WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-5) voted to support H.R. 83, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015, which passed the House by a margin of 219-206.
H.R. 83 includes funding through the end of the Fiscal Year, Sept. 30, 2015, for 11 of the 12 annual spending bills. Funding for the primary agencies that are responsible for carrying out the president’s executive actions on immigration will expire on Feb. 27, 2015.
“This package is important to keep the government open, while also instituting thoughtful spending reductions and reining in bureaucratic and regulatory overreach,” stated Thompson.
“The legislation provides short-term funding for the Department of Homeland Security that would expire before the President’s executive actions on immigration take effect, giving Congress the ability to address this important matter without the threat of a broader government shutdown.”
H.R. 83 also forces the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) to withdraw the interpretive rule (IR) that was issued in conjunction with the EPA’s proposed “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule, which would dramatically expand federal authority over water and land uses.
“Provisions forcing the withdrawal of the Interpretive Rule are a positive start, but the House and Senate must keep pressure on the EPA and Army Corps to address the blatant flaws with the underlying WOTUS proposal. I believe these ends will be achieved in the coming year,” Thompson added.
H.R 83 also strikes an unprecedented bipartisan compromise on reforming multi-employer pension agreements that will ensure the longevity of severely distressed pension plans that have been at risk of bankrupting the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and placing the retirements of 10 million workers at risk.
“Keeping retirement plans stable into the future will prevent workers from losing everything. This bipartisan agreement includes reforms that will protect taxpayers and provide trustees with flexibility and the appropriate tools to save troubled plans. Doing nothing, which I’m thankful we avoided, would simply lead to systemic collapse,” stated Thompson, a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, which brokered the agreement.
Additional information on H.R. 83 can be accessed by clicking here.