WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today issued the following statement after the Senate passed legislation to fund the federal government through September 2017:
“President Trump and Senate Republicans made a commitment to restore our military and secure our borders. This spending bill, negotiated by the Trump White House, makes good on both of those promises. Our troops will benefit from a significant increase in defense funding, and border security will see its biggest increase in support in nearly a decade.
“This was achieved without going over budget, and without giving in to demands from Democrats that increases to military spending be matched dollar-for-dollar in non-military spending for agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency or Internal Revenue Service. Many of the previous Administration’s spending priorities would have remained in place if Congress had not acted, including President Obama’s climate change slush fund.
“This bill champions decades-long pro-life policies. No taxpayer funds are appropriated to Planned Parenthood, and the Hyde Amendment remains in place, banning any taxpayer dollars from funding abortions.”
By staying within the spending caps of the 2015 Budget Control Act but making tough choices, the bill was able to fund:
- Wicker’s “Small and Rural Community Technical Assistance Act,” which provides technical assistance for improved water quality and safe drinking water;
- Year-round Pell grants, allowing 1 million students to take additional coursework and enter the workforce sooner;
- Funding for a San Antonio-class amphibious ship (LPD-29) and a big-deck amphibious assault ship (LHA-8), both of which will be built in Pascagoula;
- Funding for a new Coast Guard National Security Cutter and a Coast Guard Heavy Polar Icebreaker;
- Procuring an additional 28 Lakota Light Utility Helicopters, which are built in Columbus;
- Increased funding to procure five MQ-8 Fire Scout aircraft, which are assembled in Moss Point;
- A $45 million increase for the Army high-performance computing modernization program at the Vicksburg-based U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center;
- A $45 million increase for F-15 AESA radars, manufactured and tested in Forest;
- New funding for Alzheimer’s research and the National Cancer Institute;
- Support for flood damage reduction projects and inland harbor maintenance costs on the Mississippi River as well as the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund; and
- Grant funding to help restore passenger rail service along the Gulf Coast.