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December 26, 2015

2016 Omnibus Budget Bill

Congressman Glenn 'GT' Thompson Answers Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

“Should I vote against the bill since President Obama and the Democrats supported it?”

No.  Legislation that is obviously good for the nation should never be opposed on the simple basis that someone you almost always disagree with also supports the legislation. Instead, every bill must be evaluated on its individual merits. The 2016 Omnibus overall was a great win for the American people, with conservative solutions to many of our nation’s challenges.

“Does the Omnibus increase the national debt?”

No. The Omnibus was within the spending caps agreed to in the Bi-Partisan Budget Act.  Spending did increase for 2016 and 2017 under this agreement, but this was offset by nontax revenue dollars that included selling of a portion of both the strategic petroleum reserves and the communication spectrum to the private sector. Our military and National Security were the biggest beneficiaries of this increase.  Increased spending was paid for, and did not increase the debt.

“Is it true that you only had only three days to read this 2009 page bill?”

No. The final Omnibus legislation was the compilation of all 12 Appropriation Bills that every member had the opportunity to provide input to the subcommittee on over the past year. All 12 Appropriation Bills were debated and passed by Committee. Half of these bills were debated and past previously by the full House.  While a few new provisions were negotiated into the final package many of these provisions were considered through committee process as well. 

“Does the Omnibus fund Planned Parenthood?”

No. There are no specific funding lines for Planned Parenthood in the federal budget. No federal dollars may be used for performing abortions. There are Health and Human Service Funds (also restricted from funding abortion) that are allocated to the States, who then vet and award grants to health care providers. Funding for Planned Parenthood should be stopped, but this is a responsibility of the States to assure. All States should follow the example of New Jersey, that does not use any monies to fund the largest provider of abortion in the country, Planned Parenthood.

“Does the Omnibus grow Obamacare?”

No. The Omnibus actually made significant reductions to Obamacare, where possible. The Prevention and Public Health Fund was blocked from being used as a slush fund for Obama-Care.  It also stops the taxpayer bailout of Health Insurance Companies through the “Risk Corridor” program.  It builds on the previously past Tax Relief bill that puts Obama-Care on shaky financial ground by preventing for 2 years implementation of two Obamacare funding taxes – the Cadillac tax and the Medical Device tax.  Obamacare is beginning to crumble under the weight of the laws own flawed design.

“Does the Omnibus allow the President to provide Executive Amnesty for illegal aliens?”

No. The Federal Courts have already ruled and blocked the Obama administration from implementing any of their threatened Executive Amnesty for Illegal Aliens.  On this issue the Courts have done their job in reigning in an out of control Administration.

“Does the Omnibus/Tax Relief Bills provide a “Tax Credit” for illegal alien children?”

No. The Omnibus included language fromH.R. 2334, to stop illegal aliens from claiming the $1,000 refundable child tax credit.

“Have measures been taken to increase security checks for refugees entering the United States?”

Yes. The House already passed (with a veto-proof majority) separate legislation to suspend the Syrian and Iraq Refugee program until all background check processes can be reviewed.  The Senate has committed to voting on this legislation in January.

 “Does the Omnibus Quadruple Visas for Foreign Workers?

No. The H-2B visa program already allows for a limited number (annual cap of 66,000) of temporary, non-agricultural workers.  This is frequently adjusted based on employer need.  The enacted spending bill allows a temporary adjustment of 8,000 workers for one year based on employer need under the conditions that this does not allow for permanent immigration, nor does it give any legal status to those living here illegally. To use it, American employers must show that there are not enough U.S. workers available to do the specific, non-agricultural job that they are seeking to fill and that bringing someone here won’t adversely affect the wages of similarly employed Americans.

“Does the Omnibus require websites and technology firms to share information with the government?”                                                       

No. The Omnibus included language from the “Cyber-security Act of 2015” that will establish a voluntary information sharing program, strengthening businesses’ protection and resilience against cyber-attacks. This legislation includes safeguards which address the concerns of privacy and civil liberties organizations.

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Glenn 'GT' Thompson



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