Walorski Statement on FY2017 Funding Bill
Legislation Boosts Military Resources, Raises Troop Pay, Prevents Shutdown
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement after voting for the fiscal year 2017 omnibus appropriations bill:
“This fiscally responsible bill makes America safer with critical investments in rebuilding our depleted military, and it ends the arbitrary Obama-era practice of matching increases in defense spending with increases in non-defense spending. We are putting our national security first by providing the resources our military needs to defeat any enemy and giving our troops their largest pay raise in six years.
“This legislation also supports new border security improvements, provides resources for state and local efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, prevents new spending on Obamacare, and maintains important pro-life protections to prevent taxpayer funding for abortion.
“I look forward to continuing to work with President Trump and my colleagues to roll back the bureaucratic overreach of the Obama administration, restore fiscal sanity to Washington, and pass pro-growth tax reform that will jumpstart our economy.”
H.R. 244, the FY2017 Consolidated Appropriations Act, funds the government through September 2017. The bill passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 309 to 118 and now heads to the Senate. President Trump has said he will sign the legislation when it reaches his desk.
- Boosts investment in military readiness by $25 billion for the full fiscal year.
- Funds the largest pay raise for troops in six years.
- Continues to block funding for Gitmo detainees to be released or transferred to U.S. soil.
- Maintains pro-life protections, including the Hyde Amendment, and prohibits taxpayer funding for abortion.
- Improves border security with additional $1.5 billion in funding.
- Provides resources to fight against the opioid epidemic.
- Defunds the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a panel of unelected bureaucrats created by Obamacare that would make health care decisions for seniors.
- Prevents bailouts of insurance companies under Obamacare’s risk corridor program.
- Fully funds the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative at $300 million to protect our nation’s most precious natural resource.
- Reforms the federal bureaucracy by ending or consolidating more than 150 programs.
Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN-02) issued the following statement after the House passed legislation providing certainty to individuals, families, charities, and job creators. The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015, would suspend the medical device tax and make the Research and Development (R&D) Credit and Section 179 expensing permanent:
“Today, the House took meaningful steps to give certainty to individuals, families, charities, and job creators by making numerous temporary provisions of the tax code permanent. For instance, the Research and Development Tax Credit has been temporary for decades, leaving Congress to pass 16 short-term extensions of this important credit. This means that for decades, innovators have been left in limbo, uncertain if they should make new investments in the U.S. or somewhere else. Making the R&D credit permanent will give innovative industries the confidence to invest here. Indiana is home to 300 medical device companies, employing over 20,000 people, and stands to benefit greatly from this certainty. I am also happy that we are delaying the damaging medical device tax for two years – this misguided tax will cost jobs and harm patients and I look forward to the day we see it repealed in full. Today also represents an important step toward reforming our broken tax code and I look forward to further progress toward that goal.”
Earlier today, Walorski spoke on the floor in favor of the bill, click here to watch her remarks.
Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District in Indiana, where she serves as a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, House Armed Services Committee, and House Committee on Agriculture.
House passes funding bill that includes Walorski amendment to protect veterans with diabetes
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 4486), by a vote of 416-1.
This bill, which is the annual funding bill for military construction and veteran’s affairs, increases funding for veterans programs by $1.5 billion dollars while still spending $1.8 billion less than last year’s funding bill.
Specifically, this provides funding for housing, education facilities, and medical facilities for active duty service members. It also boosts funding to address the long-standing backlog issues at the Department of Veterans Affairs and provides support for mental health, suicide prevention, and homeless veterans programs.
“We are indebted to our service members, veterans and their families, all who have sacrificed so much for our country,” Walorski said. “Today, we’ve given every veteran, marine, soldier, sailor, airman, along with their spouses and children, the opportunity to thrive and have a better life. As a member of the House Armed Services and Veterans Affairs Committees, it’s unacceptable to me that the backlog at the Department of Veterans Affairs continues to grow. These men and women deserve the best quality of life and I hope we have the attention of the VA that this dysfunction won’t be tolerated.”
Walorski also offered an amendment to protect veterans with diabetes by ensuring the VA continues to offer diabetes patients a variety of supplies through the competitive bid process. That amendment was adopted by a voice vote.
