ground and do what is best for our country. This deal is fiscally responsible, and I commend our leaders for their fruitful work toward this end.
“The Appropriations Committee stands at the ready to implement the details of the deal. Congress alone has the ‘power of the purse,’ and it is our Constitutional duty to responsibly and adequately fund the functions of the federal government. I look forward to getting to work immediately with our counterparts in the Senate to ensure the Appropriations process is complete ahead of the December 11 deadline, so that we can avoid any more delays or ‘shutdown showdowns’ that have caused unnecessary damage to important federal programs – including our national defense.”
The U.S. House today approved a short-term Continuing Resolution (CR) to maintain federal operations and prevent a government shutdown at midnight tonight.
The legislation continues funding for government programs and services until December 11, 2015, and maintains the existing spending cap put into place by the Budget Control Act of 2013. This federal funding will continue for the length of the continuing resolution, or until Congress approves the annual Appropriations legislation for fiscal year 2016. The legislation does not contain controversial provisions or riders.
House Committee on Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers gave the following statement on the passage of the CR:
“Once again, Congress has had to act on a short-term funding bill to keep the lights on in government. This yearly, destabilizing practice is bad for the U.S. economy, bad for the reliability of important government programs – including our national defense – and wastes federal money by arbitrarily postponing actions that make better use of taxpayer dollars.
“However, this legislation is absolutely necessary, as the alternative – a government shutdown – is reckless and irresponsible.
“It is crucial that Congress fulfill its constitutional duty and enact actual, line-by-line Appropriations legislation for the next fiscal year. To do this, a larger budget agreement must be enacted. This Continuing Resolution will allow time for such an agreement to be reached, and for the annual Appropriations work to ensue.
“The legislation is simple: It ensures Americans continue to have access to government programs and services, it prevents unnecessary economic harm caused by a government shutdown, it maintains the budget cap level, and it is free of controversial riders. While this isn’t the best way to budget, it will get us past the current deadline and move us forward in addressing the larger fiscal challenges facing our nation.”
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers spoke on the House floor today in support of H.R. 719, the Fiscal Year 2016 Short-Term Continuing Resolution. The bill provides funding to continue government programs after the fiscal year ends at midnight on September 30, 2015, at the current, fiscal year 2015 rate, and lasts until December 11, 2015.
Chairman Rogers' statement follows:
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present H.R. 719, a short-term continuing resolution to keep the government open and operating after the end of the fiscal year on September 30.
"This necessary measure funds government programs and services at the current rate through December 11th of this year. As in previous years, the CR also includes a small across-the-board reduction to keep within the fiscal year 2016 cap level set by the Budget Control Act.
"This is a responsible measure that prevents a harmful government shutdown, while allowing time for a larger budget agreement to be reached, and time to complete the full-year Appropriations work for 2016.
"It also includes a few responsible provisions to prevent disastrous, irreversible damage to government programs, or to address current, urgent needs.
"These changes are limited in scope and noncontroversial. For instance, these provisions: extend the authority for critical Department of Defense activities that fight terrorism; increase funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs to help address the disability claims backlog; and provide emergency funding to the Forest Service to help respond to the wildfires that are devastating our Western States.
"While I firmly believe this legislation is the best path forward at this time, it is also my strong opinion that Congress should do its job and enact actual, line-by-line Appropriations bills ahead of our September 30 deadline. Clearly, this is not an option at this time, so we must resort to a temporary measure like this CR.
"But a CR doesn’t reflect our most current budgetary needs. It creates uncertainty across the government, and does not adequately address our national security obligations. And it causes needless waste when taxpayer dollars are spent inefficiently and ineffectively.
"So it is to my great dismay that we have arrived at this point once again – requiring a temporary Band-Aid to buy us time to do our constitutionally mandated duty.
"The House got off to a great start – beginning our appropriations work at the earliest date since 1974 and passing 6 of our 12 bills by July. My Committee passed all 12 bills for the first time since 2009.
"But now, with progress stalled, it is clear that all sides must come together to find some sort of agreement that addresses our current fiscal situation in a comprehensive way.
"And this CR, while not ideal, is the next step toward that end – keeping the government’s lights on as we work to find a solution.
"With current funding set to expire in just hours, I urge my colleagues to do the responsible and reasonable thing, and support this Continuing Resolution today.
"Thank you, and I yield back."
