U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin voted to prevent another costly government shutdown and replace harmful, automatic spending cuts with investments in what we need to create jobs and strengthen our economic recovery. The bipartisan bill passed the Senate (72-26) yesterday and the House (359-67) earlier this week with overwhelming support from both parties.
"This bipartisan action is another step towards putting an end to Washington's drift from one crisis to the next," said Baldwin. "The bipartisan budget bill passed today with overwhelming support from both parties makes essential investments in economic growth at a time when far too many people in Wisconsin are looking for work. My top priority is job creation and strengthening the middle class so I support this legislation because it makes important investments in Wisconsin's economy. It will also help us move our economic recovery forward by growing more small business, rebuilding our roads, bridges and ports, and investing in innovation, science, research, and workforce readiness."
The budget adheres to the more than $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction that Democrats and
Republicans have achieved by working together, and reflects the bipartisan effort to successfully
replace the worst of automatic, across-the-board cuts with smarter choices. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, by restoring critical investments, the bipartisan budget will reverse automatic cuts to scientific research, education, and our military that are already hurting our communities and were on track to cost us 800,000 jobs this year.
The bipartisan Omnibus Appropriations Act makes investments including:
Small Business Administration (SBA) - The bill invests at $33 million above House Republican levels. As the main engine behind cultivating small businesses and supporting their needs, the SBA is a critical engine behind our nation's economic growth. The bill will boost technical assistance, outreach, and financing assistance for the lifeblood of the American economy -- small business owners. This includes $196 million in entrepreneurial development grants.
National Institutes of Health (NIH) -- The bill provides for $1 billion increase over FY13 automatic cuts. The NIH is the largest source of funding for medical research in the world. NIH's work has improved human health by increasing life expectancy and making breakthroughs in the treatment of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. NIH research also has a significant economic impact, directly supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs and supporting the medical innovation sector. The increase in funding will allow approximately 385 new medical research studies and trials to begin.
National Science Foundation (NSF) -- The bill increases NSF funding by $288 million -- a 4.2 percent boost, which means 780 more grants and 9,120 more researchers and technicians making discoveries leading to new products, new companies and new jobs.
Army Corps of Engineers -- The bill provides $5.467 billion for the Corps of Engineers, an increase of $748 million, which will fund $1 billion in Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund investments, increasing resources for flood and storm damage reduction, ecosystem restoration, navigation and environmental infrastructure projects.
Transportation and Infrastructure Investments -- The bill increases funding for key transportation and infrastructure programs by providing an increase of $126 million over last year's levels for the TIGER Grant program which received project applications from all 50 states last year, totaling more than $9 billion in requests. The bill provides increased funding to repair America's more than 150,000 deficient bridges. The bill also includes an $88 million increase in public transit funding which will boost investments in new transit services and eases commutes for mass transportation riders. As a result of the bill, the FAA will no longer face budget constraints that threated air traffic controller furloughs and the potential closure of contract towers across the country, including eight in Wisconsin.
Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) -- The bill funds the GLRI at $300 million, an increase of $16 million above post-sequestration levels. The GLRI creates economic development in our communities by cleaning up shorelines, enhancing recreation opportunities, and improving water quality.
Workforce Investment Act (WIA) / Job Training - The bill includes $2.6 billion, an increase of $121 million, for Workforce Investment Act Grants to states to provide job training skills and assistance to low-skilled adults, dislocated workers, and low-income youth with barriers to employment.
Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program --Senator Baldwin fought for the LCS program, advocating support for it with the Appropriation Committee. As a result of her efforts, the legislation fully funds the building of two ships in Wisconsin.
Military Pensions -- The bill reverses the cut to the cost-of-living adjustment for disabled military retirees and survivors. Senator Baldwin cosponsored the Military Retirement Restoration Act to safeguard military retirees from changes to cost of living adjustments that were included in the bipartisan budget agreement the Senate passed before the end of the year.