“Right now, 25 percent of veterans in the VA healthcare system have diabetes, compared to about 8.3 percent of the general public,” Walorski said. “As a result, diabetes care places a significant cost burden on the VA’s budget—accounting for almost 4 percent of the overall VA health care budget and costing almost $1.5 billion annually.”
The amendment would provide healthy competition both for the patient and the marketplace—allowing the VA to utilize significant purchasing power. Because of this competition, vendors would be forced to reduce costs and innovate.
The bill now heads to the Senate for further action.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (IN-02) released the following statement after the House Budget Resolution for Fiscal Year 2015 was passed by the House Budget Committee today:
“As a member of the House Budget Committee, I want to thank my colleagues for their hard work in creating a budget that will balance in 10 years, spur economic growth, and promote job creation. Hoosiers understand that a budget that balances creates jobs.
“This budget protects seniors and low-income Americans by ensuring that Medicare and safety net programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will be viable in the future, protecting these programs for the Americans who depend upon them.
“Washington cannot continue to spend money America doesn’t have,” said Walorski. “With over $17 trillion in national debt, this budget is a commonsense plan that curbs outrageous spending, promotes economic growth, creates jobs for Hoosiers, increases funding for our veterans, and supports a strong national defense.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Jackie Walorski, a member of the House Budget Committee, released the following statement regarding passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013:
“Hoosiers sit around their kitchen tables and make tough choices to keep a budget, and they expect Washington to do the same. Today, the House took a step in the right direction by passing a budget plan with bipartisan support. This deal is not perfect, but it serves as a building block for deficit reduction and long term reforms—without raising taxes.
“Approval of this plan will provide much-needed certainty for the business community and improve economic outlook. Without a doubt, there is still much work to be done to balance the budget, reduce government spending, and address tax reform. Moving forward, I will continue reaching across the aisle to get our fiscal house in order to ensure a brighter future for the next generation.
“In a divided government, working together is a necessity, not an option. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to pass this deal to prove that Congress can work together for the sake of the American people.”
WASHINGTON, D.C.- Congresswoman Jackie Walorski released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 2775, the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014:
“As I have said before, I do not support defaulting on our nation’s debt. Tonight, I am glad that a deal was reached to temporarily avoid default and reopen the government, allowing more time for the House and Senate to reach a long-term compromise. However, without any spending cuts or budget reforms aimed at getting our fiscal house in order, I could not support this plan.
“Moving forward, I will continue to work across the aisle on bipartisan solutions to balance the budget, cut spending, and get our national debt under control. I remain committed to participating in these important discussions until we agree on commonsense policies that properly support our hardworking families, seniors, veterans, and servicemembers.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Jackie Walorski released the following statement after House passage of the National Emergency Disaster Recovery Act (H.J.Res.85) and the Nutrition Assistance for Low-Income Women and Children Act (H.J.Res.75):
“The House continues to pass legislation to help hardworking families get back to work and maintain essential federal services during this disappointing government shutdown. I urge the Senate and president to quickly pass these measures to ensure critical funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)—especially with Tropical Storm Karen approaching the Gulf of Mexico.”
Walorski continued, “The Nutrition Assistance for Low-Income Women and Children Act provides funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), ensuring nutritious food for women and children in need. There is no reason for the Senate or president to block these measures, and immediate passage of these joint resolutions is the right thing to do for our families and communities.”
Since October 1st, the House has passed seven appropriations measures to fund essential programs. Majority Leader Harry Reid has not allowed any of these measures to come to the Senate floor for a vote. President Obama has promised to veto bills helping veterans, cancer research, National Parks, and the District of Columbia.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (IN-02) released the following statement after the House offered bills to support veterans and reopen national parks and museums, despite a lapse in appropriations from the government shutdown:
“Today my office received a phone call from a veteran concerned about losing VA health services. A group of World War II veterans flew all the way to our nation’s capital on an Honor Flight to visit the World War II Memorial and found barricades. This is an unacceptable way to repay our nation’s war heroes.”
