U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-07) issued the following statement after voting to support the government funding bill, H.R. 2029, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016:
“I voted to support the government funding bill because it is good for Colorado and good for the 7th Congressional District. While not a perfect deal, the legislation reflects a true bipartisan compromise. The bill is largely free of dangerous policy provisions that would have undermined both economic and environmental progress made under the last several years. With this spending bill, Congress ensures economic certainty for businesses and families by averting a government shutdown and avoids creating needless chaos before the holidays. We secured funding for major Colorado priorities including education, national security, the National Renewable Energy Lab, and the aerospace industry.
“This legislation also includes achievements supporting Colorado’s diverse energy economy. In return for lifting the outdated 40 year old crude export ban, we were able to extend the Wind Energy Production Tax Credit and the Solar Investment Tax Credit. The crude export ban was originally passed in the 1970’s at a time when the world was facing an energy supply shortage and prices soared. Nothing could be further from the truth today which is why I believe Colorado stands to benefit from lifting the ban. That’s why I’ve led the effort to repeal the crude oil export ban by cosponsoring legislation earlier this year to lift the ban. Technology and innovation have enabled vast energy production and the U.S. is no longer dependent on foreign sources of energy.
“I look forward to continuing to advocate for Colorado priorities in the year ahead.”
See below for several specific items included in the Omnibus that will have a positive impact for Colorado and our country:
· Orion Spacecraft – Includes $1.27 billion to accelerate development of the Orion Multipurpose Crew Vehicle as well as requires NASA's future budget submissions to adequately assess the resources needed to maintain the first manned mission launch in 2021.
· Space Launches – Includes a provision ensuring United Launch Alliance (ULA) can compete for national security space launches.
· Visa Waiver Program - Adopts visa waiver program changes, including a visa requirement for travelers who have recently visited Iraq or Syria.
· Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) – A three-year reauthorization of the Fund.
· 9/11 First Responders Health Program - Reauthorizes a health program for police, firefighters and others who worked at the site of the 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.
· Military Pay Raise – Provides a 1.3% pay raise for all military personnel.
· Climate Change – Contributes $49.9 Million to the Strategic Climate Fund, which helps fund programs aimed at climate change mitigation and adaption.
· National Institutes of Health (NIH) – Includes $32.1 billion for the nation’s medical research agency.
· Head Start – Includes $9.2 billion for Head Start, a program that promotes school readiness of children under 5 years old and from low-income families.
· Mortgage Servicing Asset Capital Treatment Study - Requires banking agencies to conduct a study of the appropriate capital requirements for mortgage servicing assets. This is a modified version of my bipartisan bill (H.R. 1408) which passed the House in July 2015.