WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02), Ranking Member of the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, released the following statement regarding his opposition to the misguided FY18 omnibus appropriations package (H.R. 3354):
“I was unable to support this legislation due to its drastic across-the-board funding reductions and other harmful provisions. This legislation would cut vital non-defense agencies to $5 billion below Budget Control Act levels. This includes reductions to infrastructure and economic development, education and afterschool programs, college grants, and heath care. This appropriations bill is already dead on arrival in the Senate and does nothing to avoid a government shutdown at the end of the year.
“This legislation includes provisions that would turn back the progress we have made with the Affordable Care Act by prohibiting the use of government funds for its implementation, administration, or enforcement. It would also cut $524 million from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. These two provisions would dramatically increase health costs, while also reducing coverage.
“This bill would also eliminate many of the consumer and financial protection reforms that were implemented after the great recession. This includes the elimination of the fiduciary rule for financial advisors, the abolishment of the Office of Financial Research, which provides research and data analysis to identify systemic risks, and the removal of the Consumer Financial Protect Bureau’s oversight authority over certain large banks.
“This year’s budget and appropriations process has been a disappointment. Congress has not passed a budget resolution nor set top-line spending numbers. This failure has led directly to this dangerous appropriations measure, which would starve out important non-defense programs that directly support our nation’s economic and social vibrancy.
“If we do not invest in the non-defense side of the budget, our nation will be weaker, and our military less able to do its job. We must have sound investments in our workforce, in education, and in health and nutrition. Such investments are essential to our way of life as Americans.
“I urge leadership from both parties and both chambers of Congress to return to a regular working order and to take a comprehensive view of our budgetary needs as a nation.”