Congresswoman Barbara Lee Speaks in Support of FY 14 Omnibus Funding Bill, Expresses Ongoing Concerns Over Sequester, Unemployment Insurance
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 15, 2014
Contact: Carrie Adams (202) 225-2661
Washington, D.C.— Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee spoke on the House floor in support of the FY14 Omnibus Funding Bill in addition to adding a sense of Congress as an amendment to the final bill reading: “Poverty is far too prevalent in the United States. Congress and the Administration should work together to implement policies, inter-agency efforts, and support proven anti-poverty programs that reduce the existence of poverty and the suffering associated with it.”
An excerpt from the floor speech can be found below, and full video can be found HERE.
“While I voted against the Budget resolution, I am encouraged that this bill will restore a majority—not all— but a majority, of the harmful sequester and bring some relief to struggling communities and families who are living, quite frankly, on the edge.
As a member of the Budget and Appropriations Committee, I am encouraged that passing this bill will get us out of this cycle of governing-by-crisis.
This bill makes important investments in early childhood education, environmental protection, HIV/AIDS and law enforcement, and increases our support for the United Nations and humanitarian relief efforts in Syria.
And even with these increases, funding for these critical programs, if you ask me—they still remain much too low.
Yet this bill provides $5 billion more than what the Pentagon asked for, while failing to extend the emergency unemployment insurance for the 1.3 million individuals who lost on December 28 their insurance! This is just wrong!
I really hope, though, that we don’t settle in accepting this new norm, quite frankly, that this spending bill sets. Because it is really far too low, for too many people, to really achieve the American dream.”
A selection of programs and their funding levels:
$2.36 billion for Child Care & Development Block Grants, which is $36 million more than the 2013 enacted level.
$8.6 billion for Head Start, which is $612 million more than the 2013 enacted level, sufficient to both fully restore the cuts to Head Start and to invest in the Administration’s Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships.
$600 million for National Infrastructure Investments (TIGER), which is $100 million more than the 2013 enacted level.
$17.4 billion for Section 8 Tenant Based Rental Assistance renewals, which is $123 million more than the 2013 enacted level.
$3.03 billion for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), which is $278 million less than the 2013 enacted level but $200 million more than the President’s budget request.$214 million for the COPS program, which is $4 million less than the 2013 enacted level and $4 million more than the post- sequester level.
$5.071 billion for the Department of Energy Office of Science, which is $205 million more than the 2013 enacted level.
$5.8 billion for environmental cleanup activities, which is $111 million more than the 2013 enacted level.
$680 million for Firefighter Grants, an increase of $5.7 million above the 2013 enacted level.
$2.6 billion for the National Park Service, which is $29 million more than the 2013 enacted level.
$63.2 billion in discretionary funding for Veterans Affairs, which is $2.3 billion more than the 2013 enacted level.
$2.32 billion for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, an increase of $70 million over the sequestration level.
$4.067 for the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief, $1.65 billion for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and $330 million for USAID’s HIV/AIDS programs, which match President Obama’s Budget request.
Congresswoman Lee is a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees, the Steering and Policy Committee, is a Senior Democratic Whip, former chair of both the Congressional Black Caucus and Progressive Caucus. She serves as chair of the newly formed Whip’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity.