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Speaker Ryan: $1.1 Trillion Budget Deal 'Advances Republican Priorities'

Image: Speaker Ryan: $1.1 Trillion Budget Deal 'Advances Republican Priorities'
Paul Ryan (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 16 Dec 2015 12:34 PM

House Speaker Paul Ryan says the new $1.1 trillion budget deal hammered out between Congress and the White House "advances Republican priorities."

"This omnibus bill represents a bipartisan compromise that includes a significant number of wins for Republican priorities," the Wisconsin Republican said in a statement issued Wednesday.

The deal is seen as a blow to tea party activists who had hoped to use a government shutdown threat to withhold federal funds from Planned Parenthood and stick to tight budget caps, and a win for Democrats, GOP defense hawks and businesses seeking permanent tax breaks.

Ryan's office said among the top features in the new deal are an increase in resources for the military.

"The arbitrary spending cuts in the sequester have depleted the resources our armed forces need to carry out their mission. This bill restores funding for our military to ensure our troops can confront today's challenges and defeat ISIL," Ryan's office said.

The bill also strengthens the Visa Waiver Program to protect the homeland.

"The Visa Waiver Program presents one of the most urgent threats to our homeland from radical Islamic terrorism. This agreement includes the House-passed bill to tighten the security requirements under the program," Ryan's office said.

"It would also deny visa waiver status to any individual who has traveled to certain terrorist hot spots, including Syria and Iraq, in the last five years."

The deal also prohibits new funding for the Affordable Care Act, which Republicans have been trying to repeal for years.

"The bill contains no new funding for Obamacare and continues to prevent a taxpayer bailout of Obamacare's risk corridor program," according to Ryan's office.

In addition, the spending plan prevents the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to American soil.

"The bill prohibits funds from being used to transfer terrorist detainees from Guantanamo Bay to the United States, and prohibits the construction or acquisition of a facility in the U.S. to house detainees," Ryan's office said.

It also blocks "overreach" by the Environmental Protection Agency, with "no funding for new or expanded EPA programs, holding the agency to its lowest funding levels since 2008 and its lowest staffing levels since 1989."

As well, Ryan's office said, the deal "reins in" the Internal Revenue Service.

"The IRS continues to act with impunity against the interests of hardworking taxpayers. This bill freezes most IRS operations and maintains budget cuts necessary to ensure this agency roots out wasteful spending and redirects resources to serving the American people," Ryan's office said.

"In addition, the tax extenders package also includes a measure to prohibit the IRS from unfairly imposing the gift tax on contributions to non-profit groups, which have historically been exempt, to encourage donations to these important organizations."

The plan also "maintains strong protections for life" by prohibiting taxpayer funding for abortion. It also includes a new prohibition on gene editing and cuts funding for a program involved in abortion-related activities, the United Nations Population Fund, by 7 percent.

Also, the spending plan "ensures our veterans receive their much-deserved health benefits, speeds up VA claims processing, prioritizes modernizing the VA's electronic health care record system, and tightens oversight of construction projects," according to Ryan's office.

And it provides critical healthcare benefits for 9/11 first responders — important because more than 30,000 first responders continue to suffer from injuries or illnesses sustained during the 2001 terror attacks.

"The bill contains a bipartisan measure to permanently reauthorize critical health care benefits for these brave men and women—and it does so in a fiscally responsible way," Ryan's office said.

It also repeals "harmful" labeling requirements on American meat, according to the lawmaker.

"The bill repeals mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) requirements, ensuring that our economy does not suffer more than $1 billion in trade penalties," his office said.

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House Speaker Paul Ryan says the new $1.1 trillion budget deal hammered out between Congress and the White House “advances Republican priorities.”
paul ryan, house, speaker, budget deal
Wednesday, 16 Dec 2015 12:34 PM
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