Scott Statement on the Omnibus Bill

March 22, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after he voted in favor of the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2018. 

“While this spending bill is about funding the government, it also a statement of values. When Congress prioritizes federal investments, the country makes progress. As a whole, I see this as a win for students. I support the increased investments in education from birth through college and rejection of misguided cuts proposed by the Trump administration. I am particularly encouraged by the increases for child care; k-12 education; school-based violence prevention; special education; TRIO and other higher education programs; and the maximum Pell award. In the President’s FY18 budget, he had proposed cutting, or outright eliminating, many of these programs.

“While this sizable increase in education funding is a step in the right direction, we can and must do more – even this $3.9 billion increase fails to restore the Department of Education’s purchasing power for America’s students. I am also disappointed that Congressional Republicans fought to include discriminatory education policy riders that discourage efforts to increase public school integration. I vow to fight again for their removal during the Fiscal Year 2019.

“This bill also rejects the Trump administration’s proposal to cut 20 percent of Department of Labor’s budget. Rather, this bill bolsters registered apprenticeship programs; protects senior community service programs; and ensures that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will continue to support effective worker health and safety training programs. I am also pleased that the bill includes increased investments in Older Americans Act programs that support our nation’s seniors and caregivers. Additionally, the bill provides increased funding for black lung clinics to help coal miners.

“Unfortunately, tipped workers lose out under this bill. I continue to be opposed to language in the omnibus that would allow employers to confiscate workers’ tip and use the money to supplant wages already being paid to other workers. The provision is a rollback of the 40-year-old policy that tips are the property of the workers who earn them. 

“I voted for this bill because I believe that, despite several troubling provisions, this is a positive step forward, and prioritizes students and workers.

“Additionally, there are many other necessary investments included in this bill. The National Institutes of Health will see a $3 billion increase, and a $3.2 billion increase in funding to combat the opioid crisis, including programs focused on prevention, rehabilitation, and research to develop alternative pain medication. The bill also includes critical investments in programs to benefit our veterans. Lastly, I am very relieved that we are passing an omnibus appropriations bill as opposed to another dysfunctional continuing resolution, which we know hurts military readiness, as well as shipbuilding and ship maintenance contracts.”

To read more about the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2018, click here.

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