Bipartisan Work Continues on Appropriations in Senate
‘Funding the federal government -- matching resources with urgent challenges -- is one of Congress’s most important responsibilities. I’m proud of the appropriations process that’s underway. And I’m especially proud of all the ways the resulting legislation will deliver for the American people.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding the Senate’s continued bipartisan work on appropriations:
“I spoke yesterday about the bipartisan cooperation that’s made it possible for us to return to a regular appropriations process. Collaboration got the four measures we’re now considering through the subcommittee and full committee process, thanks to the efforts of Chairman Shelby and Senator Leahy, and subcommittee leaders -- Senators Murkowski, Collins, Hoeven, and Lankford.
“Here on the floor, bipartisanship let us turn to this legislation by consent and kick off the amendment process with several votes yesterday. If we can keep it up, we’ll soon take four more big steps towards our goal: Funding the federal government the right way and avoiding another omnibus. Yesterday, I mentioned the legislation before us addresses two pressing national needs: Rebuilding America’s infrastructure and bolstering the fight against opioids.
“But that’s far from the whole story. These measures cover about one eighth of total discretionary spending for next year. They fund a long list of key services that Americans depend on every day -- everything from food safety inspections to child nutrition programs to the Forest Service and national parks. Communities in all 50 states are connected to this legislation.
“Here are a few of the provisions that will be particular cause for celebration in my home state of Kentucky. $37 billion toward rural development, including support for rural businesses, and loans and grants to improve rural infrastructure for electricity, telephone, and broadband internet in communities in Kentucky and across the country. Another $1 billion in grants to help communities invest in highways, bridges, and other infrastructure projects -- with a guarantee that 30 percent of this funding would go to rural areas.
“More funding for the Abandoned Mine Land pilot program that helps communities reclaim abandoned coal mines and put that land to better use. More funding and a sharper federal focus on controlling the invasive Asian carp that threaten local prosperity and water safety in Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley in western Kentucky. And more help for the Kentuckians who battle the scourge of opioids every day. This legislation funds the FDA’s efforts to intercept illegal drugs, the DEA’s program for high-intensity trafficking areas, and increased training for first responders.
“It also contains a provision I secured directing the Department of Housing and Urban Development to encourage more access to transitional housing opportunities for individuals recovering from substance abuse disorder. I could go on. The ways the bills before us would assist families and communities across Kentucky are practically countless. And the same is true for every state.
“That’s why every member understands the importance of appropriations. Funding the federal government -- matching resources with urgent challenges -- is one of Congress’s most important responsibilities. I’m proud of the appropriations process that’s underway. And I’m especially proud of all the ways the resulting legislation will deliver for the American people.”
Related Issues: Appropriations