Collins votes for spending bill that narrowly passes House

Staff Reports Posted 11 December 2014 at 12:00 am

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House of Representatives narrowly approved a $1.1 trillion spending package on Thursday that will fund most of the federal government’s operations for a fiscal year.

Congressman Chris Collins, R-Clarence, was among the representatives who supported the accord, which passed 219 to 206.

“This legislation is a tremendous win for Western New York,” Collins said in a statement issued tonight. “It holds the line on discretionary spending ensuring continued deficit reduction, while fully funding vital government programs. In politics it is crucial not to let perfect be the enemy of good, and although people on both sides have their concerns, I’m proud of what this accomplishes for Western New York.”

Collins highlighted the following from the bill that he said directly affect Western New Yorkers.

Provides $122 million for the improvement and expansion of the VA Medical Facility in Canandaigua.

Provides $68 million for OMEGA at the University of Rochester to expand their nuclear fusion laser lab facility.

Increases funding for the National Institutes of Health grant programs that help fund research centers like the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo.

Eliminates funding for the Race to the Top Initiative, reducing the incentive for States to continue the implementation of the Common Core Standards.

Blocks the EPA from applying the Clean Water Act to certain farm ponds and irrigation ditches.

Allows more flexibility to school districts implementing new whole grain nutrition standards in school lunches.

Cuts EPA funding for the fifth consecutive year and brings staffing to the lowest level since 1989.

Cuts IRS funding by $345.6 million and bans the agency from targeting organizations seeking tax-exempt status based on their ideological beliefs.

Provides $300 million to improve and restore the Great Lakes.

Increases funding for the Harbor Maintenance Trust fund by $100 million.