Hill Votes for Pro-Growth Omnibus Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2029, Consolidated Appropriations Act by a vote of 316-113. Following passage of the bill, Congressman French Hill (AR-2) released the below statement:
“Throughout the course of this year, the House passed all twelve appropriations bills out of Committee and passed six of those bills out of the House. This is how the appropriations process should work, and if the Senate Democrats hadn’t stymied regular order and dealt with individual appropriations bills in a timely way and the President hadn’t insisted on holding military funding hostage to support more deficit spending for his domestic agenda, we would not have had to pass this after-midnight spending deal today.
“My preference always has been to live under the budget caps, which have reigned in domestic discretionary spending. But we can never reverse our annual negative fiscal trends without tackling mandatory spending programs. The next President must join Congress in this essential mission.
“The inaction of Senate Democrats led us to today, and while I don’t like these year-end, all-encompassing spending bills, I voted for this one because the good significantly outweighs the bad. Part of being an effective legislator is understanding that any opportunity to move the needle in the right direction—no matter how incremental the movement—is a positive outcome. In passing today’s bill, we continue the fight against the President’s failed health care law while protecting important pro-life policies, supporting our military, improving our Nation’s economy, reigning in the IRS, and cutting funding to the EPA.
“By delaying Obamacare taxes, preventing funds from being used to bailout the risk corridor program, and prohibiting new funding for Obamacare, we are providing important relief for businesses and hardworking taxpayers. Pro-life protections in this bill will also prevent taxpayer funding of abortions and prevent discrimination of health providers who refuse to provide, pay for, or refer abortions.
“The House also plans to take up the budget reconciliation bill, which recently passed the Senate. This reconciliation bill has been supported by a number of pro-growth and pro-life organizations, including the National Right to Life Committee, and passage of this bill in the House will ensure that Congress puts on the President’s desk a bill that repeals key provisions of his failed health care law and prohibits federal taxpayer dollars from funding Planned Parenthood.
“Our National Defense Authorization Act requires the President to put forth a strategy and tactical plan to defeat ISIS. In the meantime, Congress is fully funding the mightiest military force in the world and supporting Little Rock Air Force Base and Camp Robinson. We are also implementing important reforms that will strengthen the Visa Waiver Program by restricting travel to the United States by individuals from countries that have travelled to Iraq or Syria since March 2011, or those who have dual nationality with Syria, Iraq, or Sudan.
“The bill also contains many provisions that are aimed at growing the economy in Arkansas and the rest of the country. One of those provisions is the lifting of the 40-year-old ban on exporting crude oil from the United States. In the past four decades since we first enacted this self-imposed ban, oil and gas exploration technologies have greatly expanded the ability for the United States to increase our oil extraction and energy production. This will also provide increased energy options for our NATO and Asian allies abroad that are currently forced to rely on oil from conflict driven and terror-centric states in the Persian Gulf. This will also help to break the grip that OPEC has had on our world’s energy resources.
“This bill, along with the important tax extenders legislation, will help grow our economy from the ground up, providing businesses with the certainty needed to invest new capital, grow, expand, and create jobs in Arkansas and throughout the country.
“I will continue to work for good conservative policies that will offer a clear and complete alternative to the agenda of the President and his colleagues in order to show how we plan to grow our economy, support our national security, and effectively manage and solve the problems facing our great Nation.”