Eshoo Votes for Omnibus Legislation & Against Unpaid-For Tax Breaks
December 18th, 2015
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.) released the following statement regarding votes she cast this week on two bills: 1) an Omnibus bill to fund the entire federal government through October 2016, and 2) a bill to renew several tax extensions, some permanently. Eshoo voted in favor of the Omnibus funding bill and against the tax bill. Both bills passed the House with bipartisan approval. Unlike most bills passed by the House, an Omnibus covers funding for the entire federal government in one big bill. Without its passage the government would be unfunded and a shutdown could have occurred.
Eshoo said of the Omnibus:
“This bill is far from perfect. With any legislation of this magnitude come many pluses and minuses. The bill makes significant progress in key national policy areas, including environmental protection, renewable energy, medical research, critical resources for veteran health care, disaster preparedness, and nuclear non-proliferation. Importantly, Democrats secured the exclusion of a number of harmful Republican policy riders that would have defunded Planned Parenthood; blocked Syrian refugees from entering the U.S.; dismantled net neutrality rules; and stopped implementation of the President’s Clean Power Plan. The bill also averts a costly and disruptive government shutdown.
“I vigorously opposed the giveaway in the bill to Big Oil by eliminating the 40-year ban on crude oil exports, a measure I voted against in the Energy and Commerce Committee. I also opposed provisions that rollback protections for Americans from government surveillance online, as well as a measure that permits continued consolidation in media ownership, a setback to diversity of ideas and viewpoints over the public airwaves.
“After careful examination of the legislation, I concluded that attempting to block a giveaway to Big Oil should not come at the expense of the numerous benefits for my constituents and millions of Americans.”
Key benefits of the omnibus:
- Funds the federal government through October 2016 with $1.1 trillion.
- Extends for five years tax credits for solar and wind energy production, estimated to double renewable energy deployment and create 100,000 American jobs by 2023.
- Reauthorizes and increases funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund by $150 million. Over its 50 year history, a total of $18 billion has been diverted from the Fund and Republicans allowed its authorization to expire on September 30th.
- Includes $119 million in additional funding for the National Science Foundation.
- A $279 million increase in funding for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science.
- Increases funding for medical research at the National Institutes of Health by $2 billion.
- Increases funding for the Food and Drug Administration by $132 million.
- Increases funding for VA medical services by $4.7 billion and includes an additional $170 million to help reduce the disability claims backlog.
- Funds a critical health bill to ensure 9/11 cleanup workers are adequately compensated and their medical expenses covered.
- Keeps the Affordable Care Act intact and free of partisan policy riders, including a two-year delay of the so-called “Cadillac” tax and a one-year suspension of the Health Insurance Tax.
- Provides $351 million more in funding for BARDA, the nation’s leading agency for accelerating the development of medical countermeasures against biological threats.
- Provides $299 million more funding for nuclear non-proliferation.
- Requires the Federal Aviation Administration to update its community involvement manual and implement a plan to proactively address concerns with NextGen air traffic control.
Eshoo said of the tax extenders bill:
“I have supported and helped create many of the tax extenders during my tenure in Congress, including making permanent those for middle class Americans, small businesses, and the research and development tax credit. However, my opposition rests on the cost of the bill—$680 billion over a ten year period, and $2 trillion over 20 years—all unpaid for and charged to the national debt. I view this as irresponsible and unfair, shortchanging our children and our collective future.”
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