CONGRESSMAN BISHOP STATEMENT ON PASSAGE OF FY2017 OMNIBUS APPROPRIATIONS BILL
May 3, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02), Ranking Member of the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, released the following statement regarding his support of the bipartisan Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Omnibus Appropriations government spending bill. The bill was approved today by the full U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 309 to 118.
“Earlier today, the U.S. House of Representatives came together in a bipartisan manner to pass an Omnibus funding bill to avoid a government shutdown, an outcome that would have been damaging to communities and families across the country. This Omnibus legislation includes necessary funding for the defense and non-defense needs of our country.
“The Omnibus includes $400 million in Community Development Block Grant funding for disaster assistance. It increases funding for early childhood education, and on the other end, provides one million additional Pell grants for those seeking higher education. It also enhances our nation’s research posture with an additional $2 billion for medical research at the National Institutes of Health.
“On the defense side of things, the Omnibus bill provides $15 billion in additional resources. It fully funds the previously authorized 2.1 percent pay raise for our service members, and provides additional funding to address readiness shortfalls and to invest in the operation and maintenance of our facilities. It also makes contingent a portion of new resources on the administration providing a long-term strategy for dealing with ISIS and Syria.
“As Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, I am pleased that the Omnibus provides additional resources for agriculture research, food and plant health programs, the Farm Service Agency, and Rural Development. It specifically expands telemedicine, broadband access, and STEM distance learning.
“However, this Omnibus legislation is not perfect, and I am disappointed that a number of vital provisions were left on the cutting room floor. Last minute politics led to the removal of much needed cottonseed policy language, which would have addressed the severe economic circumstances impacting the U.S. cotton industry. This is an important issue that I will continue to focus on, particularly as Congress debates an upcoming Farm Bill.”
The Omnibus includes 11 appropriations bills. It provides funding for the remainder of FY2017 for the majority of discretionary governmental programs, with the exception of Military Construction and Veterans Affairs which was previously provided full FY2017 funding through legislation passed in September 2016.
Additional information regarding the Agriculture section of the FY2017 Omnibus can be found here. Additional information on the whole FY2017 Omnibus appropriations bill can be found here.