House Passes Omnibus Bill by a 316-113 Vote; Senate Passes It by a 65-33 Vote

This morning, the House passed the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016,” an omnibus appropriations bill funding the entirety of the federal government for fiscal year (FY) 2016 by a vote of 316-113. All 6 of NJ’s Democratic Representatives (Norcross, Watson Coleman, Pallone, Payne, Sires, and Pascrell) were among the 166 House Democrats to vote IN FAVOR of the bill (only 18 House Democrats voted against the bill). 4 of NJ’s House Republicans, Reps. Frank LoBiondo, Tom MacArthur, Chris Smith, and Rodney Frelinghuysen, were among the 150 House Republicans to vote IN FAVOR of the bill, while Reps. Leonard Lance and Scott Garrett were among the 95 House Republicans to vote AGAINST the omnibus bill. The House also passed the tax extenders bill yesterday by a 318-109 vote; all 6 NJ House Republicans and Democratic Reps. Norcross, Sires, and Pascrell voted IN FAVOR of the bill, Reps. Watson Coleman, Pallone, and Payne voted AGAINST it.

UPDATE:The Senate passed the omnibus and tax extenders bill this morning by a vote of 65-33; Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez both voted IN FAVOR of the bill, along with 36 other members of the Senate Democratic caucus (7 members of the Senate Democratic caucus voted against the bill). President Obama will sign the  omnibus and tax extenders bill into law by the end of today.

Here are the press releases issued by NJ’s Congressional delegation (as of this afternoon) explaining their votes on the omnibus bill and/or the tax extenders bill:

  1. press release from Rep. Lance explaining his NO vote on the omnibus; a press release explaining his YES vote on the tax extenders bill;
  2. A press release from Rep. Garrett explaining his NO vote on the omnibus;
  3. press release from Rep. Frelinghuysen explaining his YES vote on the omnibus;
  4. A press release from Rep. Smith explaining his YES vote on the omnibus;
  5. A press release from Rep. MacArthur explaining his YES vote on the omnibus;
  6. press release from Rep. LoBiondo explaining his YES vote on the omnibus;
  7. A press release from Rep. Norcross explaining his YES vote on the omnibus; a press release explaining his YES vote on the tax extenders bill
  8. A press release from Rep. Payne explaining his YES vote on the omnibus;
  9. A press release from Rep. Sires explaining his YES vote on the omnibus;
  10. A press release from Rep. Pascrell explaining his YES vote on the omnibus; a press release explaining his YES vote on the tax extenders bill
  11. A press release from Rep. Watson Coleman explaining her NO vote on the tax extenders bill;
  12. A press release from Rep. Pallone explaining his YES vote on the omnibus;
  13. A press release from Sen. Booker explaining his YES vote on the omnibus AND the tax extenders bill;
  14. A press release from Sen. Menendez explaining his YES vote on the omnibus AND the tax extenders bill.

Here’s a description of the bill from House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD):

This Omnibus package contains FY2016 funding for federal agencies under all twelve Appropriations subcommittees.

The Omnibus appropriates $1.067 trillion in base discretionary budget authority and $73.7 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding, pursuant to the two-year, Bipartisan Budget Agreement that replaced a portion of the sequester after passing the House on October 28th of this year. 

The product of negotiation, this Omnibus package rejects numerous high profile, controversial riders put forward by Republicans, including delaying or rejecting Syrian refugees, changes to Dodd-Frank or to the Department of Labor Fiduciary rule, restrictions on the EPA’s Clean Water Rule and Clean Power Plan, further limits on a woman’s access to contraceptives or a woman’s right to choose, efforts to roll back protections for American workers, and scores of others.  Under the Bipartisan Budget Agreement, an additional $66 billion was used to increase investments in Democratic priorities.

The measure extends the World Trade Center Health Program through 2090 for first responders and survivors of the 9/11 attacks, while also funding the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund for five additional years by increasing H1B entry visa fees and biometric entry-exit fees.  It also contains a two year delay of the “Cadillac Tax” which would impose an excise tax of 40% on health plans whose value exceeds $10,200 for individual coverage and $27,500 for a family.  Also, it would provide for a one year delay in the Health Insurance Tax (HIT).

The Omnibus contains a bicameral compromise bill on cybersecurity, which will help crowdsource cyber threat information between companies and the Department of Homeland Security to better defend against hacks and protect private data.  The bill makes improvements upon the House bill passed earlier this year.  It also contains the compromise text of the Intelligence Authorization Act for 2016. 

The Omnibus also includes a provision making commonsense improvements to the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) to better determine that individuals entering the U.S. through the program do not pose a security risk, while maintaining the program’s ability to facilitate legitimate foreign business travel and tourism to the U.S.  This bipartisan provision passed the House on December 8th by a vote of 407-19.

The Omnibus falls short of supporting Puerto Rico’s ability to restructure its debt, though the bill provide for an increase in hospital reimbursement rates and would also make Puerto Rico hospitals eligible for incentive payments for meaningful use of Electronic Health Records under the HITECH Act.

Additionally, the Omnibus contains a provision that will remove restrictions on the export of crude oil from the United States except in limited circumstances and increase the authorization for Maritime Security Payments to U.S. flagged vessels. It extends the wind energy Production Tax Credit for five years (2015-2019), with the credit reduced by 20 percent in 2017, 40 percent in 2018, 60 percent in 2019, and ending in 2020, and also extends the solar Investment Tax Credit for five years (2017-2021), with the credit reduced by 20 percent in 2020 and 40 percent in 2021, and applies the credit to those solar projects that have commenced construction in those years.  The measure also reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund for a three-year period, and authorizes a new ocean conservation program for the same duration.

Comment (1)

  1. tricakun

    4 of NJ’s House Republicans, Reps. Frank LoBiondo, Tom MacArthur, Chris Smith, and Rodney Frelinghuysen, were among the 150 House Republicans to vote  IN FAVOR of the bill, while Reps. Where such information?

    Reply

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