Washington, DC - Illinois Congressman Randy Hultgren voted with the House (359-67) to pass the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014, an omnibus appropriations bill to fund the government through September 2014.
“This bill carries out the bipartisan agreement passed in December, moving Congress away from governing by crisis and returning the legislative branch to the normal appropriations process which includes more oversight and prioritization. It meets the parameters and spending thresholds set in December and opens the door for Congress to tackle the larger issues our country faces,” said Rep. Hultgren. “For four years House Republicans have reduced discretionary spending, and this bill continues that record, capping it below the levels of Rep. Paul Ryan’s original budget. It freezes spending on the President’s broken health care law and cuts $1 billion from its slush fund. It importantly restores funding to the pensions of medically retired service members, ensuring we take care of those who have served our country. And it increases funding for elderly nutrition programs by $41 million.
“Throughout Illinois and the 14th district, I have met with small business owners who cannot hire because they are burdened by new requirements under the healthcare law. I have seen the toll Illinois’ high unemployment, well above the national average, is having on families who struggle to buy basic necessities as their dollars don’t go as far as they used to. I have heard from individuals in poverty because they are underemployed and can’t find a good-paying job or don’t have the skills to obtain an open job in a new sector.
“We must use this momentum in Congress to open the floodgates to economic growth. Senator Harry Reid needs a reality check. He has dozens of House-passed jobs bills sitting on his desk that would provide immediate relief so job seekers could have a chance at finding consistent work. And as we yet again approach hitting another debt ceiling, we cannot forget our ballooning national debt that puts pressure on our economy. Paying back $17 trillion in obligations will take cooperation from all sides. The time for kicking the can down the road is over. I look forward to working with my colleagues to find permanent solutions.”