December 21, 2017
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen made the following statement on the House floor urging passage of the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.R. 1370:
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.R. 1370.
This legislation keeps the government fully open, funds important national security priorities, and temporarily extends critical government programs like the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the National Flood Insurance Program, and Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
This is our duty to the American people: to keep them secure and ensure they have access to the government programs and services they depend on.
The House must pass this bill now. Today.
Without action on this bill, existing government funding will expire tomorrow and the government will shut down. This legislation provides a simple, clean extension of current funding levels through January 19, 2018.
This additional time will allow House and Senate Leadership to complete their negotiations on overall spending levels. Once that is determined, my committee will complete negotiations with the Senate on all 12 Appropriations bills for the rest of Fiscal Year 2018.
In the meantime, it’s essential that Congress maintain government programs and services – for our nation’s stability, for our economy, and for the security and wellbeing of the American people.
This bill also supports national security by providing an additional $4.7 billion in emergency funding to bolster missile defense and protect against growing threats, and to repair damaged Navy ships.
In addition, the bill includes $2.1 billion in mandatory funding for the VA Choice program. This funding will guarantee that our veterans continue to have access to the medical care they need and deserve.
Along with this important funding for our Armed Forces and veterans, the bill contains temporary extensions of several critical programs that millions of Americans rely on.
These include the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the National Flood Insurance Program, and Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Mr. Speaker, before I close, I’d also like to thank the 12 Appropriations Chairs, our 12 clerks, and the very professional staff of the Appropriations Committee for working overtime to bring this bill before the House today.
We cannot delay on passing this critical legislation, funding the federal government, protecting our nation, and extending essential programs that hard-working Americans rely on every day. I urge my colleagues to vote “yes” on this bill.
Thank you. I reserve my time.