House Passes Legislation to Fund Federal Government

WASHINGTON, D.C.– Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to continue funding for most government programs and services through September 2015.  The measure extends funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) only through February 2015.

By only extending the Department of Homeland Security funding through February 2015, Congress will have an important opportunity to have serious discussions about the President’s executive action on immigration.

“Make no mistake, the House will act in the new Congress to address President Obama’s massive overreach on immigration,” said Congressman Guthrie.  “The American people want Congress to take this effort head-on, and I look forward to having honest discussions about these policies in the coming months.  But until then, we must ensure the remainder of the government remains funded.”

Included in the funding bill was language from H.R. 4351, the Alzheimer’s Accountability Act, which would encourage research and investigation into Alzheimer’s disease and prevention.  Introduced by Congressman Guthrie on April 1, 2014, H.R. 4351 gained 213 cosponsors and broad bipartisan support in the House.

 “I’m pleased that this important language made it into the final bill,” said Congressman Guthrie.  “Alzheimer’s research and prevention has been a priority of mine and I’m glad to see that reflected amongst my colleagues.”

More than five million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s, the sixth leading cause of death in the Unites States.  The legislation also included an additional $25 million for Alzheimer’s research at the National Institutes of Health.

The underlying appropriations bill cuts funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by $60 million below the FY 2014 level and does not fund the $66 million in new and expanded regulatory programs.  This is the fifth consecutive year of cuts to the EPA, totaling 21 percent, and staffing is reduced by more than 2,000 positions, the lowest level since 1989.  The bill also funds programs for advanced fossil fuel research and development and prohibits the Administration from blocking funding for international coal-fired power projects.

The bill also strengthens the conservative stance on several social issues.  The Pro-Life movement is bolstered by the bill’s continued prevention of federal dollars from being used for abortions, as well as new language to expedite providers’ challenges over conscience violations in states that mandate abortion coverage in their exchange health care plans.  In addition, the bill prohibits funding to implement the UN Arms Trade Treaty, a significant win for Second Amendment rights.

The bill also continues Congress’s work to improve care for veterans and active duty troops. Disability compensation programs, post-9-11 GI Bill education benefits and vocational rehabilitation and employment training are all fully funded.  Further, the bill takes an important step by providing advance appropriations for FY 2016 veteran medical services, support, and facilities, and additional funding to deal with the VA claims backlog, ensuring that veterans will have continued, full access to their medical care.  Funds are also included to fund the troop pay increase, military readiness programs and Overseas Contingency Operations for fighting ISIL and training Iraqi allies.

“While not perfect, today House Republicans successfully advanced conservative policies, further cut federal spending, and placed significant limitations on the Obama administration’s liberal policies,” added Congressman Guthrie.