Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) cast a vote in favor of the bipartisan Omnibus Appropriations bill that included a number of investment priorities for San Diego, and avoids a government shutdown. Throughout the appropriations process Davis pushed to ensure local priorities were included in the bill.
“Many San Diego priorities focusing on the middle class are included in this bipartisan omnibus spending bill,” said Rep. Davis. “While not perfect by any means, this bill has critical investments for medical research, innovation, education, infrastructure, and supports many jobs in our region. Just as importantly it avoids an economically damaging government shutdown. As we head into the new year, Congress should resolve pass funding measures on time and avoid past practices of stopgap spending bills that only cause economic uncertainty.”
The Omnibus Appropriations bill includes:
- Health Care: Davis led an effort to set funding for the NIH at $32 billion. The Omnibus contains funding of $32 billion for medical research funded by the NIH. The San Diego region gets a significant portion of NIH funding, around $800 million yearly.
- Education: Increases funding for Impact Aid for schools in close proximity of federally owned land (military installations) by $17 million. Davis joined a letter advocating for an increase. $250 million for Preschool Development Grants, which is the same as the FY2015 enacted level. Davis pushed to keep the funding from being eliminated.
- Defense: Omnibus bill contains up to $25 million to recruit, integrate, retain, and train women in the Afghan National Security Forces, as well encourage participation in elections. Davis included a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act that authorized this funding to ensure Afghan women play an increasing role in the rebuilding of their country.
- Shipbuilding: Contains funding to accelerate NASSCO's next Navy ship, the third Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB) ship, supporting 4000 plus jobs in the San Diego region.
- Renewable Energy: Provides a major boost to renewable energy by extending the Wind Production Tax Credit for five years (through 2019), and extending the Solar Investment Tax Credit for five years (through 2021). Extending the solar tax credit is estimated to create 61,000 jobs nationwide in 2017 alone. San Diego is a leader in the growth of solar energy industry.
- Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy R&D: Provides an 8 percent increase over 2015 for R&D activities in the pursuit of new clean energy and energy efficiency technologies.
- Transportation: The popular TIGER grants are being used across the country to repair infrastructure and contribute to economic growth, including improvements at the San Diego port. This bill avoids cuts attempted by the Majority and restores the funding to the 2015 level of $500 million.
- Working Families: Increases Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act funding by $86 million. Davis led a letter with the California delegation for this funding increase.
- Law Enforcement: The bill provides $187 million for COPS hiring grants, which is $7 million above the 2015 level.
The Omnibus also reauthorizes financial and health care assistance for the 9/11 first responders under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, making the Health Program permanent and reauthorizing the Victims Compensation Fund for five years. Davis is a cosponsor of the bill.
The House passed the Omnibus bill by a vote of 316-133.