Rep. Axne Takes 10th Vote to Re-Open the Government
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representative Cindy Axne (IA-03) voted for the 10th time to end the partial government shutdown. The legislation, H.R. 648, would reopen most federal agencies immediately – with the exception of the Department of Homeland Security – provide backpay for federal employees and fund border securities measures to keep our communities safe. The funding bills reflect bipartisan House-Senate conference agreements negotiated by Republican and Democratic appropriators in both chambers last year.
“I spent the month talking to constituents from Des Moines to Sidney and what I heard time and time again is that this shutdown is hurting Iowa families,” said Rep. Axne. “Local communities are unable to apply for much-needed grants, small businesses are unable to receive the loans they need, farmers can’t receive crucial services to sell their products, and agencies tasked with keeping Iowans safe are left understaffed and unpaid.”
This legislation provides $1.6 billion in funding for strong and effective border security measures including improving security at ports of entry through advanced construction and investments in new drug, weapons, and contraband scanning technology, innovative technology to detect unauthorized crossings at the border and additional border security agents.
“We need to strengthen our border security. But not by allowing our economy, our communities, our families and most importantly, our safety to suffer. Today I voted for a bipartisan bill that would not only re-open most federal agencies, but would provide $1.6 billion to immediately fund strong, effective and smart measures to strengthen our border security,” Rep. Axne added. “I strongly urge my Senate colleagues to pass this bill to end the hardship this shutdown is causing.”
The bill also includes $1.7 billion for Farm Service Agencies to assist Iowa farmers with loan programs, $550 million for rural broadband, increased funding to improve infrastructure in rural communities, $3 billion in grants for State and Local Law Enforcement agencies and funding for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program. It will also authorize important programs that expired in 2018, including the Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA) and the Land Water Conservation Fund.
The legislation reflects conference agreements for six appropriations bills: Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies; Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies; Financial Services and General Government; Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies; State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs; and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies. It also includes language to pay federal employees who have been working without pay or who have been furloughed during the shutdown.
A summary of the bill is available here.