|Loebsack Statement on House Passage of the Comprehensive Budget Package|
|News Releases - Business, Economy & Finance|
|Written by Joe Hand|
|Thursday, 16 January 2014 09:47|
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement today after the House passed a comprehensive budget package for Fiscal Year 2014. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 (HR 3547) will now head to the Senate for consideration.
“I am pleased that Congress has finally come to a bipartisan budget agreement. While I don’t support every provision included in the bill, it marks a step back from the manufactured budget crises that have hurt our economy and a step toward both sides coming together and working towards compromise. This is something that is sorely needed in Washington.
“I am also encouraged that this legislation makes direct investments that are important for Iowa’s economy. Moving forward, I hope Congress can come together to boost our economy, create good jobs for Iowa families, address the long-term fiscal problems facing our nation, and complete the critical work that has been kicked down the road for too long. We must now work to complete a long-term farm bill and extend unemployment insurance for Iowans seeking a job.”
Key provisions included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014, include:
· Rock Island Arsenal: $150 million for Industrial Mobilization Capacity to be used by the three Army arsenals. These funds are meant to help arsenals keep their work rates competitive by reducing overhead costs for facility maintenance and upgrades. Also directs the Army to provide enough work for the arsenals to keep them at efficient workload levels. These levels were determined by the Critical Manufacturing Capabilities and Capacity Study which was required by the FY13 NDAA. These provisions build on the NDAA provisions that Loebsack authored to strengthen the Arsenal.
· Wage Grade Employees: Provides wage grade employees with the same pay increase as the General Schedule workforce. Loebsack pushed for inclusion of this provision.
· Meals on Wheels: $815 million, the same as FY13 enacted. This allows for full restoration of Senior Nutrition Programs including Meals on Wheels.
· Military Retirees COLA Change: A full repeal needs to take place but this is an important first step that repeals the reduction to COLAs for medically retired military retirees and survivors.
· Thomson Prison: Fully funds the account that provides for prison activations and construction. While it doesn’t break out the funding to specifically allocate it for Thomson, the Administration’s budget request included funding to begin activation of Thomson. The full activation is expected to take two years and cost $25 million for upgrades and renovations as well as $170 million for equipment and staffing. The President’s budget request included $166 million to begin activation of Thomson plus two other prisons, acquire private contract beds, and expand a program to reduce recidivism rates.
· Infrastructure: Takes important steps to invest in rebuilding our road and river infrastructure to create jobs and boost economic development for our local communities, state, and region.
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