Clyburn Statement on FY2018 Omnibus Appropriations Act

Mar 22, 2018 Issues: Appropriations, Financial Services, Spending Cuts and Debt

Washington, D.C. – U.S. House Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn (SC) released the following statement today: 

“I was pleased to support the FY2018 Omnibus Appropriations Act, which is a clear rejection of the draconian Trump budget.  It makes robust investments in our communities, our country and our children’s futures.  While this bill is far from perfect and leaves out several of my priorities, it is the result of bipartisan compromise and, on the whole, a bill I support.

“The bill includes my “10-20-30” provision, a formula that targets funding to persistent poverty communities.  This provision will be applied to 12 accounts in four different federal agencies. These communities are some of the poorest in our nation and have languished from underinvestment for more than thirty years.

“The bill also provides additional funds to the Rural Energy Savings Program, which I authored, to allow rural consumers to upgrade the energy efficiency of their homes.  It also includes robust funding for historic preservation grants for African American civil rights sites and historic buildings and sites on the campuses of Historically Black Colleges and Universities to preserve many of those endangered cultural treasures.

“Moreover, the bill increases discretionary funding for Community Health Centers by $135 million, in addition to the $200 million increase in mandatory funding that was included in last month’s budget bill.  These funds, along with a $100 million increase to the National Health Service Corps, will allow additional medical services in underserved communities where doctors are scarce.

The Omnibus Appropriations Act also:

  • increases investments in transportation infrastructure, including $1 billion for TIGER grants and funding for drinking and wastewater systems;
  • increases funding for Army Corps of Engineers harbor dredging projects, which are critical to South Carolina;
  • increases Head Start funding by $610 million and the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) by $2.37 billion;
  • increases Pell Grant and public service loan forgiveness money;
  • invests in affordable housing with the first increase in the low-income housing tax credit in more than a decade;
  • increases funding for Veterans Affairs by $7 billion;
  • includes a long-overdue 2.4% pay raise for the military and 1.9% pay raise for civilian federal employees;
  • increases election security with $380 million in state grants; and
  • protects the Johnson Amendment, which ensures that tax-exempt organizations do not endorse political candidates.

“The bill also includes some important provisions regarding the gun violence epidemic like lifting the ban on Centers for Disease Control research.  While the Fix NICS Act is included and will help improve the background check system, it will not give adequate protection to the American people until the ‘Charleston loophole,’ the gun show loophole and internet sales loophole are closed.

“Of course, I am deeply troubled by the continued refusal of Republican leadership to allow a vote on a path forward for Dreamers, those undocumented individuals who came to this country as children.  I will continue to relentlessly fight for a vote on the Dream Act.  I am also disappointed that the bill fails to include legislation protecting the independence of the Special Counsel’s ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.  The American people demand action, and I hope in the weeks ahead the Republican leadership will finally allow the U.S. House of Representatives to vote on these critical issues.”