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers today released the following statement after Speaker John Boehner announced he would resign as Speaker and retire from Congress at the end of October:
“For the last five years, Speaker Boehner has led the House of Representatives with grace and dignity. His work to protect this institution has demonstrated his deep love for the Congress and all it stands for – and his announcement today only underscores that. In the face of an intractable president and, until last year, an obstructive Democrat Senate, Speaker Boehner ushered through many significant accomplishments – including enacting $175 billion in spending cuts and stopping a host of harmful White House policies and regulations. His presence, leadership, and friendship will be deeply missed. I wish John, Debbie, and their loved ones the very best.”
The House Appropriations Committee today cleared its 12th and final funding measure, marking the first time since 2009 that all Appropriations bills have been approved by the full Committee.
Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers congratulated the Committee on its work.
"The Appropriations Committee has done its job. We got off to one of the earliest starts in history, held more than a hundred hearings and dozens of briefings, and conducted thoughtful and thorough analysis of every single discretionary line item in the budget.
"With the approval of the 12th bill today, all committee work on funding measures is completed – the first time this has happened since 2009 – and this has been done at a rapid pace with several weeks left before the August recess. In addition, six Appropriations bills have been approved by the full House. I congratulate the Committee on this impressive work.
"These 12 bills save taxpayer dollars by prioritizing funding and trimming back or eliminating areas of waste and inefficiency. They make tremendous strides to rein in executive overreach and bureaucratic red tape that infringes on the rights of Americans and stifles economic growth. Simply put, these are good bills that should be enacted into law.
"With time dwindling before the end of the fiscal year, it is my hope that all sides can come together to find common ground on an overall budget agreement. While a short term funding extension may be needed to provide additional time for negotiations, it is my intention to shepherd all Appropriations bills to final completion as quickly as possible."
The House Appropriations Committee today approved the fiscal year 2016 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations bill on a vote of 32-17. The bill provides funds to secure the nation’s borders and enforce immigration laws, identify and protect against cyber threats, stop transnational criminals who smuggle drugs and people into the U.S., respond to natural disasters, and fight terrorism. In addition, the bill improves oversight of DHS to hold the agency accountable to the American people.
The legislation provides $39.3 billion in discretionary funding for DHS, a decrease of $337 million below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $2.1 billion below the President’s request. The bill does not contain funds to implement the President's executive action on immigration, and specifically bars the use of funds for these activities for the duration of legal proceedings on the issue.
Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers made the following statement on the bill:
“Safeguarding our homeland, strengthening our borders, enforcing our immigration laws, and protecting our people from terrorism and natural disasters – these are the core missions of this legislation,” Chairman Rogers said. “Now – as we face growing threats from groups like ISIL, domestic terrorists, and other perils yet unknown – we must remain vigilant. This bill will ensure an active and well-equipped frontline, a secure border, and strong intelligence and cybersecurity operations that are paramount to keeping our nation safe.”
Homeland Security Subcommittee Chairman John Carter also commented on the bill.
“I am proud that our bill focuses first and foremost on border security, law enforcement and fiscal responsibility,” Homeland Security Subcommittee Chairman John Carter said. “This bill rejects the President’s attempt to undermine our laws and uses the tax payers’ dollars in a fiscally responsible manner by promoting reforms within DHS, and reducing ineffectual offices and programs. Additionally, this bill requires the President to enforce current law as it is written, not as he would like to interpret it by executive order. We must provide for our nation’s security, and enforcement of the law, while exercising fiscal restraint, which is what this bill offers.”
The following amendments to the bill were approved by the full committee today:
Rep. Carter – The amendment made technical and other noncontroversial changes and additions to the report. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
Rep. Rooney – The amendment prohibits funding for TSA uniforms that include badges that resemble law-enforcement badges. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
Rep. Culberson – The amendment requires ICE to detain Priority 1 and Priority 2 illegal aliens. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
Rep. Yoder – The amendment prohibits certain state and local grants from going to “Sanctuary Cities.” The amendment was adopted on a vote of 28-21.Rep. Aderholt– The amendment restates current law prohibiting federal funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to provide for abortions, except in certain life-threatening cases, rape, and incest. The amendment was adopted on a vote of 31-18.
Rep. Young – The amendment withholds $5 million in funding for ICE until ICE completes a congressional briefing on the status of local communities participating in the Priority Enforcement Program. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
The bill was approved on a vote of 32-17.
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