Smith Statement Opposing Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus
“Today the House of Representatives passed an omnibus spending bill that funds the federal government through the end of September. This bill will give more certainty to our federal agencies, but unfortunately it underfunds key areas of the budget and takes us further down our current path of fiscal irresponsibility by ballooning our federal debt and increasing our already unmanageable deficit.
“Many vital environmental programs that protect our health and public lands will not be sufficiently funded. It also underinvests in our core diplomatic and aid missions which are essential components of our national security. As rates of displaced individuals across the world reach historic highs on top of worsening famines, disease outbreaks, and weakening fragile states, it is critical that we focus on global engagement and not allow diplomacy and development efforts to stagnate.
“Additionally, the omnibus ignores a number of critical policy priorities. The bill does not provide any solution to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) crisis the President created last year. It also chips away at the core tenets of the Affordable Care Act, without providing any meaningful solutions to improve our health care system. We also missed the opportunity to provide protections for Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 election.
“The omnibus took a small step in addressing the epidemic of gun violence by strengthening the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) but this is not enough. Our communities have made it clear that they want significant and comprehensive policy solutions to the gun violence that remains pervasive through our country. Overall, this bill does not deliver the solutions that will provide opportunities for and protect the livelihoods of all Americans.”