Funding Bill Boosts Conservative and Local Priorities
Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) voted today in favor of a government funding bill for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2017.
Byrne said: “This funding bill boosts our national defense, puts more money toward securing the border, and makes cuts to agencies like the EPA. Locally, the bill includes funding for three more Littoral Combat Ships (LCS), which are built in Mobile, and it permanently expands state waters out to nine miles for our Red Snapper fishermen.
“This bill is not perfect, no compromise ever is, but I commend President Trump for negotiating a good bill to begin the process of implementing the priorities the American people sent him to Washington to accomplish.”
Among the numerous provisions included, the bill would:
- Fund three Littoral Combat Ships, which are built in Mobile by Austal USA;
- Permanently expand state waters in the Gulf of Mexico for Red Snapper fishing to nine nautical miles;
- Ensure funding for local coastal conservation efforts, like Weeks Bay;
- Increase funding for national defense by $21 billion;
- Provide our troops with the largest pay raise in six years;
- Boost border security funding to allow for more border agents and additional detention beds;
- Maintain the ban on taxpayer funding of abortion;
- Cut funding to the Environmental Protection Agency;
- Promote crime-fighting programs and agencies with increased funding;
- Allocate additional money to fight the opioid prescription drug crisis; and
- Increase funding for the National Institutes of Health in an effort to research lifesaving medical treatments.
Congressman Byrne outlined his support for the bill in a speech from the floor of the House of Representatives on Wednesday. A transcript of his speech can be found below.
Byrne said: “I want to thank my colleague for yielding. As a member of the Rules Committee and the Appropriations Committee, I appreciate his leadership to get us here.
“Mr. Speaker, despite what you may hear in the media, this funding bill is a positive step forward for the American people and a big win for the Trump Administration. I want to highlight a few of the reasons why.
“First, delivering on President Trump’s promise, this bill makes long overdue and much needed investments in our military. The bill boosts military spending by $21 billion, which will help boost military readiness and fund the largest pay raise for our troops in six years.
“Importantly, the bill finally rejects the demands of Democrats to only increase defense spending if all other spending is also increased. This bill ends that harmful precedent.
“The bill devotes important new funding for border security. In fact, it contains the biggest increase in border security funding in almost a decade. This will allow us to make improvements to the wall at the border, put more Customs and Border Protection agents on the ground, and end the disastrous practice of “catch and release.”
“The bill includes important pro-life protections to ensure taxpayer money is not used to fund abortions. Just as important, the bill does not contain a penny of funding for Planned Parenthood.
“The bill includes important Second Amendment protections, increases funding to help fight crime, supports funding for Israel, provides money for missile defense, and sets aside additional resources to defeat ISIS.
“Even more, the bill cuts funding to the EPA, freezes funding for the IRS, and reduces the federal government’s role in education.
“Finally, the bill makes progress on priorities important to Southwest Alabama. For example, the bill fully funds three more Littoral Combat Ships, which are built in part by Austal USA in Mobile.
“These ships are critical to the U.S. Navy and are necessary if we are to reach the 355 ship fleet that President Trump wants. This funding bill will ensure we continue to build these first-class vessels in Mobile.
“The bill also includes a provision important to our Red Snapper fishermen. With the help of Senator Richard Shelby, we were able to secure a permanent expansion of state waters out to nine nautical miles Gulf-wide.
“Mr. Speaker, this bill is not perfect, no compromise ever is, but I commend President Trump in negotiating a good bill to begin the process of implementing the priorities the American people sent him to Washington to accomplish.
“President Trump has called on Congress to pass this funding bill while we work to make even more progress in the upcoming Fiscal Year 2018 funding negotiations. I intend to do just that and I call on my colleagues to do the same.
“I am glad to support President Trump, this rule, and the underlying bill.”