WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX), Chairman of the House Committee on Rules, released the following statement after supporting the consolidated appropriations package to fund the government through September 30, 2017:
“One of the core constitutional responsibilities of Congress is to decide how and where taxpayer dollars are spent. Today the House of Representatives passed a measure to fund the federal government through the end of this fiscal year. I voted for this package because it reflects a disciplined effort to rein in spending and keeps discretionary spending at 2008 levels while increasing funding for our military, border infrastructure, and the National Institute of Health (NIH).
“Over the past eight years, funding for our national defense was at a record low and our service men and women paid the price. Those in uniform put their lives on the line each and every day to defend and protect our freedom, and the $25.7 million increase in funding this spending measure provides is needed to rebuild their strength and readiness. It also gives our service men and women with a well-deserved, long overdue pay increase – the largest in nearly six years.
“Congress continues to work with the White House to put forward a plan to secure our border. However, there are critical funding needs for existing border enforcement hat are a matter of national security. This spending package provides an additional $1.5 billion for border security improvements including funding for investigation programs combatting human trafficking, child exploitation, cybercrime, and drug smuggling. . We must gain operational control of our borders and adequate funding for Customs and Border Patrol agents, infrastructure and technological improvements is an important step toward that goal.
“Keeping our nation safe from our enemies both foreign and domestic is vitally important, however it is not the sole priority of Congress. I'm proud that the package passed by the House today increases funding to the NIH by$2 billion, for a total funding amount of $34 billion. The work conducted at the NIH and through NIH-funded grants is truly life-saving. This $2 billion dollar increase will further basic research into the diseases that impact nearly every family- including Alzheimer’s, antibiotic resistance, and the Precision Medicine Initiative. I have worked very closely with Dr. Francis Collins throughout the years and deeply believe in the importance of his work at the NIH. I am proud this package makes good on the commitment I made to my constituents, and we made as a Congress to the American people, to support and value the NIH’s immense contribution to the medical community and our society as a whole.
“I would like to commend the Appropriations Committee for their diligent work on this spending measure. They brought forward responsible solutions that fund our government and the American people's priorities. This is no easy task and I applaud their commitment and dedication to completing our work to fund the government through the end of this fiscal year.”
For more information on H.R. 244 - Senate Amendments to HIRE Vets Act [Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017], click here.
Caroline Boothe, Communications Director