Walorski continued, “I am disappointed that my colleagues across the aisle could not put politics aside and support important funding to protect our veterans and allow Americans to enjoy our national parks and museums. I will continue to work on bipartisan solutions to end this government shutdown and ensure essential services are provided to our veterans, troops, and families. I urge the president and Washington Democrats to support and pass these bills, just like the Pay Our Military Act, for the sake of the American people.”
The Honoring Our Promise to America’s Veterans Act provides immediate funding to ensure the continuation of veterans’ disability payments, the GI Bill, education training, and VA home loans. The Open Our National Parks and Museums Act offers immediate funding for the National Park Service, Smithsonian, National Gallery of Art, and the United States Holocaust Museum. Both bills would have provided funding until December 15, 2013.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (IN-02) tonight voted for a continuing resolution that prevents a government shutdown, eliminates Obamacare subsidies for the President, Members of Congress, and their staff, and delays the individual mandate. Walorski is an original co-sponsor of the James Madison Congressional Accountability Act, a bill included in the continuing resolution to prevent special Obamacare subsidies for the President, Members of Congress, and their staff.
“Plainly stated, it is unfair for the president and Members of Congress to receive special perks from Obamacare. Since enactment, the president has granted multiple Obamacare waivers and exemptions to big businesses, labor unions, and Members of Congress—picking winners and losers at the expense of the American people. If Washington Democrats continue to defend Obamacare, they should follow the law under the same conditions as the American people.”
Walorski continued, “The House passed three proposals to prevent a government shutdown and dismantle the harmful impacts of Obamacare; meanwhile, Senate Democrats refuse to negotiate a responsible solution.”
“The House continues to offer a compromise to fund the government and provide essential services to the American people. It is unfair for the Senate to turn a blind eye and encourage a government shutdown that will unfairly affect seniors, veterans, servicemembers, and our families.”
“I urge President Obama and Senate Democrats to act on a continuing resolution that averts a government shutdown and supports fairness for all Americans.”
House approves continuing resolution to fund government, delay Obamacare, and repeal medical device tax
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (IN-02) voted to avert a government shutdown, while delaying Obamacare for one year and repealing the medical device tax.
“Once again, the House voted to reaffirm our commitment to the American people and keep the government funded, as we chip away at the harmful impacts of Obamacare. Hoosiers continue to send messages to my office explaining how Obamacare is driving up their insurance premiums, cutting employment hours, and burdening their families and businesses. This commonsense measure ensures the government provides essential services to our families, including senior citizens, veterans, and servicemembers. It also delays Obamacare for one year and repeals the medical device tax, an onerous tax that has already cost hundreds of good-paying Hoosier jobs,” said Walorski.
Since January, the medical device tax has claimed an estimated 10,000 jobs nationwide, prohibiting expansion and eliminating funds for research and development. Walorski is a co-sponsor of H.R. 523, a bill to repeal the medical device tax, and has supported legislation to delay Obamacare for one year. According to members of the Indiana medical device industry, repealing the medical device tax in the continuing resolution would be a victory for hundreds of medical device companies in Indiana, including Zimmer Holdings, Inc. and Biomet, Inc.
“Zimmer supports congressional efforts to repeal the medical device tax as part of must-pass legislation being considered on Capitol Hill,” said Chris Cerone, Vice President of Government Affairs at Zimmer Holdings, Inc. He continued, “This tax continues to hamper investments in research and manufacturing of new medical technologies. The tax ultimately threatens patient access to new advances in medical technology, including orthopedic technologies. “
Bill Kolter, Corporate Vice President Marketing and Public Affairs at Biomet, Inc. wrote in a statement, “Repealing the device tax will be a positive step in the right direction to strengthen the U.S. economy, U.S. high-technology manufacturing, innovative small businesses, new job creation, and the quality and cost-effectiveness of healthcare.”
Peggy Welch, the Executive Director of the Indiana Medical Device Manufacturers Council, also voiced support for the resolution, saying “The repeal of the medical device tax will allow newer and smaller companies to continue the production of innovative life-saving and life-enhancing products. The repeal will also help Indiana to retain and create quality, good-wage middle-class jobs.”
This resolution will now be referred to the Senate. Congress must pass a spending bill before September 30th to avoid a government shutdown.