Congressman Patrick Meehan (PA-07) today applauded the bipartisan passage of a bill to keep the government running the rest of the fiscal year while cutting spending and funding priorities important to Pennsylvania, veterans and the nation.
"This is what Congress doing its job looks like," said Meehan.
"We have prevented a government shutdown. We have cut spending to continue putting our fiscal house in order. We have helped workers and veterans in Pennsylvania. This is what the people of the 7th District sent me to Congress to do. And I'm grateful that Democrats and Republicans came together to get the job done."
The bill, known as a continuing resolution, was necessary to stop a shutdown because the current funding law expires on March 27. It passed by a 318-109 vote, and will now go to the President for his signature.
The legislation cuts wasteful spending and funds the government through September 30, 2013.
The bill also includes several important priorities that Meehan fought for, including:
$4 million in federal funding for local veterans treatment courts. These courts, which have shown tremendous success through the region and country, help veteran offenders stay out of jail while helping them cope with all-too-common mental illness and substance abuse problems. This is the first time federal funding has been appropriated into law for veterans treatment courts. Coincidentally, Meehan and Chester County's Deputy Director of Probation and Parole Jennifer Lopez testified before the House Appropriations Committee today to stress the importance of this funding for next year.
A multi-year procurement provision for military hardware, including the V-22 Osprey and the Chinook helicopter, which are manufactured by Boeing in Ridley, Delaware County. This provision will help ensure continued production of these rotorcraft in Pennsylvania and provide value to taxpayers and war-fighters.
Military tuition assistance program for veterans is reinstated. This program was cut by the Pentagon, which blamed the effects of sequestration. Meehan helped lead the chorus of voices expressing outrage and demanding the funding be reinstated and savings found elsewhere.
Also today, the House passed its balanced budget resolution. The budget blueprint balances our federal budget in 10 years, helps grow the economy through tax reform and American energy production, and it makes no changes to Medicare for those at or near retirement while strengthening and preserving the program for younger workers.