THOMPSON VOTES FOR FEDERAL SPENDING BILL
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5) voted today to pass H.R. 2029, the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Omnibus Appropriations bill. This measure funds the government for FY 2016.
“This bill is far from perfect but it averts a disastrous government shutdown, makes investments that help working people, and will benefit communities in our district,” said Thompson. “Next year we need to build on this compromise and avoid governing from crisis-to-crisis and cliff-to-cliff.”
The legislation includes these important measures:
- Infrastructure: Maintains the funding for the popular TIGER Grants at the 2015 level of $500 million, and provides $353 million for proposed small starts projects. The Small Starts program provides grants for capital costs associated with new fixed guideway systems, extensions, and bus corridor improvements such as Sonoma County’s SMART Train.
- Fire Management: Invests $4.2 billion for wildland fire management.
- Solar energy: Extends the solar investment tax credit through 2021 much as Thompson’s New Energy for America Act (H.R.2412) would do.
- National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS): Provides $73 million to strengthen our background check system to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, domestic abusers and the dangerously mentally ill.
- Housing Assistance: Provides $17.7 billion for Section 8 housing assistance, which is a $195 million increase from 2015.
- Conservation: Includes a three year reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation fund which has contributed nearly $10 million dollars to California’s 5th District since the program started. Additionally, the bill reauthorizes the Pittman-Robertson funding for North American Wetlands Conservation Act grants.
- Salmon: Provides $91.5 million for salmon management, including funding for threatened and endangered Pacific salmon species.
- Crude by Rail: Provides Crude oil training program for first responders. This was part of Rep. Mike Thompson’s Crude-By-Rail Safety Act (HR 1804).
- National Guard: Provides $125 million increase in funding for the National Guard Counter-Drug Program.
- Law Enforcement: Provides $212 million for the federal COPS program, of which $187 million is for hiring. Additional it provides $347.1 million for Byrne-JAG program, which is a $14.4 million increase from 2015.
- County of Origin Labeling (COOL): Repeals COOL, which will avoid tariff retaliation on California wine, after The World Trade Organization determined earlier this year that such labeling violates our trade commitments by treating imported livestock less favorably than domestic livestock.
- Postal service: Provides for the continuation of six-day and rural mail delivery and states that none of the funds provided by this bill may be used to close or consolidate small or rural post offices.
- Education: The bill restores $2.5 billion in education funding and also makes additional investments of $1.4 billion above 2015, in such areas as Title I that serves 24 million at-risk students.
- Early Learning: Invests $600 million more than 2015 in Head Start.
- Medical Research: Provides $2 billion more than 2015 for this life-saving research.
The legislation also does not include a number of ideological riders such as measures to defund Planned Parenthood or family planning services, prohibit Department of Justice (DOJ) funds from being used to defend immigration reform policies in court, or blocked efforts to combat climate change.
H.R. 2029 passed by a vote of 316-113.
Congressman Mike Thompson is proud to represent California’s 5th Congressional District, which includes all or part of Contra Costa, Lake, Napa, Solano and Sonoma Counties. He is a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee. Rep. Thompson is also a member of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition and chairs the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Wine Caucus.
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