Feb 09, 2018 / Health Care | Spending/Debt

Bipartisan Budget Act: Gleason, THCs and more wins for Eastern Washington

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 9, 2018) – Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) released the following statement after the House passed theBipartisan Budget Act

“Even though it’s far from perfect, this agreement includes some great wins for the people of Eastern Washington, including two of my bills: one to bring more doctors to rural and underserved communities and another to provide permanent certainty that those with degenerative diseases will have access to critical speech-generating technology.

“Further, this agreement includes $6 billion in funding to fight the opioid epidemic, increased funding for Community Health Centers, and the inclusion of fuel cells and other renewables under the PATH Act Investment Tax Credit.

“And most importantly, the Bipartisan Budget Act prioritizes military funding so that the Department of Defense has much needed resources to address this crisis, provide for our national security, and give our troops the pay raise they deserve. Right now, our military faces a readiness crisis that is weakening their ability to fight unpredictable threats abroad. Our troops are flying broken airplanes, they are often spending more time on maintenance work than training, and their equipment is not combat ready. 

“There’s a lot for Eastern Washington to be happy about in this bill, and I was proud to work to get many of these provisions included.

“I said after the Schumer Shutdown that budget reforms needed to be included in a long-term agreement to keep the government from lurching from one funding crisis to the next. Short-term continuing resolutions and shutdown threats have diminished the people’s trust in Congress to effectively govern. I’m glad that this agreement creates a committee for Republicans and Democrats to come together and advance desperately needed reforms. We must fix this broken budget process to restore trust and provide greater certainty to the American people.”

WINS FOR WA-05:

  • Rep. McMorris Rodgers’s Steve Gleason Enduring Voices Act, which will give peace of mind to individuals who rely on speech generating devices.

  • Rep. McMorris Rodgers’s legislation to extend the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) program for two years and double current funding levels.

  • Creates a Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform.  The Committee will vote on recommendations and legislative language to send to Congress by November 30, 2018.  The Commission will be made up of 16 members. This committee was a major priority of the Congresswoman’s.

  • A long time priority of Rep. McMorris Rodgers, the bill provides $6 billion in funding to combat the opioid epidemic, including enhanced state grants, public prevention programs, and law enforcement activities related to substance abuse and mental health programs.

  • Expands Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for an additional 4 years, bringing the total reauthorization to 10 years. The Congresswoman has voted repeatedly in favor of CHIP funding.

  • Extends Community Health Centers for two years and increases funding from $3.6 billion per year to $3.8 billion for FY2018 and $4 billion for FY2019.

  • Provides 5-year extension of the PATH Act Investment Tax Credit (ITC) treatment of alternative energy properties previously only claimed by wind and solar to include fuel cells, small wing, geothermal heat pumps, and solar water heating. A promoter of clean, renewable energy, this tax credit will benefit many of the clean renewable companies here in Eastern Washington.

  • Extends both the Special Diabetes Program for Type I Diabetes and the Special Diabetes Program for Indians for two years at current levels of $150 million each per year, a huge win for Eastern Washington’s tribes and a priority of the Congresswoman’s.

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