WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) in the Senate Appropriations Committee today voted in favor of the State and Foreign Operations bill and Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill that promote religious freedom, invest in charter schools and curtail government waste while maximizing taxpayer dollars.
“We were able to fund charter schools, veterans training, Alzheimer’s disease research, the fight against opioid abuse and other key initiatives and still spend $800 million less in total discretionary funding than FY2017,” said Sen. Kennedy. “We are being careful stewards of taxpayer dollars while still funding what needs to be funded. It’s all about setting priorities.”
Key Provisions Included in State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill:
Total cost: $51.3 billion; $6.18 billion cut from FY17 Omnibus package
- Supports Israel - $3.1 billion for military aid for Israel, $7.5 million for refugees resettling in Israel; and continues restrictions on the United Nations Human Rights Council.
- Promotes and Protects International Religious Freedom – $25 million for programs to promote international religious freedom.
- Protects Life – The bill prohibits U.S. assistance for foreign nongovernmental organizations that promote or perform abortions.
Key Provisions Included in Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill:
- Alzheimer’s Funding- $1.8 billion has been allocated for Alzheimer’s disease research through the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
- Opioid Epidemic- $816 million, a 440% increase in funding to combat opioid abuse at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
- Charter Schools – $367 million, a $25 million increase above FY2017 Omnibus, to support the startup, replication, and expansion of high-quality charter schools.
- Fiscal Stability for Social Security- Money to prevent improper Social Security payments which will help save taxpayers $9,828,000,000 over 10 years.
- Program Eliminations – The bill focuses funding on programs that are efficient, cost-effective, with proven outcomes. The Committee recommendation includes six program eliminations, equating to over $152 million in spending reductions. Over the past three years, the Labor-HHS bill has eliminated or consolidated 36 programs.
- Institute for Museum and Library Services- $235 million, a $4 million increase above FY2017 Omnibus. The National WWII Museum in New Orleans will be eligible to qualify for grants provided by this agency.