Congressman Bill Owens voted today in favor of a bipartisan agreement on the remaining nine spending bills necessary to continue vital services for New Yorkers and fund the federal government for fiscal year 2012. The conference agreement on H.R. 2055, the Fiscal Year 2012 Final Consolidated Appropriations Bill, passed the House by a vote of 296-121, with a majority of House Republicans supporting the bill. The funding level in the agreement is consistent with the $1.043 trillion cap on discretionary spending set by the Budget Control Act of 2011.
"I am glad to see Congress complete its work on the remaining spending bills for 2012," said Owens. "This agreement will provide needed certainty for the remainder of the fiscal year, and I hope both parties will continue to work together in the coming year to put our nation's fiscal house in order."
The federal government was operating under a stopgap spending bill that expires at midnight tonight, December 16, 2011. The agreement on the consolidated appropriations bill prevents a potential government shutdown, provides critical funds for national security, and supports programs and services New Yorkers rely on, while cutting overall spending to help reduce the federal debt and deficit. Security and non-security discretionary funding for federal agencies funded by the agreement totals $915 billion, which is $6 billion below the fiscal year 2011 level for these same agencies.
Also passed Friday was legislation to provide $8.1 billion in disaster aid for areas affected by severe weather (H.R. 3672) and a resolution to offset these funds by making across-the-board rescissions of 1.83% to all FY 2012 base discretionary spending, except the Department of Defense, Military Construction, and Veterans Affairs (H Con Res 94).
"Additional legislation passed today will ensure that we are better prepared for natural disasters like those that affected New York earlier this year. Funding for disaster response is critical to the federal government's ability to work with state officials efficiently and provide aid when necessary, and I am glad to see that this aid will be paid for," said Owens.