WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers applauds House passage of the comprehensive federal Omnibus funding bill for the remainder of fiscal year 2018 (FY18).
The $1.3 trillion funding package ensures discretionary funding is available to boost our military and vital programs across the country. It keeps the promise of moderizing our military, heightens border security and national defense, provides the largest pay raise for troops in eight years, enhances school safety, broadens the effort to combat the nation's opioid epidemic, supplies critical funding for economic development and infrastructure measures, among several other programs that are important to Kentucky.
Rogers spoke on the House Floor urging his colleagues to approve the FY18 federal funding bill:
"Mr. Speaker, despite the Chairman’s laudable efforts to complete all FY18 House bills on time, the perpetual stalemate on unrelated matters left us with the undesirable choice of several continuing resolutions. Piecemeal funding of government is universally harmful, but now we have a chance to get back on track and finalize funding for 2018.
"Protecting American interests around the globe through military readiness and diplomacy is not a luxury in this hostile environment – it is a responsibility. This bill provides the necessary resources to fulfill that responsibility. It upholds our commitments to key strategic partners and allies, such as Israel, Jordan, Egypt, and Ukraine. The bill will also assist other partners to fight terrorism, secure borders, resist aggression, and stabilize communities affected by conflict. We also uphold our longstanding commitment as Americans to help those displaced by conflict or natural disaster, or facing famine.
"Today’s bill will also fight back against the scourge of opioid abuse and help to reignite the economy of coal country.
"Like Operation UNITE in my Kentucky district, the federal government has taken a holistic approach to tackle this complex challenge. The agreement provides historic levels of funding for law enforcement, treatment, prevention, recovery and research. Only when these elements work in concert will we truly be able to turn the tide and save lives.
"In addition, after struggling under the War on Coal, it is time to turn a new page in Central Appalachia. This bill will give us more tools to strengthen economic development in the region. First, the agreement invests in cutting edge technologies to ensure coal remains a significant part of our energy portfolio—both here at home and abroad. There is also continued support for the AML pilot program that allows us to clean up abandoned mines and repurpose them to create jobs – and robust funding for critical federal agencies like ARC and EDA.
"Finally, I am proud that this agreement includes legislation that I helped introduce, the STOP School Violence Act, which aims to curb the epidemic of violence in our schools. This is a significant step forward in our effort to protect our children from senseless tragedy and I urge a vote 'yes'."
The bill now heads to the U.S. Senate for consideration. To view bill highlights, click here.