CONGRESSMAN BISHOP STATEMENT ON PASSAGE OF FY 2016 OMNIBUS APPROPRIATIONS BILL
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02), Ranking Member of the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, released the following statement regarding his support of the bipartisan Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Omnibus Appropriations government spending bill. The bill was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 316 to 113, was approved by the U.S. Senate, and has been signed into law by the President.
“The House of Representatives came together with a balanced compromise to provide the resources needed to create jobs, boost our economic growth, bolster education, invest in our infrastructure, and support our working families. Overall, the bill achieves a number of victories for Georgia and the American people, especially in providing for education, job training, medical research, worker safety, child care, and food security.
“Regarding the MilCon/VA section of the bill, a number of the bill’s highlights will have a profound impact on the lives of our nation’s veterans. For example, the amount of funding for Hepatitis C treatment to was raised to $1.5 billion in an effort to eliminate the disease among the veteran population. Additionally, in order to combat veterans’ homelessness, suicide, and PTSD, we have also included $7.5 billion for mental health care services. Additionally, I am confident that the FY2016 bill provides our military the resources it needs to defend our country and fund the services our veterans may need to carry out successful, productive lives.
"Within the Agriculture section of the Omnibus, we worked to prioritize support for American farmers and ranchers, approving $21.75 billion in discretionary funding and $925 million above last year's enacted level. The strong funding for agriculture production, safe food and medicines research, and rural development will go far to promote U.S. agriculture, create jobs, and strengthen our economy.
“That being said, it is high time Congress returns to regular working order—a process that starts with a realistic allocation, rejects the omnibus model, returns to passing individually tailored spending bills, and utilizing the entire legislative process to determine how our government responsibly invests in the American people. Truly, regular order is better for the governmental process, the Members, and this august institution in which we serve.”
· $113.7 million to complete the remaining design and construction of the Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory in Athens, Georgia. This is in addition to the FY2015 appropriation which provided $45 million to begin a phased design and construction project for the facility, which is the highest priority facility recommended for modernization. It will be the primary research laboratory studying the avian flu, which has devastated the US poultry industry, particularly in the west and Midwest regions of the country
· $90 million for a command and control facility at Fort Gordon
· $7.851 million for ground source heat pumps for the Navy in Albany
· $8.099 million for industrial control system infrastructure for the Navy at Kings Bay
· $48.279 million for a bombing range expansion (Phase 2) for the Navy at Townsend
· $10.9 million to replace a pump-house and truck fill stands at Moody Air Force Base
· $9 million for a C-130 squadron operations facility at Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport for the Air National Guard
· $770 thousand for the Army Corps of Engineers construction on Richard B. Russell Dam and Lake
· $8.663 million for the Army Corps of Engineers construction on Savannah Harbor disposal areas
· $21.050 million for the Army Corps of Engineers construction on Savannah Harbor Expansion
For more information regarding the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs section of the FY2016 Omnibus, please click here. For more information regarding the agriculture section of the FY2016 Omnibus, please click here. For more information about the whole FY2016 Omnibus appropriations bill, please click here and here.