Today, Congressman Sires voted for legislation that will fund the government until March 6, 2008, provides support to low-income women and families, tax relief for the middle class, health care for our veterans, pay increases for our troops, and increased funding to ensure the security of our airports and ports.
The House passed the House amendments to Senate amendments to H.R. 2638, the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance and Continuing Appropriations Act, which will continue funding the federal government through March 6, 2009, designates funding for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), and grant money for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program from Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Additionally, it provides funding for three 2009 appropriations bills: Defense, Military Construction and Veterans' Affairs, and Homeland Security.
This legislation gives a 3.9 percent pay increase to our nation's military personnel and provides $41 billion for VA health programs, 10 percent more that the President's request. Funding is also included to improve cargo container screening at our nation's ports and $4.75 billion to increase aviation security at airports around the country.
"I am so proud that we were able to pass bi-partisan legislation to help low-income New Jersey families heat their homes this winter, that our veterans will continue to receive the health care they were promised, and that our troops serving our country at home and abroad will receive a much needed pay increase," said Congressman Sires. "This bill also goes a long way towards making us more secure at home by improving security at our ports and airports in New Jersey, and around the nation."
H.R. 7005, the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) Relief Act, was also passed by the House on September 24, 2008. This bill provides a one-year "patch" that would prevent more than 20 million taxpayers from being hit by the AMT on their 2008 tax returns.
"This Congress came together to ensure that middle class Americans in New Jersey and all over this country would not be subjected to the AMT," said Congressman Sires. "This patch is important to so many of my constituents and I'm pleased the House acted so quickly before adjourning this year to ensure our families get the relief they need."