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Larson Votes For Key Priorities for the First District

March 22, 2018
Press Release
Omnibus bill keeps government open and funds critical priorities for CT

Washington D.C. – Today, Congressman John B. Larson (CT-01) released the following statement after the passage of the omnibus appropriations bill in the House that will fund the government through the remainder of fiscal year 2018:

“Today’s vote means more funding to stem the opioid crisis, more jobs for the First District, and more critical resources to ensure our seniors and veterans get the services they need. No agreement is ever perfect, and it is infuriating that Republicans continue to block votes on the Dream Act and important gun violence prevention measures. However, this bill has a lot to offer for the First District and the State of Connecticut and I was proud to vote for it.

“In particular, it includes critical investments in our national security, spearheaded by Congressman Courtney who serves on the Armed Services Committee and Congresswoman Rosa Delauro on the Appropriations Committee, that will help keep our country safe and bolster our manufacturing base both in the First District and throughout the state. These not only benefit the large manufacturers like Pratt and Whitney, Electric Boat, and Sikorsky, but also the hundreds of Connecticut suppliers who support these vital programs.

Key investments in our national security for CT include:

  • 90 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, 20 more than requested in the President’s budget
  • 56 Black Hawk Helicopters, 8 more than requested
  • 18 KC- 46 tankers, 4 more than requested
  • Two Virginia Class submarines
  • Three Littoral Combat Ships
  • Fully funds advance procurement for Virginia-class and Ohio replacement submarines

“In addition, this agreement included billions of additional dollars to fight the opioid epidemic, increase access to affordable child care, and support national service programs like AmeriCorps and VISTA. It also makes a critical investment in the Social Security Administration to help reduce their backlog and cut wait times for beneficiaries, and bolsters funding for the Veterans Affairs Administration. Finally, even though the House still must do much more to bring critical gun violence legislation to the floor, I was relieved that the omnibus includes clarification that the Dickey Amendment does not prohibit the CDC from awarding grants to study gun violence. In addition, the Fix NICS Act, authored by our own Sen. Chris Murphy along with Sen. John Cornyn, was included to incentivize states and federal agencies to share more records for the national database. This is a step forward, but more must be done to addressing the epidemic of gun violence in the United States,” said Larson.

Some of the key investments that the Omnibus bill includes:

  • $10 billion increase in infrastructure funding
  • $7 billion increase in funding for the Veterans Affairs Administration
  • $3 billion increase in funds to fight the opioid epidemic
  • $3 billion increase in medical research at the National Institutes of Health
  • $2.37 billion increase in Child Care and Development Block Grant
  • $610 Million increase in Head Start
  • $480 million increase in Social Security Administration funding (Rep. Larson along with other Democratic leaders on the Ways and Means Committee wrote to appropriators asking for this increase.  View letter here
  • $250 million increase in the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to help low-income families and seniors heat their homes in the winter

$34 million increase was given to keep the AmeriCorps, VISTA, Senior Corps among other national service programs which are so vital to the nearly 3,000 serving our communities. For every dollar invested in these programs, service members generate a 4-1 return to economic and social benefits.

  • $59 million increase in Senior Nutrition Programs.