Congress April 30 reached a $1 trillion agreement to fund the government through the end of September. It is expected to vote on the funding package early this week.
The agreement includes, among other things:
$12.5 billion in new military spending
$1.5 billion more for border security to be used for technology investments and maintenance of existing infrastructure.
$2 billion in new funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
$100 million to combat opioid addiction
$407 million in wildfire relief for western states
Permanent program that provides health care coverage for retired coal miners who were in danger of losing their coverage.
Increases in funding for energy, science, infrastructure, and medical research
The agreement came after Congress had to pass a week-long funding measure on April 28 to avoid a government shutdown.
AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. applauds Congress for coming together on a bipartisan bill that will keep the people’s government open for business. He urges lawmakers to quickly pass this budget and avoid a government shutdown at the end of the week.
“In reaching this agreement, lawmakers wisely rejected billions of dollars in harmful cuts to medical research, education programs, housing grants, and other domestic programs that were proposed by the Trump administration," he said. "Those who need our help the most would have been hit the hardest by these cuts, and Congress was right to reject them."
“I also thank Congress for retaining the longstanding ban on contracting out federal jobs using the flawed A-76 outsourcing process," Cox added. "Taxpayers benefit when federal jobs are performed by civil service employees, who are less costly and more accountable than private contractors."
The majority of Americans repeatedly told pollsters they want to invest in America. According to a recent Quinnipiac University national poll, they are against the administration’s proposed cuts to various government programs in 2018:
87 percent against cutting funding for medical research;
84 percent against cuts to funding for new road and transit projects;
67 percent against cuts to scientific research on the environment and climate change;
83 percent against cutting funding for after school and summer school programs;
66 against eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities;
79 percent against eliminating the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
“The American people want us to invest in America, not dismantle it,” Cox said. "Federal employees are ready to serve. We just need to give them the resources they need to do their jobs."