Langevin Statement Opposing Republican Omnibus Spending Bill

Sep 14, 2017 Issues: Budget, Economy and Jobs, Education, Vote
Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) released the following statement expressing his opposition to the Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Spending Bill, which passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 211-198:  
“Just a week after coming together to pass a bipartisan package to stave off a government shutdown and bring relief to Hurricane Harvey victims, Republicans have returned to their go-it-alone attitude with an omnibus spending bill that will hurt programs that Rhode Islanders and Americans rely on. Today’s passage of the government spending bill zeroes out funding to crucial workforce development and training grants, undermines vital economic investments, and cuts programs that keep our communities healthy and safe. 
“This bill jeopardizes our ability to train the American workforce— our country’s most important resource— due to massive cuts in Wagner-Peyser Employment Service grants and apprenticeship funding. Wagner-Peyser grants have helped nearly 33,000 job seekers and more than 1,700 employers in Rhode Island alone, and they have been an integral component of our labor pipeline for over 80 years. By eliminating the full $650 million in funding for these grants, Republicans are making it more difficult for Rhode Island and states throughout the country to attract and retain a competitive workforce in a 21st century economy. The cut of $95 million in apprenticeship support also denies employers a proven tool that prepares Americans for jobs in skilled trades, creates career pathways for workers from all walks of life, and is integral to career and technical education.
“The list of programs cut by the bill goes on. $100 million is taken from Community Development Block Grants, which support needed infrastructure developments of urban neighborhoods. The bill slashes Community Oriented Policing Program funding in half, reducing critical investments in local police departments. It also dramatically decreases funding for clean air and clean water programs that keep our neighborhoods healthy. And it includes a number of dangerous policy riders that undo consumer protections and add instability to the health insurance marketplace. 
“Senate leaders have already pronounced this bill dead on arrival. Republicans in the House need to work with their Democratic colleagues, just as they did two years ago, to roll back some of the most harmful impacts of sequestration and provide relief from the across-the-board budget cuts coming in January. Anything less is simply unacceptable.”