By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Thursday, U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Montrose, said that, “The House has now done our job,” after voting in the favor of HR3354, the Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act. The bill, along with the 11 other Senate funding bills, provides funding for the federal government for Fiscal Year 2018.
“The House has now done our job and passed all twelve of the government funding bills before the end of the fiscal year on September 30th,” Bryne, who represents Alabama’s 1st Congressional District, said. “This funding bill reflects the will of the House and makes tough choices regarding funding priorities. From increasing funding for our military to boosting border security to cutting wasteful programs to strengthening life-saving medical research, this bill prioritizes spending to reflect national priorities. While we have finished our work in the House, the Senate has yet to pass a single government funding bill.
“I remain deeply concerned about the impact the logjam in the Senate is having on our ability to enact our conservative priorities and President Trump’s agenda.”
The bill includes two amendments from Byrne.
The first amendment was to protect important Gulf Coast oil and gas revenue through the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act. The second amendment would block any funding for the National Ocean Policy, which Byrne said would create an entirely new and unauthorized bureaucratic overlay and governance structure for our nation’s oceans.
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.
“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,” Roby said. “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.”
The bill passed by a vote of 211 – 198.
The House has been able to pass legislation, but the Senate has not passed any of the other 12 funding bills. It also has not passed the long-promised repeal of the Affordable Care Act – better known as Obamacare – even though the House did send a repeal and a replacement plan to the Senate.