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Newhouse Statement on Central Washington Priorities in Omnibus Passage

December 18, 2015
Press Release
Bill Includes Strong Funding Levels for Hanford, Fighting Wildfires

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Dan Newhouse (R-WA), released the following statement after the House approved H.R. 2029, the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act on a vote of 316-113. Yesterday, the House approved the tax relief provisions of the end-of-year agreement.

“While this bill is far from perfect, it advances Central Washington’s priorities,” said Rep. Newhouse. “It keeps the federal government accountable for meeting the legal and moral obligation to continue clean-up at Hanford. I fought hard to ensure that this bill contains critical resources to fully fund Hanford clean-up through the next fiscal year.

“Additionally, this legislation provides a key repeal of the Country of Origin of Labeling (COOL) requirements. If COOL is not repealed, Washington farmers stand to face tens of millions of dollars in retaliatory tariffs by Mexico and Canada, causing severe economic harm to agriculture in our state.

“After yet another catastrophic wildfire season for Central Washington and the West, this legislation provides a much-needed 50-percent increase in wildfire response and prevention funding. It also includes resources for the reduction of hazardous fuels in national forests, with agencies directed to work with State and local governments to prioritize the prompt removal of dead and downed trees in drought-stricken regions.

“Over the last several weeks we have been confronted by the growing threat of terrorism at home and abroad, and this legislation provides vital funding for our military and intelligence community to ensure we can combat threats to our nation. I am also pleased this legislation provides new safeguards for our national security by reforming the visa waiver program to provide tighter screening for travel to the U.S. It also prohibits funding for transfers of Guantanamo detainees to the U.S. or its territories, keeping them from our shores. We must provide necessary resources to secure the homeland and fight the global scourge of ISIS, and this bill gives our troops the critical tools they need to keep Americans safe.”