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Agricultural News

Oklahoma Congressman Mullin Explains His Vote on Omnibus Budget Measure

Fri, 12 Dec 2014 05:55:46 CST

Oklahoma Congressman Mullin Explains His Vote on Omnibus Budget Measure Oklahoma Second District Congressman Markwayne Mullin released the following statement in response to the House passage of H.R. 83, the Omnibus Appropriations for FY 2015.  The legislation would keep most of the federal government funded through next September, with exception of funding the Department of Homeland Security, which will expire next February.

"The legislation passed by the House today is by no means a perfect bill, but I can tell you the positives far outweigh the negatives.  As with every bill, I approached this vote from first a constitutional perspective. Secondly, I considered it from a business owner's perspective, meaning that the positives had to offset the negatives by at least a 70 to 30 ratio.  After my team and I combed through the entire bill, we determined it contained measures that were incredibly important to our nation.

Some of the provisions I was most pleased with include:
  $60 million budget cut to the Environmental Protection Agency ($126 million under the President's request)
  $345.6 million budget cut to the Internal Revenue Service
  The restriction of the application of the Clean Water Act in agricultural areas, including farm ponds and irrigation ditches
  Suspension of the 34 hour restart period in the Department of Transportation's Hours of Service rule
  The preservation of all current provisions that protect human life
  The continuation of programs to maintain strong relationship with Israel and continue military aid to fund the Iron Dome defense system to counter rocket attacks
A 1 percent pay increase to military personnel
  The funding of the Department of Homeland Security only until February 2015 (ensures that we have a Republican Senate and House when we face our immigration issues and President Obama's executive orders)
  Prohibition of the United Nation Arms Trade Treaty
  Prevention of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating lead ammunition

Further, it's important to note that this bill puts Congress on a pathway to regular order.  This means instead of wasting time passing Continuing Resolutions to temporarily fund the government at outdated levels, we can focus on actually accomplishing our goals.  Congress can then concentrate on issues like regulatory reform, tax reform, and deficit control.

Again, this bill is not perfect and here are a few provision that were particularly concerning to me.  
  Increase of funding for unaccompanied minors programs in the Office of Refugee Resettlement
  Funding for the translation of government documents
  $1.4 billion for international development funding
  $6.4 million increased funding to the District of Columbia

Regarding the President's executive action to defer the deportation of illegal immigrants, there have been several misconceptions relating to this bill.  This legislation in no way provides any funding to support the President's unilateral action. I stand with my position that the President has gone completely against the will of the people, and I am prepared to fight this action with the start of the new Congress.

The most important win tonight is that we've set the stage for a government that works. We should never compromise our principles, but we do have to work with those across the aisle if we intend to make positive steps forward for this country.  That's why I work from my 70 to 30 rule, and I will continue to do so as we enter the next Congress."



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