House Considers Critical Program Funding
This week the House began consideration of H.R. 3354, the Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2018. This appropriations measure invests in vital programs like fighting the scourge of heroin addiction, beating back Lyme Disease, and supporting Upstate farms. Additionally, the legislation provides strong support to environmental programs, community development, and funding for medical research. The size and scope of these programs is wide-ranging, but each went through a rigorous analysis by Democrats and Republicans on the Appropriations Committee. Most importantly, this bill aims to set our country on a path of fiscal responsibility, by reducing and eliminating payments to some wasteful government programs.
Fighting for Clean Water
Of special note, this 2018 spending package includes approximately $17 million in funding for United States Department of Agriculture’s Circuit Rider Program. This local initiative provides the primary support to small communities to operate safe and clean drinking water and wastewater systems. Circuit riders are constantly in the field working with our rural water operators providing clean and reliable drinking water to millions of Americans.
Additionally, I supported an amendment offered by Rep. John Katko (R-NY) which will provide an additional $250 million to the Clean Water State Revolving Fund which provides low-cost financing for a variety of water infrastructure projects. I supported this increase because the Clean Water SRF supports much need water infrastructure improvements throughout our district and Upstate New York.
Wrapping Up Appropriations Next Week
Next week the House will conclude debate, finish voting on amendments, and vote on final passage of Fiscal Year 2018 appropriations legisaltion. While we still have work to do, I feel confident that the work the House is doing is a step in the right direction to curb wasteful spending while safeguarding critical programs for Upstate New York.
Relief for Hurricane Harvey Victims
On Friday the House passed a supplemental appropriations bill allocating $15.25 billion in initial disaster relief to the victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. It is of paramount importance that the relevant government agencies have the proper resources to take these natural disasters head on and to provide relief to all those affected. The legislation now awaits approval from the President.