Statement Of Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Passage Of The Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Bill

[WASHINGTON (Friday, March 23, 2018) – Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) early Friday morning released the following statement on passage of the fiscal year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, which passed the Senate by a vote of 65 to 32.  Leahy earlier released a summary of the bill and paid tribute to Chairman Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) who is retiring in April.  Leahy’s full statement on the bill from the Senate Floor Thursday afternoon can be found here.]

By lifting the spending caps set in place by the Budget Control Act, we have been able to invest in the American people and take an important step toward undoing the damage done by sequestration to our military, our infrastructure, and our communities.  This would not have been possible without months of bipartisan negotiations, tough choices, and good faith compromises.  And I want to thank my dear friend Thad Cochran for being a steadfast partner throughout this process. 

We were able to eliminate more than 130 poison-pill riders, which would have restricted women’s access to health care, rolled back environmental protections, and put significant restrictions on consumer financial protections. We invested $18.25 billion into rebuilding our infrastructure and $3.3 billion to combat the opioid crisis that is gripping our country.  This bill makes new investments in child care, national security, election security, medical research, our nation’s veterans, and so much more.

I do not agree with everything in this bill, but this bill represents tangible progress that will benefit all Americans.

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