U.S. CONGRESSIONAL News:
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District voted Wednesday for the omnibus appropriations bill that funds the government for fiscal year 2014. As a result of the budget deal that was passed in December (see here), the appropriations bill rolls back the sequester cuts that have negatively impacted New Mexico.
“For too long Congress has had to legislate from one crisis to the next as House Republicans shutdown the government and used the appropriations process to make extreme demands,” Luján said. “With this legislation, we can move forward and address other critical issues facing our country. In addition, this measure takes significant steps to roll back the devastating sequester cuts that have harmed New Mexico and prevent a new round of even deeper cuts.”
The Consolidated Appropriations Act is comprised of the 12 appropriations bills that fund all aspects of the federal government.
“This bill represents a compromise that on the whole will benefit New Mexico. While there are certainly aspects of it that I do not support, the funding bill addresses a number of priorities that are important to the people of New Mexico and our economy,” Luján added. “It provides vital funds for environmental cleanup at Los Alamos National Laboratory – going beyond the President’s budget request.
“It also restores substantial funding for education that was cut through the sequester, including the full restoration of Head Start funding that will enable more children in New Mexico to access this important program. In addition, it repeals a cut to the cost-of-living adjustment for disabled military retirees and survivors and provides funding to address the backlog of veterans claims through the VA. I am, however disappointed, that funding for the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program was not included, and as work on the Farm Bill continues, I encourage conference negotiators to include PILT funding in that bill.”