Rep. Huffman Votes Against Partisan Government Funding Package

Washington, D.C. – (RealEstateRama) — Rep. Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) today voted against a destructive, partisan funding bill for fiscal year 2018 that would cut much-needed funding and investments from national priorities like education, infrastructure, and health care, while undermining the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to protect clean air and clean water.

Rep. Huffman had proposed numerous amendments to the Rules Committee to strengthen the bill, including an amendment to provide much-needed disaster assistance to fishermen in California, but the Republican leadership denied all of Rep. Huffman’s amendments a chance for a vote or even a debate on the House floor.

The bill passed by the House today will take a wrecking ball to many of our top American priorities and core values,” said Rep. Huffman. “Thankfully the bill is dead on arrival in the Senate, but it doesn’t change the fact that Republican leaders in the House are proposing to jeopardize Americans’ health, gut funding for clean air and water, and slash much-needed funding for infrastructure.

“It is an outrage that House leadership blocked so many of our efforts to improve the bill, including my amendment to provide additional funding for those on the West Coast who are reeling from fishery disasters. And in the wake of destructive hurricanes and flooding in Texas, Florida, and the Caribbean, it is unconscionable that House Republican leaders ducked debate on our bipartisan common-sense proposal to plan for extreme flooding and sea level rise.” 

Republican leadership blocked the following Huffman amendments from consideration on the House floor:

·         An amendment to increase funding for the federal fisheries disaster relief account by over $139 million, the amount reflected in two bills introduced by Huffman and Congresswoman Jackie Speier for both the 2015-2016 Dungeness and rock crab fishery disasters and the 2016 Yurok Tribe Klamath River Chinook salmon fishery disaster;

·         An amendment to require fishery management plans to incorporate climate change impacts on fish stocks;

·         An amendment to reinstate requirements that federal infrastructure projects account for the impacts of sea-level rise and other extreme weather events;

·         An amendment with Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) to ensure that American taxpayers are no longer forced to pay the salaries of Donald Trump’s political appointee Stephen Miller, whose work has emboldened white nationalists and sowed division, bigotry, and hate;

·         An amendment to protect National Marine Sanctuaries and Marine National Monuments from Donald Trump’s ongoing review that might lead to increased oil and gas drilling; and

·         An amendment to block a bailout of the coal industry until it has addressed abandoned mine land cleanup and pension funding.

The funding bill approved on a party-line vote in the House today undermines numerous key values, including:

  •          It is a multi-faceted assault on women’s health.
    It prohibits federal reimbursement to Planned Parenthood for health care services, including contraceptive services, for women covered by Medicaid.  It eliminates funding for Title X family planning and Teen Pregnancy Prevention grants and includes the text of the Conscience Protection Act, threatening a woman’s access to care in life-endangering emergencies.  It expands the “Global Gag Rule,” prohibiting organizations that provide or counsel women on abortion services from receiving any global health funding, prohibits funding for UNFPA, and caps reproductive health funding at the 2008 level.
  •          It hurts communities’ ability to prepare and recover from catastrophic flooding.

It slashes NOAA’s overall operations and funding for climate research, weakening efforts to understand and address a driving factor of more frequent and severe storms.  It eliminates Regional Coastal Resilience Grants and guts Coastal Zone Management grants, critical for both coastal and Great Lakes regions.   It cuts $100 million from Community Development Block Grants, a critical funding source that can be used for both prevention and recovery.  It cuts $291 million from the Dislocated Worker National Reserve, which creates clean up and recovery jobs after natural disasters.

  •          It undermines the Affordable Care Act.
    It prohibits funds to enforce the Affordable Care Act individual mandate or subsidize health insurance plans that provide coverage for abortion services, or implement any other portion of ACA.  It cuts more than $500 million from CMS Program Management, intended to block funding to support the ACA marketplace.
  •          It repeals many important Dodd-Frank financial reforms.
    It includes 88 pages of authorizing language – the so-called Financial Choice Act – which would repeal mechanisms put in place to ensure American taxpayers are not forced to bail out Wall Street and suffer financial ruin as a result of reckless practices at irresponsible financial institutions.
  •          It makes our land, air, and water dirtier.
    It cuts more than $500 million from EPA, including an 18% cut from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund.  It includes riders hindering enforcement of the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act, and forces taxpayers to pick up the tab for cleaning pollution caused by private mining companies.
  •          It breaks promises to invest in infrastructure and makes our roads less safe.
    It eliminates funding for TIGER grants and slashes Capital Investment Grants by nearly 40%, hindering upgrades of deficient roads, bridges, and transit systems, and contains riders raising allowable truck weights while allowing trucking companies to make drivers work longer hours with fewer breaks. 
  •          It strips a provision making DREAMers eligible for federal employment.

The Appropriations Committee adopted a bipartisan amendment by Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA) to the Financial Services & General Government Appropriations bill making DACA recipients eligible for federal jobs.  Majority leadership stripped this bipartisan provision from the text to be considered by the House, the second time they have taken this underhanded and undemocratic step to hide from a politically difficult issue.

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