Senate Completes Work on Seventh Appropriations Bill, Funds Key Priorities
‘For more than a week, the Senate has carefully considered a set of four appropriations bills. Together, they’ll account for about one eighth of discretionary spending for the next fiscal year. They allocate funds for a variety of pressing needs in communities around the country. And they represent four more steps toward the goal this Senate has set to fund the government through regular appropriations and steer clear of another omnibus.’
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:
“For more than a week, the Senate has carefully considered a set of four appropriations bills. Together, they’ll account for about one eighth of discretionary spending for the next fiscal year. They allocate funds for a variety of pressing needs in communities around the country. And they represent four more steps toward the goal this Senate has set to fund the government through regular appropriations and steer clear of another omnibus.
“A lot of attention has rightly been paid to two huge priorities where this legislation will bring major progress: Our mission to renew America’s infrastructure and the ongoing fight against opioid addiction and abuse. Both are urgent challenges. In one survey last year, 81 percent of Americans said the opioid epidemic is either a major problem or a full-blown emergency. And more than half said infrastructure investment was a ‘very important’ or ‘extremely important’ priority. These are two priorities we share throughout this Congress -- both parties, both houses -- and with the president.
“Here are just a few of the provisions in this legislation. Billions of dollars of investment in rural communities, for everything from electric and telephone infrastructure to water infrastructure to broadband internet to small business loans. A $10 billion overall increase from 2017 for infrastructure needs. And tens of millions for opioid prevention, including grants for distance learning and telemedicine so rural America is better equipped to strike back against the scourge of addiction.
“Of course, infrastructure and fighting opioids are only part of what these bills encompass. They will fully fund the federal government’s efforts in Agriculture, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Environment, Financial Services, and General Government. That includes essential, routine services from the Forest Service to food safety inspections.
“It includes many targeted programs that have an outsized impact on local communities. My fellow Kentuckians and I are glad this legislation will help us expand rural Internet access, invest in new highways and bridges, reclaim abandoned mines, contain the invasive Asian carp that threaten our waterways -- the list goes on and on. I know every community, and every state, could write its own list.
“This legislation matters to every Senator. It matters to all Americans. I’m grateful to Chairman Shelby, Senator Leahy, and subcommittee Chairmen Murkowski, Collins, Hoeven, and Lankford for all their hard work. We’ve considered these bills carefully. We’ve voted on a number of amendments. This morning, we’ll consider more amendments and then pass this bill.”
Related Issues: Infrastructure, Appropriations, Opioid Abuse