This week the House sent an appropriations package to the president’s desk, marking the first time in over twenty years that Congress has approved 75% of all discretionary spending before the end of the fiscal year. The power of the purse is one of Congress’s greatest duties and we will continue to work on the appropriations bills that remain. Nevertheless, Republicans have made significant progress in our fight to return to regular order and to steward the tax dollars of the American people responsibly. The package includes the entire defense budget, which means the Department of Defense has more fiscal certainty to rebuild and strengthen our military than it’s had in two decades. The bill also provides a well-deserved pay raise to our country’s selfless warfighters—the largest increase in nine years.
Additionally, it delivers funding for FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund, making $8.8 billion available to assist with Hurricane Florence relief. As our state continues to sustain Hurricane Florence’s devastation, it is crucial to ensure FEMA remains able to effectively assess the damage and administer disaster relief for the recovery ahead.
Wednesday, my bill, the Grant Reporting Efficiency and Agreements Transparency (GREAT) Act, passed in the House by a voice vote. To get the most out of each taxpayer dollar, the federal government has to keep pace with the technological advances that make our digital society ever-more efficient. Last year alone, the federal government awarded $662.7 billion in grant funding to state agencies, local and tribal governments, agencies, non-profits, universities and other organizations. The GREAT Act requires the Executive branch to implement uniform standards and open data for increased efficiency and transparency in the grant reporting process. To learn more, read my op-ed here.
The House passed a number of other important bills this week to extend the middle class and small business tax cuts, address the opioid scourge and update the Missing Children’s Assistance Act. Additionally, in the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, we held a hearing to examine first Amendment rights on college campuses. Read my opening statement here.
RECOGNIZING JOYCE WALKER
Congratulations to Joyce Walker of Lewisville, named by the North Carolina Association of Municipal Clerks the 2018 Clerk of the Year! The Fifth District is fortunate to have her as a pillar of institutional knowledge and outstanding community service. This week I recognized her on the House floor for her achievement.