Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01) released the following statement after voting for the Fiscal Year 2014 Consolidated Appropriations Act, which passed the House of Representatives by a strong bipartisan vote of 359 to 67:
“Today, the House of Representatives took a monumental step forward by passing bipartisan legislation to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year. It ensures that we avoid another disastrous government shutdown, rolls back some of sequestration’s harmful cuts and provides greater certainty for New Mexico families and businesses.
“I am especially pleased that this legislation invests in many programs that are important to New Mexico. It helps families by boosting funding for early childhood education under Head Start, increasing grant funding for schools that serve disadvantaged children and investing in public safety programs that put more police officers on the streets. It also provides funding for our state’s national labs, allowing them to fulfill their vital national security mission, and preserves the Operationally Responsive Space program at Kirtland Air Force base along with the local jobs it supports. I am also pleased that this legislation reinstates the ban on domestic horse slaughter, prohibiting this inhumane practice and protecting the safety of our nation’s food supply.
“Still, this bill falls incredibly short, especially in terms of addressing the challenges facing middle class families and vulnerable populations. It is completely unacceptable that this legislation fails to extend emergency unemployment insurance for nearly 7,000 New Mexico jobseekers who are struggling to make ends meet. I will continue to urge Congress to swiftly renew this vital lifeline. I am also disappointed that this bill does not include funding for Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT), and I will work with my colleagues to find other avenues to restore this important program.
“I hope that Congress can build on the bipartisan effort that led to passage of this legislation to act on other important priorities, including comprehensive immigration reform with an earned pathway to citizenship, a farm bill that protects nutrition assistance programs and legislation that spurs job creation and economic growth.”