Congressman Russell Highlights Major Wins for OK in FY 2016 Omnibus
Washington, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives passed the FY 2016 Omnibus, by a bipartisan vote of 316-113, to fully fund the federal government through the fiscal year ending on September 30, 2016.
Congressman Russell (OK-5) spoke about his vote in favor for the Omnibus saying, “For perhaps the first time since 2009, we finally have been able to push back on the president’s harmful policies on national security and our economy. While the spending measure had several things lacking, it had many major wins. Namely, lifting the 40-year ban on oil exports will be a boon for the American economy. In Oklahoma alone, we can expect 11,000 new jobs in the energy sector by 2018. This strengthens our economy and reduces our trade deficit. Fixing the Visa Waiver Program will go a long way to secure our country against terrorists coming to our shores. On top of that, this bill offers the highest level of funding to secure our borders in the history of the country and adds 1,000 new agents. We have given our military certainty by fully funding our troops overseas as well as extending their benefits at home for them and their families. Small businesses will now have certainty on credits for new equipment. We have also severely reigned in overreaching agencies such as the EPA. Lifting these burdens will lead to economic growth for the country.
“While no comprehensive all-in-one bill will be perfect, the FY 2016 Omnibus has major wins that set the conditions to fight back even more next year.”
Some of the provisions in FY 2016 Omnibus include:
· Abolishes the 40-year ban on U.S. oil and gas exports, which will protect tens of thousands of jobs vital to our nation and Oklahoma;
· Strengthens U.S. borders and gives additional support to U.S. Customs combatting illegal immigration and human trafficking;
· Bolsters our military to combat the growing threat of ISIS and maintain appropriate readiness;
· Restricts the Visa Waiver Program, which is our greatest vulnerability for terrorists potentially entering the country;
· Supports veterans with a nearly 10% benefit increase and 750 additional VA staff to reduce the claims backlog;
· Encourages businesses to share information, cyber threats, and risks with the federal government, while protecting privacy under the Fourth Amendment;
· Delays three expensive taxes included in the Affordable Care Act, such as the tax on medical devices;
· Extends health coverage for the first responders of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks until 2090;
· Promotes economic growth and innovation by making Section 179 permanent for small business deductions; and
· Reduces the EPA to the lowest funding since 2008 while reducing its staff to the lowest level since 1989.