Davis Votes to Fund Government and Strengthen National Defense
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) today released the following statement after the House passed a bill to fund the government through the next fiscal year and provide millions of Americans with tax relief:
“In an increasingly dangerous world, it is irresponsible for us to continue arbitrary sequester cuts which are depleting our military and failing to provide adequate resources for our armed forces to carry out their mission abroad. This bill strengthens our military and secures our visa waiver program to help prevent terrorists from entering our country.
“While I believe Congress must get out of the habit of passing massive, year-end spending bills and instead return to regular order where we can sensibly reduce spending, it is imperative that we adhere to our constitutional responsibility and fund the government.
“We cannot lose sight of the fact that Republicans in Congress have forced our government to be more fiscally responsible – cutting $176 billion in discretionary spending since 2010 and making long-term, structural reforms to entitlement programs which drive our debt. This bill continues this commitment to reducing our nation’s debt and puts us on track to save taxpayers $2 trillion in the coming years.”
Additionally, this agreement contains several priorities important to the 13th District including:
Continues the fiscal responsibility set under the Budget Control Act of 2011. Although this bill removes the arbitrary cuts made to our military under sequestration and instead provides the necessary funding to our troops, it continues to spend at levels set under the Budget Control Act by making significant reforms to mandatory spending.
Increases resources for our military. Restores necessary funding for our military to ensure our troops can confront today’s challenges and defeat ISIL.
Strengthens the Visa Waiver Program to protect the homeland. This agreement includes the House-passed bill (H.R. 158) to tighten the security requirements under the program and deny visa waiver status to any individual who has traveled to certain terrorist hotspots, including Syria, Iraq, and Iran, in the last five years.
Additional funds for Boeing-made combat jets. The agreement provides additional funding for F/18 Super Hornets and E/A-18G Growlers built by Boeing in St. Louis area to aid in military defense.
Prohibits transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees. The agreement prohibits funds from being used to transfer terrorist detainees from Guantanamo Bay to the United States, and prohibits the construction or acquisition of a facility in the U.S. to house detainees.
Helps students at Work Colleges like Blackburn College. The agreement includes H.R. 3409, the Work Colleges Tax Relief Act, legislation sponsored by Davis and Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.), to allow students to earn tax-free work based scholarships at Work Colleges.
Delays harmful Obamacare taxes. This agreement delays for two years the poorly designed Obamacare Cadillac tax—a 40 percent excise tax on “high cost” employer health plans – and the tax on medical devices which destroys jobs, hampers investment and innovation, and threatens the development of and access to medical technology that Americans relay on.
Stops the Health Insurance Tax. The agreement puts a one-year moratorium on the Health Insurance Tax, which drives up health care premiums.
Continues funding for TIGER grants critical for projects in Illinois. TIGER grants are competitive grants that have been used for major transportation projects in Illinois, including projects in Springfield, Normal, and Champaign in the 13th District. This agreement keeps in place $500 million for competitive grants used for infrastructure investments across the country. Eligible projects include highway, bridge, passenger and freight rail, transit and port projects.
Increases funding and public-private partnership work on our waterways. This agreement includes more funding for the Army Corps to complete projects critical to improving the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. Additionally, it directs the Army Corp to start six new construction starts, and one must use the public-private partnership model, which is based on a provision authored by Davis the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014. This agreement offers a cost effective and bipartisan solution to addressing our Nation’s backlog of water infrastructure projects.
Repeals the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) requirements. This agreement repeals the country-of-origin labeling rules for beef and pork. Back in June, the House overwhelmingly passed language to repeal mandatory COOL for products challenged by our trading partners. This provision puts us back in compliance with our World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations, avoid more than $1 billion retaliatory tariffs against U.S. exports from Canada and Mexico, and prevent damages to our relationships with two of our top trade partners.
Makes critical tax credits for farmers permanent. This agreement makes Sect. 179, Small Business deduction for capital expenses, including farm equipment like tractors, permanent. This provision allows farmers and small businesses to write off capital purchases immediately.
Provides more funding for vital agriculture research at land-grant universities such as the University of Illinois. Funding provided in this agreement to help stop and mitigate devastating crop diseases, improve food safety and water quality, and address issues related to drought, invasive species, and animal health.
Lifts the Oil Export Ban. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates this will bring in an additional $1.4 billion over 10 years by incentivizing American energy producers to develop and export more of our nation’s oil resources.
Includes language seeks to stop an Obama Administration that would devastate Illinois coal and mining jobs across the country. This agreement requires the Office of Surface Mining (OSM) to work with states before finalizing the Stream Buffer Zone rule. This new rule would have a devastating impact on coal mining across this country. OSM’s own analysis estimates that it will result in a loss of nearly 7,000, or nearly 9% of the more than 80,000 coal mining jobs in the United States.
Curtails IRS funding and authority. This agreement freezes most IRS operations and maintains budget cuts and prohibits the IRS from targeting groups based on their ideological beliefs.
Reins in the EPA. This agreement keeps the EPA at its lowest funding levels since 2008 and lowest staffing since 1989 and prevents funds for new or expanded regulatory programs.
9/11 First Responders
Permanently reauthorizes the health care program for 9/11 first responders. This bill includes H.R. 1786, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act, which Davis is a cosponsor.
Provides funding for the care our veterans need and deserve. This agreement provides funding to speed up VA claims processing, prioritizes modernizing the VA’s electronic health care record system, and strengthens oversight of VA construction projects.
Increasing funding for life-saving medical research. This bill provides $32 billion for the National Institute for Health, which is an increase over FY 2015 funding levels