Congressman Ron Kind (D-La Crosse) supports the bill in order to keep the government functioning. It promotes certainty for families and businesses, he says, and encourages economic growth and job creation. “Passing a one-year budget removes that uncertainty of crisis management, of short-term continuing resolutions. And what I think the economy, families, and businesses need more than ever is some certainty so that the economy can continue to grow and we can strengthen and expand the middle class.”
The bill includes legislation authored by Kind that will protect the pensions of more than 10,000 cooperative and small business retirees.
Most federal agencies would be funded through September 30, other than Homeland Security. Funds for that agency only go through February. Kind calls that “silly.” He says the GOP is up in arms about President Obama’s actions on immigration, which don’t take effect until June 1st. “Everyone in the country knows we have an immigration system that’s broken and needs to be fixed. So instead of crying about what the president’s trying to do to fix it, they can take action themselves before June 1, if they’re capable of it.”
Kind was unhappy with two unrelated provisions that were added to the bill, he says, at the last minute. “One lifts the contribution limits on wealthy individuals to the political process, a favor for the ultra rich that was added to the bill with no hearings and no discussion. Strengthening the role of powerful special interests is bad for democracy, and I will work to repeal these campaign finance changes in the next Congress. The other provision makes changes to Wall Street reform that should be debated and considered on their own merits, not slipped into a must-pass spending bill.”
The U.S. House of Representatives approved the bill Thursday night by a narrow vote of 219-206. The bill must pass the Senate before getting the president’s signature.