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Congresswoman Claudia Tenney Votes to Pass Two-Year Budget Agreement-Includes Wins for Upstate New York

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Washington, February 9, 2018 | comments

Washington, D.C.—  Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-22) issued the following statement in response to the passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act:  

“This two-year bipartisan bill finally breaks the cycle of constant and unstable fiscal crisis and uncertainty the federal government has faced for months. The increase in discretionary spending represents 30 percent of all spending, but is concerning as debt and deficits needs to be reined in on both the discretionary and non-discretionary spending columns to balance the budget. It is important to note that the House passed all 12 appropriations bills and a budget on regular order in September of 2017. The Continuing Resolution process is caused by the Senate’s failure to act on these bills.  

Funding the military is the most important aspect of this budget. Secretary of Defense General James Mattis has made urgent requests that we support the vital military appropriations in this bill.

This budget temporarily frees the military from harmful spending caps, sequestration and the destructive practice of funding our troops with stopgap spending bills. Predictability will provide the military with the chance to rebuild and repair equipment, ending harmful conditions that have led to tragic and avoidable training practice injuries and deaths. In fact, more service men and women have been killed in training than in combat due to the degradation of our military assets. 

This agreement also contains critical provisions that Upstate New Yorkers rely on. 

To curb the opioid scourge, the agreement includes an additional $6 billion for substance abuse prevention and treatment, and continues federal efforts to fight the opioid and heroin epidemic.



This spending bill provides important wins for our dairy farmers. It reforms the Margin Protection Program (MPP) for Dairy, ensuring the program is a more meaningful safety net for dairy producers. It also reduces premiums for every farmer’s first tier of production, and lifts the cap on livestock insurance to classify milk as a commodity under crop insurance. These are all provisions I have previously supported and fought for in the past.

While this process is fundamentally flawed, passing this budget agreement is an incremental step forward to provide crucial stability for necessary programs. To avoid this situation in the future, we must fix the broken budget process. That’s why we’re creating a bipartisan and bicameral super committee to fix this process once and for all,” said Congresswoman Claudia Tenney

 

Critical Wins for NY-22 in the Budget Agreement:

Agriculture:

  • Raises the catastrophic coverage level from $4.00 to $5.00 for the first tier of covered production for all dairy farmers.
  • Removes the $20 million annual cap on livestock insurance products, which is the legislative equivalent to classifying milk as a commodity under crop insurances. 
  • Eliminates the caps on crop insurance policies for livestock producers

Opioid Funding:

  • This agreement includes $6 billion over two years to bolster the ongoing fight against opioid addiction and substance abuse by funding grants, prevention programs, and law enforcement efforts in vulnerable communities across the country.

 

Healthcare:

  • 2-year extension of funding for Federally Qualified Health Centers (community health centers)
    • $7B in total funding
  • Averts FY18 and FY19 Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) Reductions
  • Provides for permanent Medicare improvements:
    • Repeal of the Medicare payment cap for therapy services
  • Includes 4-year CHIP reauthorization, bringing the total CHIP reauthorization to 10 years.

 

Military:

  • Reverses the defense sequester and increases total defense funding.
  • $700 billion in total defense funding, which includes $629 billion in base and $66 billion in OCO

 

Disaster Aid Package:

  • $89 billion in an emergency disaster aid package provides additional funding for recovery efforts across the country to rebuild affected communities
  • Critical funding for the Disaster Relief Fund, Army Corps of Engineers, Agriculture, SBA disaster loans, Federal Highways, and Housing
  • Includes emergency spending for disasters caused by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, as well as California wildfires
  • Stabilizes Medicaid Programs in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands

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