Scott Statement on Omnibus

WASHINGTON – Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the passage (309-118) of fiscal year 2017 omnibus legislation, H.R. 244 – Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017:

“Budgeting requires making tough choices, and a budget is a reflection of priorities. Today’s spending agreement prevents the government from shutting down and limits harmful efforts to balance the budget on the backs of students, working families, and vulnerable communities across the nation.

“As legislators, we decide what our priorities are and how to best invest in our country. The spending agreement funds vital programs at the Department of Education, Health and Human Services, Department of Labor, Agriculture, and independent agencies, which support education, job training, and workplace safety and protections. The agreement also secures permanent health benefits for the more than 22,600 retired United Mine Workers of America coal miners and their families.

“I am also pleased that the spending agreement provides funding for programs that directly impact Hampton Roads, Virginia. The legislation provides sufficient funding for cleanup and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay, sending a clear signal to the President that there will be little support for his efforts to cut these programs in the next fiscal year.  Finally, the legislation provides critical funding to the Department of Defense, including a pay increase for our military and funding for shipbuilding and ship maintenance availabilities. This will provide some much-needed certainty in the availability of work for Hampton Roads’ ship repair and shipbuilding industries.

“However, we must increase our investment in summer jobs, opportunities for disconnected youth, apprenticeships, and programs that expand access to in-demand jobs. We must secure robust funding to increase both access to and the quality of early learning and childcare programs. In addition, our investments in public schools should increase and funding should not be diverted to school voucher programs

“Finally, we must not waiver in our commitment to boost wages, help people better balance work and family life, and level the playing field by ending discrimination in the workplace. Committee Democrats remain committed to investing in students and families to restore balance to our nation’s economy so that it works for all families – not just the wealthy few.”

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