Congresswoman Duckworth Votes for Bipartisan Compromise Government Funding Legislation

Congresswoman also voted to support parents, teachers, and children with extended tax breaks

Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–December 18, 2015.  Following the U.S. House of Representatives passing a bipartisan compromise bill that will fund the government through Fiscal Year 2016 by a vote of 316-118, Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (IL-08) issued the following statement:

“This compromise is far from perfect—and it includes many provisions I do not support—but I voted for it because, on balance, it will move our country forward and create jobs. People in the Eighth District and throughout Illinois are tired of gridlock, and I am too. It’s time for Congress to work for the American people again, and this bipartisan compromise gets us closer to that goal.

“By passing this omnibus, we will enhance Veterans disability claims processing, boost clean renewable energy,  protect Planned Parenthood and retirement security, invest in early education among other important education programs, support national and community service programs as well as ensure 9/11 first-responders receive the health care they need. We will also bolster our nation’s counterterrorism and counterintelligence operations and increase investments in National Guard and Reserve Equipment by $1 billion, vastly improving our military capabilities and readiness.”

“The nature of compromise requires us to acknowledge that we will not get everything we want and to accept things we dislike—so while I disagree with many provisions in the bill, I am heartened the compromise includes several items that will help our district and our state, and I am glad the House passed it today. I hope it signals a shift in the partisanship and gridlock that has prevailed in Washington for too long.”

The bipartisan government funding compromise:

·    Provides $3.4 billion to the FBI’s counterterrorism and counterintelligence operationsthat uncover, investigate and disrupt plots that threaten our national security.

·    Increases funding for the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account by $1 billionabove the President’s budget request.

·    Includes $2.7 billion for VA disability claims processing, $173 million more than last year’s funding level.

·    Includes more than $1 billion to protect the Great Lakes, including $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

·    Provides nearly $3.4 billion in Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) block grants.

·    Supports Amtrak with $1.39 billion in funding.

·    Invests $500 million in the TIGER Grant program that recently awarded $14 million for transportation improvements in the Eighth District.

·    Nearly doubles funding to fight childhood hungerthrough the summer EBT program.

·    Increases funding for the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office by $136 million.

·    Provides $1.1 billion for National and Community Service programs, including an increase of $61 million for the AmeriCorps program above last year’s funding level.

·    Adds $3 billion in SBA 7(a) loan authorizations to support small businesses in the Eighth District and around the country.

Congresswoman Duckworth also voted this week to support the so-called “Tax Extenders” package, which will prevent tax hikes on the middle-class, parents, teachers, and children that were scheduled to take effect on January 1st. The legislation also makes permanent several tax cuts critical to middle-class and low-income families including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), the Child Tax Credit, tuition tax credits and credits that help teachers afford needed expenses. Following the bill’s passage on a bipartisan vote of 318-109, the Congresswoman said:

“Politics is the art of the possible, and though I wish these changes had been included as part of a broader, comprehensive tax reform package, I simply could not vote to raise taxes on low-income and middle-class families, students and teachers or our children. This bill will help them while cutting taxes on small businesses. My hope is that it will move us closer to a comprehensive tax reform deal by removing the barriers that have so far prevented an agreement.”

Source: www.duckworth.house.gov