The United States House of Representatives passed a year-long funding bill on Dec. 11 to provide for the operations of the Federal Government.
U.S. Representative Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) made a statement regarding its passage through the House, noting that it included a variety of items that he and his constituents care about.
“This bill includes many provisions to help our economy grow, allow our farmers and ranchers to succeed, protect our second amendment rights, and ensure our veterans can get the care they deserve, among other things,” said Denham.
He noted President Obama’s most recent use of executive action pertaining to immigration reform.
Denham previously stated that Congress must be involved in fixing the system and has been in support of an immigration solution supporting H.R. 15, the House immigration reform bill, the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.”
“Perhaps most importantly, the bill puts us on much stronger footing to challenge the President’s executive action on immigration,” said Denham. “I cannot support his choice to ignore the will of the American people and act outside of the Constitution. He and I share the goal of reforming our broken immigration system, but I won’t support him doing so in a process that sidesteps Congress.”
The House funding bill did not include funding for the Department of Homeland Security past February.
“We will have the opportunity several months from now, with a new Senate, to send a clear message from all of Congress that executive action which undermines the rule of law will not be tolerated,” said Denham.
Denham described the bill as imperfect, calling the practice of passing last-minute funding bills a source of uncertainty for many Americans. He described the recent prevalence of these bills as a result of the Senate’s
This procrastinatory system evolved when the Senate stopped considering and passing individual appropriations bills through regular order, as the House does yearly.
“I look forward to having a willing partner in the Senate next Congress to consider individual funding bills, line-by-line, in a transparent and steady process,” said Denham.
Denham provided the following list of provisions within the bill with his comments:
- Provides increased funding to the VA to implement the Veterans Choice, Access and Accountability Act of 2014 (“I attended the bill signing for this law in August after months of work with the Veterans Affairs committee to craft legislation protecting and providing for our vets. It’s a great first step”);
- Increases staff at the Veterans Benefits Administration to help process claims and reduce our backlog;
- Includes no funding for California high-speed rail (“I wrote a letter last week to House appropriators asking that they include my amendment to prohibit spending federal dollars on this project, which long ago ceased representing the will of our state’s voters”);
- Restricts the EPA application of the onerous Waters of the U.S. rule in agricultural areas, helping ensure that the government stays out of farmers’ and ranchers’ ponds and ditches;
- Gives no new funding to the Affordable Care Act, which is still causing families across the Valley to see increased premiums, decreased coverage, and even more limited options for access to care;
- Protects our Second Amendment rights by prohibiting the implementation of the UN Arms Trade Treaty;
- Allocates emergency funding to fight Ebola;
- Freezes member salaries and office payrolls for members of Congress and our staff (“I have cut my own office budget each year”);
- And bans the Administration’s fluorescent light bulb standard, which prevents incandescent bulbs from being manufactured or sold (“Many of you have written me about this standard, which has raised costs across the country at a time when your electric bills are already too high”).