Wicker: Spending Bill averts government shutdown

Published: Jan. 16, 2014 at 10:24 PM CST
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JACKSON, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from Roger Wicker

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a member of the Senate Budget Committee, today voted in favor of a bill to fund the federal government for FY2014. The measure halts new spending for Obamacare, ensures the nation's troops receive their paychecks, and enacts the lowest spending levels since 2008.

"For too long, Washington has lurched from crisis to crisis, denying Americans and the nation's job creators much-needed certainty," Wicker said. "Funding the government is one way to help encourage this certainty. Although the bill is not perfect, I am hopeful this bipartisan agreement represents an end to the Senate's abdication of its shared constitutional duty to exercise the 'power of the purse.' I am also pleased that the bill replaces some of the harsh sequestration spending cuts to our defense and national security agencies, as well as prioritizes programs that strengthen U.S. competitiveness and innovation."

The "Omnibus Appropriations Act," H.R. 3547, also contains a partial fix of the military retiree pension issue. The provision will ensure that nearly 63,000 medically retired personnel and spouses receive their full cost-of-living increase.

"This particular provision restores our promise to members of our military who are medically disabled and the spouses of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice," Wicker added. "However, the fight to restore full retirement benefits for all of our military men and women does not end here. I will continue to work to repeal the onerous military pension cuts contained in the Murray-Ryan budget deal."

The bill now awaits President Obama's signature to become law.

Highlights of H.R. 3547 include:

Strengthening National Security

  • Provides funding for the construction of light utility helicopters and unmanned aerial aircraft for use by the nation's armed forces; and
  • Continues funding for the construction of amphibious ships and destroyers in Pascagoula.

Stopping Obamacare

  • Prohibits additional funds for Obamacare through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; and
  • Eliminates $10 million from the Independent Payment Advisory Board.

Providing for Economic and Infrastructure Development

  • Funds flood-control projects, operation and maintenance dredging at Mississippi ports, and clean drinking water projects;
  • Provides $75 million for fishery disasters;
  • Fully funds the Northern Gulf Institute at Stennis Space Center;
  • Provides funding for COASTAL Act initiation; and
  • Delivers funding for the Delta Regional Commission.

Reining in Executive Overreach

  • Prevents the implementation of the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty by prohibiting any funding of the treaty unless it is ratified by the U.S. Senate;
    • Rejects funding for the Environmental Protection Agency's climate regulatory programs; and
    • Cuts $4 million from the National Labor Relations Board.