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Cole Statement on Passage of FY16 Omnibus Funding Bill

December 18, 2015
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04), chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (LHHS), released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2016. This omnibus legislation fully funds the government through the end of the fiscal year at levels previously agreed to in the Bipartisan Budget Act. The legislation is a compilation of all 12 regular Appropriations bills for discretionary spending and includes several provisions recommended by Cole’s subcommittee.

Of note, the LHHS portion of the bill provides substantial increases for research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC); the $2 billion NIH increase reflects some funding intended for Alzheimer’s disease research and the $300 million CDC increase focuses on disease prevention and bio-defense research.

The omnibus provides a $570 million increase for the Head Start education program that benefits low-income children and their families. There is also language included that reins in the excessive overreach of the Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board, bans taxpayer bailout of Obamacare’s risk corridor program and strengthens and maintains previous pro-life protections like the Hyde Amendment.  

In addition to LHHS provisions, the omnibus includes several valuable policy measures. It encourages domestic energy production through repeal of the longstanding ban on crude oil exports, it equips our military with sufficient resources to confront threats at home and abroad and it keeps the promise to America’s veterans of quality and accessible earned benefits. Finally, it includes the recently proposed changes to the Visa Waiver Program, passed by the House, to prevent acts of terrorism by visitors to the United States.

“Divided government requires compromise, and this bill reflects that reality,” said Cole. “Neither side got everything it wanted, but the end product reflects as much common ground as possible and allows lawmakers to restore regular order in the legislative process when we return in January.”

For more information about the specific provisions included in the omnibus legislation, click here.

Specific bill highlights related to Cole’s subcommittee are detailed here.

Cole managed the combined rule for consideration of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 and the Consolidated Appropriations Act on the House floor. Video of his opening remarks is available here

Cole also spoke during general debate of the omnibus yesterday. Video is available here

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Contact: Sarah Corley (202) 225-6165

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