By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an appropriations package that fully funds government operations for the next fiscal year.
U.S. Rep. Martha Roby, R-Montgomery, said the bill demonstrates House Republicans’ commitment to setting responsible spending priorities.
Roby said that HR3354, the Make America Prosperous and Secure Appropriations Act, contains many conservative victories, including needed increases in military spending and a “down payment” on construction of a border wall.
“Serving on the Appropriations Committee gives me a seat at the table for spending decisions that impact my constituents,” Roby said. “I’m proud to say that the House has now passed all twelve appropriations bills on time for the first time in almost ten years. This package sets responsible funding levels and includes some big conservative wins, including cutting job-killing regulations, defunding Planned Parenthood, and stopping the expansion of Obamacare.
“Given Alabama’s significant military footprint, I am particularly pleased that our appropriations bill fully funds national defense and contains important funding for the missions at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base and Fort Rucker.”
According to information provided by Roby’s office, the bill increases funding for Army Aviation, including: $58 million for seven additional Lakota helicopters, $1.05 billion for 56 additional UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters and $136.4 million for four additional Chinook helicopters. Roby said the bill also provides support for other key programs with Alabama connections, including: an additional $930.8 million to fund a total of three Littoral Combat Ships, $348 million for upgrades to the Stryker vehicle, strong funding for missile programs – including THAAD, Hellfire and LRASM – and $9.5 billion for 84 F-35 strike fighters.
“Today, the people’s House passed all 12 funding bills on time,” Speaker of House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said. “Let me just say that again. The reason you see these men and women up here is we passed all 12 of our appropriations bills on time. This is the first time the House has done that since 2009. We have done our job for the people, but more importantly, we did our job the right way. We did it through regular order. We moved these bills through subcommittee.
“We moved these bills through full committee. We had an enormous amendment process on the floor. And we achieved conservative victories for the President’s agenda and for our agenda.”
“We raised the pay of the servicemen and women,” Ryan said. “We strengthened our border protections. We defunded Planned Parenthood. And we used our majority to get this done. We set out to see if we could get all 12 bills through the House taking a conservative approach, and we succeeded. Of course we still have a lot of work to do, and we need the Senate to work with us to get these bills on the president’s desk. But this is a proud day for our majority, because this is what the people sent us here to do.”
“It is Congress’ responsibility to budget for national priorities, and securing the border is a top priority,” Roby said. “We need bigger, stronger, and smarter barriers along our southern border, and that’s why this bill puts a down payment on construction of a border wall right now.”
Roby represents Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District.