Congressman Correa Votes Against the Budget, Lowenthal Votes Yes.


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Two contrasting press releases fluttered across our flustered transom today from our county’s two Democratic Congressmen, in the wake of the passage of the US Congress’ “Omnibus Appropriations Federal Funding Bill” – you know, the one that temporarily forestalled a government shutdown. First…

Congressman Lowenthal Statement on Passage of Omnibus Federal Funding Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 3, 2017) – Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) today issued the following statement on the passage by the House of Representatives of the FY17 Omnibus Appropriations federal funding bill:

“I was proud to vote yes on the Omnibus. This bill was a refreshing bipartisan change. With all of the acrimony in Congress, it is nice to see legislation where everyone feels like they were able to achieve something. The negotiations provided California and especially the 47th District with numerous victories. It included funds for the Joint Forces Training Base as well as $30 million for the Starbase STEM education program for 5th graders hosted at the base. We were able to secure funds for the Port of Long Beach, for summer Pell Grants, $3 billion for Community Development Block Grants, and funding for the Caltrain. It’s a long list. The good news is that many really bad elements were kept out. Did we get everything we wanted? Definitely not. But that is how a bipartisan bill works. I am just very proud of what we were able to achieve for California and the 47th District.”

Highlights of the bill:

Division C—Defense

  • Starbase program funded at $30 Million (Congressman Lowenthal led this effort)
  • Facilities Sustainment, Restoration, and Modernization program was funded (Congressman Lowenthal led this effort)

Division D—Energy and Water

  • Army Corps of Engineers Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund projects funded at $1.3 billion (Congressman Lowenthal led this effort)

Division G–Interior and EPA

  • Bureau of Land Management Foundation Act is included (Congressman Lowenthal led this effort)
  • Multinational Species Conservation Fund—$11.1 Million (Congressman Lowenthal led this effort)
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service International Affairs—$15.8 Million (Congressman Lowenthal led this effort)

Division F –Department of Homeland Security

  • Port Security Grant Program funded at $100 million (Congressman Lowenthal led this effort)

Division H – Labor, HHS, Education

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) –funded at $34.1 billion, $2 billion increase from last year
  • Reinstates Summer Pell Grants
  • $68.8 million for Impact Aid, Federal Properties

Division L—Transportation and HUD

  • $3 billion for Community Development Block Grants
  • $500 million for TIGER grants
  • Funds for all existing full funding grant agreements (FFGA) in the Capital Investment Grant pipeline—includes Caltrain

Division J – State, Foreign Operations

  • Cambodia human rights funds (Congressman Lowenthal requested similar language)
  • Withholding of 25 percent of certain funds until Secretary of State certifies ceasing of harassment of civil society and the political opposition in Cambodia, and establishes conditions for holding free and fair elections in Cambodia in 2017 and 2018, etc.

Other Areas

  • Health Care for Mine Workers permanent extension
  • Puerto Rico Medicaid increased by $296 Million
  • Title X family planning program flat-funded at $286 Million

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But then on the other hand there was this, from Lou who has made fighting Trump on immigration his number one priority:

REP. CORREA VOTES NO ON BUDGET DEAL

Washington, D.C. –Congressman Correa released the following statement on his decision to vote “no” on “H.R. 244 – Consolidated Appropriations Act for FY2017.”

“I applaud my colleagues for reaching a bipartisan deal. This budget will help many by giving our students a year-round Pell Grant, increasing funding to combat opioid addiction, providing funding for the Orange County streetcar, and increasing funding to study Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.

Regretfully, I cannot vote for a budget that also dedicates nearly $1.5 billion to breaking up of families and further terrorizing our communities. This funding expands the Obama Administration’s flawed border enforcement policies to the nation’s interior, raising fear among longtime residents and their families. It also provides President Trump with a down payment on building his border wall. $1.5 billion dollars is a lot of money. We need to stop wasting taxpayers’ dollars on failed policies.”

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So what do OJ readers think? Were they both right? We’d heard the far-right, led by Rush Limbaugh and the House Freedom Caucus, bitching that Democrats got everything they wanted and “Trump got rolled.” Ranted the famed oxy addict:

Listen to this list of things that were funded in the latest budget deal and ask yourself: Why are you voting Republican? “The bill continues funding refugee resettlement and visas from the six countries from which Trump wanted to suspend immediate immigration, despite this budget being the last recourse against the judicial tyranny.” This was a… This budget was an opportunity to stick it to the judges. It did not. “Sanctuary cities were funded…” Congress could have weighed in in any number of ways to stop this. The American people are tired of it; Trump is tired of it.

Trump ran for office and was elected on this. Sanctuary cities continue to be funded against the law. “Planned Parenthood was funded, despite the long-standing GOP promise to fight to defund it, even when they only controlled Congress. … Increased spending for a number of liberal priorities rather than codifying Trump’s requested $17 billion in non-defense spending cuts. EPA was saved from the cuts proposed for this year by Trump’s [budget director]. A $295.9 billion bailout for Puerto Rico’s irresponsible Medicaid program. …

“Sec. 543 of the omnibus contains a provision opening the door for more H2-B low-skilled workers this fiscal year. $990 million increase of the ‘Food for Peace’ program in Africa. Government-run health care? HHS will see a $2.8 billion boost in spending, of which $2 billion will go to the [National Institutes for Health], which was supposed to be cut by the Trump budget. Green energy programs within the Department of Energy, programs Trump would have eliminated, received a modest spending increase.

“The federal judiciary saw its budget increased by 3%, to $7.4 billion, from fiscal 2016, despite engaging in civil disobedience against the rule of law. The unconstitutional Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is fully funded despite GOP promises to dismantle it.California’s high-speed rail will continue to be funded by the Federal Rail Administration.What was “not funded”? “The border wall. [Lou?]  Although $1.5 billion in additional ‘border security’ funds were allocated,” and there were a couple of other little things done to ramp up border security and fewer people are coming in because of the fear factor, but this makes no sense…”

Will update when we hear how Dana, Royce, Issa and Mimi voted…


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"Admin" is just editor Vern Nelson or associate editor Greg Diamond sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.