Press Releases

Rep. Wexton Votes to Pass Bipartisan Funding Deal to Avoid Government Shutdown

Washington, December 17, 2019

Washington, DC -- Today, Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) voted to pass two bipartisan minibus appropriations packages which would fund the government for Fiscal Year 2020 and avoid a government shutdown. The House passed the Domestic Priorities and International Assistance Appropriations Minibus, H.R. 1865 by a vote of 297-120. The House passed the National Security Appropriations Minibus, H.R. 1158 by a vote of 280-138.

“Lurching from continuing resolution to continuing resolution is no way to run the government,” said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton. “The last government shutdown was devastating, seriously jeopardizing the financial security of tens of thousands of federal workers and contractors in my district -- many of whom are still recovering from its impacts.

“My top priority was keeping the government open. With this bipartisan agreement, we will ensure the government remains funded through the end of FY2020 and that no federal employee goes through the holiday season without a paycheck. While this deal is not perfect, these bills are the product of bipartisan and bicameral compromise, and important priorities for Virginia are reflected in this agreement.”

The funding packages include many crucial and hard-won budgetary priorities for Wexton, including:

Supporting our federal workers

“My colleagues and I fought for and won a long overdue, and well-deserved pay raise of 3.1% for all federal civilian employees,” said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton. “This increase will help the federal government compete with the private sector to attract and retain the best and brightest into public service.”

  • All federal employees receive a 3.1% average pay raise. Wexton cosponsored legislation to raise federal worker pay that passed the House in January.
  • Senate-approved appropriations of $25 million to relocate two United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) research agencies is removed. USDA’s authority to reorganize departments or reprogram funds without congressional consent has also been limited. Wexton led a bicameral effort to block the funding in October.

Investing in our region’s transportation infrastructure

“The federal funding we secured for Metro will help ensure the continued success of our region,” said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton. “A world-class transit system will encourage job creation, reduce congestion and pollution, and promote equity in Northern Virginia.”

“I was proud to advocate for the FAA’s groundbreaking remote tower pilot program at the Leesburg airport, and I’m pleased to see a continued investment of $7 million for this innovative program. These funds will help ensure a safer and more efficient airport operation for the hundreds of Virginians who use the Leesburg airport every day.”

Funding programs to support our children and families

“Virginia’s kids deserve every opportunity we can provide to help them live up to their full potential,” said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton. “We’ve secured record funding levels for Head Start, Child Care and Development Block Grants, and Title I schools to help every child succeed.”

  • Title I schools, Head Start, and the Child Care and Development Block Grants receive record base funding.
  • State Opioid Response grants are funded with $1.5 billion, building on historic investments in combating this crisis over the past two years.
  • The legal age to buy tobacco products is raised to 21.

Support for Virginia’s agritourism industry

“Agritourism is a major driver of our local economy and helps preserve the rural character of our communities,” said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton. “This year’s budget, which includes an extension of the tax break for craft beverage makers, will allow these businesses to continue to thrive in our region.”

  • An excise tax cut for alcoholic beverage producers is extended for one year, which has supported Virginia-10’s small breweries, wineries, and distilleries. Earlier this year, Wexton launched the bipartisan Congressional Agritourism Caucus to highlight the importance of these businesses.
  • Brand USA is reauthorized to continue support for marketing U.S. tourism opportunities across the globe, including its efforts to promote Virginia to international visitors.

Historic funding to study the gun violence epidemic

“After 20 years of gridlock, I’m proud to have helped secure historic funding for gun violence prevention research through the CDC and NIH,” said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton. “One hundred Americans die from gun violence every day, and with this funding we can finally address gun violence as the urgent public health emergency it is.”

  • $25 million is allocated to fund gun violence research through the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and National Institutes of Health (NIH). Earlier this month, Wexton signed onto a letter urging House and Senate leadership to include this funding in the final appropriations. This is the first federal funding to study gun violence in over 20 years.

Other important priorities for Virginia reflected in the appropriations bills include:

  • $425 million in state election security grants, a priority that was not funded in last year’s budget.
  • Full funding of $7.6 billion for a fair and accurate 2020 Census.
  • Key provisions that Wexton has fought for on the Financial Services Committee, including reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program, the Terrorist Risk Insurance Program, and the Export-Import Bank.
  • Record-level funding of $41.7 billion for life-saving medical research at the NIH, with significant funding for Alzheimer's Disease and brain research.

A detailed summary of the Domestic Priorities and International Assistance Appropriations Minibus, H.R. 1865, can be found here.

A detailed summary of the National Security Appropriations Minibus, H.R. 1158, can be found here.

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