Costa Supports Essential Valley Programs With Omnibus Vote
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Washington, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives passed an amended version of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, more commonly referred to as “the Omnibus,” by a vote of 256 to 167. The legislation is a government spending bill, in that it funds federal government programs through September 2018 at the new levels established in last month’s budget agreement.
Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16), who voted in favor of the spending package, noted the vital nature of Congress passing the Omnibus, both for the nation and California’s San Joaquin Valley. “Although this legislation is imperfect, too many Americans and too many people in our Valley would be harmed if we did not pass the Omnibus today.” Rep. Costa continued, “My vote today was a vote for Valley water and agriculture, preventing wildfires, fighting the opioid epidemic, ensuring our children, elderly, and most vulnerable have food, keeping our communities safe, improving education and opportunities for our students, and many other programs and services imperative for our communities. Just as I served so many people of the Valley today, I will continue to fight for other legislation and issues that are also important in our communities, including comprehensive immigration reform and securing permanent legislative protections for DREAMers.”
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 includes:
$1.48 billion for Reclamation water resources projects, including $20 million for Shasta Dam, $4.35 million for Sites Reservoir, $1.5 million for Temperance Flat Reservoir, $2.2 million for the Friant-Kern Canal, and $3.75 million for the North Valley Regional Recycled Water Project
Funding for agriculture programs and services crucial in the San Joaquin Valley, including $985.1 million for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, $3.03 billion for agriculture research programs, and $26.45 billion for rural housing loans and rental assistance
$3.828 billion for wildland fire management and a new funding mechanism for wildfire suppression that will prevent “fire borrowing,” where the government borrows from forest management activities to fight wildfire disasters instead of treating them like other natural disasters
Funding specifically targeted at improving the safety of water, including $1.693 billion for the Clean Water Fund, $1.163 billion for the Safe Drinking Water Fund,
Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16)
UnidosUS: Spending Package Funds Education, Infrastructure and Other Priorities, But Leaves Out DREAMers
WASHINGTON, DC— Congress revealed their $1.3 trillion, six-month spending package for the rest of the fiscal year, avoiding another costly government shutdown. In February, a bipartisan agreement eliminated the threat of sequestration for the next two years, opening the door for Congress to fund important priorities, like defense spending and programs that help working families get by. The spending deal funds many of these priorities, but Congress unfortunately passed on another opportunity to provide a permanent legislative solution for DREAMers.
“In a time of economic growth, we should be increasing investments in our communities, improving the education system, expanding access to health care and creating high-quality jobs. This bill does some of those things, like providing $250 million to bolster the work-study program and make college more affordable for low- and middle-income students, and providing $10 billion for our nation’s infrastructure,” said UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía.
President Trump requested $25 billion to fund the construction of a border wall, but the spending package included just $1.6 billion for border security. Unfortunately, the bill did not include a legislative fix for the 800,000 young people brought to the United States as children.
“While this bill does not fund President Trump’s ‘big, beautiful wall,’ his anti-immigrant, anti-Latino agenda remains alive and well. Rather than embracing the contributions of hardworking immigrant families, Republicans insist on advancing the Trump agenda of terrorizing immigrant communities and wasting government resources. Policymakers must remain vigilant in pushing for a legislative solution for thousands of DREAMers and should continue to oppose increased funding for immigration enforcement that rips our families apart,” Murguía concluded.
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