House Moves Quickly on Annual Appropriations


Shimkus Backs Balanced Budget Agreement; Supports VA, Energy & Water Funding Measures

WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 4, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — The House of Representatives quickly began its FY2016 appropriations process this week, agreeing to a balanced budget resolution and passing two of twelve annual spending bills. Congressman John Shimkus (R, Illinois-15) voted in support of the House-Senate budget agreement and Military Construction – Veterans Affairs (VA) funding on Thursday, as well as the Energy and Water appropriations bill on Friday.

Congressional Balanced Budget Resolution

“This budget agreement sets a number of priorities, including a strong national defense, a sustainable safety net for seniors and a growing economy that creates jobs,” said Shimkus.

According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the budget resolution would expand our economy by $400 billion over 10 years, creating an estimated 1.2 million more jobs by 2025.

“Because of this agreement, we’re also now set up to use a process called ‘budget reconciliation,’” explained Shimkus. “Reconciliation is a powerful legislative tool that enables Congress to fully flex its power of the purse to change otherwise mandatory spending. Since Obamacare relies mostly on mandatory rather than discretionary spending, attempts to repeal it through shutdowns and other defunding measures have fallen short in the past. Budget reconciliation, however, gives the Republican-controlled House and Senate our best opportunity yet to dismantle Obamacare — including all its taxes, regulations and mandates — later this year.”

A detailed explanation of how budget reconciliation works is available HERE.

Military Construction – VA, Energy & Water Appropriations

The House also passed two of the twelve annual appropriations bills this week. In the Military Construction – VA appropriations bill, the House boosted funding for veterans programs by $3.6 billion — 5.6 percent over last year.

“This bill honors the promise to our nation’s heroes,” said Shimkus. “It helps accelerate VA claims processing, supports the effort to create a modern, seamless VA/Department of Defense electronic health records system, and implements robust oversight measures to hold VA officials accountable.”

In the Energy and Water appropriations bill, the House provided a total of $35.4 billion for the Army Corp of Engineers, the Department of Energy and related agencies.

“This bill advances a truly all-of-the-above energy strategy,” said Shimkus. “It makes strategic investments in the development of renewable fuels while also improving the safety and efficiency of fossil fuels Americans rely on every day. It also rolls back job-killing regulations like the Administration’s flawed ‘Waters of the U.S.’ rule, makes important investments in our inland waterways infrastructure and makes the full Inland Waterways Trust Fund revenues available for navigation projects”

A summary of the Military Construction – VA appropriations is available HERE.

A summary of the Energy and Water appropriations is available HERE.