The Art of Compromise: Government Spending Bill Breakdown
Where we spend our money is a direct reflection of our priorities. This week, the House of Representatives voted in a bipartisan fashion to pass a six-month spending bill to avert a government shutdown, and to keep the government running through September. While this bill is not perfect – it is the product of compromise. Democrats in the House successfully eliminated 160 poison pill riders that ranged from funding an ineffective and expensive wall along the U.S.-Mexico border to dismantling consumer protections under Dodd-Frank.
This spending agreement:
- Adds $2 billion to the National Institutes of Health to continue essential for lifesaving medical research and development
- Provides a $90 million increase in special education funding to better serve children with disabilities
- Reinstates year-round Pell Grant assistance for our neediest college students, and increases the maximum Pell Grant to $5,920
- Fully funds the Chemical Safety Board at $11 million to continue providing essential safety recommendations and improvements
- Increases pay for military service members by 2.1%
- Includes $100 million to upgrade drinking water infrastructure in Flint, Michigan
- Maintains and increases the budget for the Nation Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities
- Increases International Disaster Assistance by $1 billion
- Protects funding for women’s health services
While this is a temporary fix, when Congress starts FY18 budget talks later this year, among the things I will be fighting for are increased accountability at the Department of Defense, safeguarding the Environmental Protection Agency from dramatic cuts, and ensuring that our public schools have the resources they need for our students to succeed.