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House Passes Bill to Reduce Federal Spending While Prioritizing Important Programs

Omnibus prevents government shutdown, reduces spending, and sets priorities

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Washington, January 15, 2014 | comments
Omnibus prevents government shutdown, reduces spending, and sets priorities
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Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson today applauded the House passage of the fiscal year 2014 Omnibus Appropriations bill that will provide funds for the operation of the federal government and prevent a government shutdown.  It passed the House by a vote of 359-67 and now moves to the Senate for consideration. 

“This bill represents an important step toward getting back to regular order in our appropriations process, and it does so in a responsible manner that reduces total discretionary spending for the fourth straight year—something not done since the 1950’s,” Simpson said.  “Republicans have fought hard to cut spending since we took over the majority four years ago, and this agreement continues those efforts by establishing a top line below fiscal year 2009 levels.  Since the Republicans took over, we have reduced discretionary spending by $165 billion, nearly undoing the record setting increases by Democrats in previous years.” 

The Omnibus includes all twelve appropriations bills for fiscal year 2014, and provides funding for every aspect of the government—from national security and resources for our troops to support for American farmers and ranchers, biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health, and maintenance of our roads and bridges.  It repeals recently enacted cuts to cost of living adjustments (COLAS) for disabled military retirees and survivors, and it provides no new funding for Obamacare, while reducing the Secretary of Health and Human Service’s “slush fund” for Obamacare exchanges by $1 billion.  

The bill funds a number of vital priorities for Idaho within the lower overall spending levels.  These include increased funding for the Idaho National Lab’s nuclear research programs as well as more than $20 million additional funding for the ongoing nuclear cleanup activities in Eastern Idaho.  As Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, Congressman Simpson played a lead role in deciding funding for all Department of Energy programs.  Simpson also praised provisions included in the Interior and Environment portion of the bill that will provide for wildfire suppression, address public lands issues, and make litigation costs transparent. 

“Not only does this bill provide critical funding in a number of areas important for Idaho, but it also gives agencies clear direction on current Congressional priorities, as well as the stability to budget accordingly to fulfill them,” Simpson said.  “Funding our government through short term Continuing Resolutions is unsustainable, and, frankly, not a responsible way to govern.   Through this agreement, Congress has fulfilled its duty of keeping our government open, and while no one got everything they wanted in the final package, we have paved the way back to regular order in the weeks and months to come.” 

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