Tipton: End of Year Spending Bills a Boost for National Security, Fail to Address Reckless Washington Spending Habits
WASHINGTON– Today the House voted on two separate spending bills totaling over 2,300 pages to keep the government funded through the 2020 fiscal year. The two gargantuan pieces of legislation totaled nearly $1.4 trillion in government spending and passed less than a day after introduction. While one of the bills increases pay for American troops and includes several national security and defense priorities received support from the Congressman, he sharply criticized the process as a whole. Tipton supported H.R. 1158 which funds the Departments of Defense; Commerce, Justice; Financial Services; and Homeland Security, and voted against H.R. 1865 which funds the rest of the government.
“Once again, we are being forced to vote on massive spending packages that fail to uphold any promises to reduce wasteful spending or address the national debt, something Members on both sides of the aisle have agreed to do for years,” said Tipton. “I applaud the work done to include critical funding for the military, give our troops a pay raise, address national defense priorities, and I support these time-sensitive measures to ensure a strong national defense. While I support many of the programs and missions under the other bill, H.R. 1865, 12 hours is not sufficient time to review a bill of this size, and I have already identified some problematic areas that do not address the spending crisis plaguing Washington. On the whole, passing these huge spending measures under last-minute deadlines fails to address Washington’s reckless spending habits and is part of a continuing process I do not support. Washington must return to regular order and allow for adequate time to review each individual appropriations bill in the future.”
- Text of the two spending bills was made available to House members in the wee hours of the early morning, and the first vote related to the legislation took place on the same day around 9:45am.
- Defense spending totaled $738 billion, the funding for non-defense totaled $632 billion.
- Tipton voted in support of H.R. 1158 the “Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020” which funds the Departments of Defense; Commerce, Justice, Science; Financial Services; and Homeland Security. He voted against H.R. 1865 the “Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020” which would fund the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education; Agriculture; Energy and Water; Interior; Legislative Branch; Military Construction and Veterans Affairs; State and Foreign Operations; and Transportation and Housing through next fiscal year.
- Federal agencies across the board will receive an estimated increase of $49 billion.
- The non-defense bill would reauthorize the Export-Import bank for seven years, a measure Tipton voted against earlier this year. The bill would also raise the federal age to purchase tobacco products to 21, include a bail-out for private pensions, and vastly exceeds the White House budget proposal set earlier this year.
- The defense bill included a handful of Tipton-backed measures such as:
- A 3.1 percent pay increase for active duty troops, the largest single raise in a decade.
- $500 million for Israeli Cooperative programs, such as their Iron Dome.
- $34 billion for Defense Health programs to research traumatic brain injuries and suicide for veterans as well as additional cancer affecting servicemembers.
- $1.3 billion for border security improvements.
- $285 million for the Hight Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program
- $5 million for the National Commission on Combatting Synthetic Opioid Trafficking.
- Tipton-authored language directing the Small Business Administration to conduct outreach on the availability of disaster loans on Federal lands.