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Foster Votes For Government Funding Package That Will Grow Economy, Invest in Education, Medicine, and Scientific R&D

Dec 18, 2015
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11) voted for the Omnibus Appropriations bill to fund the government through fiscal year 2016.

“While I am disappointed that House Republicans once again took our government to the brink, I’m pleased that we were finally able to reach a reasonable, bipartisan agreement and avoid a government shutdown,” said Foster. “This bill includes increases in funding for several important priorities, including education, infrastructure, and medical research.”

“I am especially pleased that this includes increased funding for scientific research and development. I would like to congratulate my colleagues negotiating the Omnibus for successfully defending the President's request for increased science funding rather than heeding Republican proposals for continued cuts to education and science,” Foster added. “However, the news isn’t all good. The Tax Extenders bill passed by the House yesterday, a grab-bag of tax reductions without offsetting revenue, pushes trillions of dollars of new debt onto future generations and could require much deeper cuts in future years that will ultimately reduce and endanger research and education funding.”

Funding highlights from the bill include:

  • Investing in Scientific Research and Development: Investing in scientific R&D is essential to maintaining our role as a world-leader in innovation.
    • The bill includes funding for research at Argonne National lab, including: $1.8 billion in funding for the Office of Science’s Basic Energy Science account, $24.1 million for the Energy Innovation Hub for Batteries and Energy Storage, $20 million for Advanced Photon Source, and  $621 million in funding for the Office of Science’s Advanced Scientific Computing Research account.
    • The bill also supports research being conducted at Fermilab, including: $795 million in funding for the Office of Science’s High Energy Physics account, $26 million in funding for the Long Baseline Neutrino Experiment, and $40 million in funding for the Muon to Electron Experiment.
  • Overall Education: The bill restores the $2.5 billion cut in education that the GOP had proposed and also makes critical additional investments of $1.4 billion above 2015, in such areas as Title I that serves 24 million at-risk students.
  • Early Learning:  Investing in Head Start produces results – and this bill invests nearly $400 million more than the House GOP bill and nearly $600 million more than 2015 in this vital initiative. The bill also provides $250 million for Preschool Development Grants, assisting 18 states across the country.  
  • Medical Research: Medical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has been underfunded for the last several years.  This bill provides $32.1 billion for NIH, that’s $900 million more than the House GOP bill and $2 billion more than 2015 for this life-saving research.
  • Substance Abuse: More resources are needed to combat the growing substance abuse problems in our communities. The bill includes $3.8 billion for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency (SAMHSA), which is $160 million more than 2015.
  • Infrastructure:  The crucial TIGER grants are being used across the country to repair infrastructure and contribute to economic growth.  The House GOP bill had slashed TIGER grants by 80 percent, killing jobs, but this bill restores the funding to the 2015 level of $500 million.
  • Law Enforcement: The bill provides $80 million for the Community Policing Initiative, including $22.5 million for body-worn cameras.