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Virginia Lawmakers Applaud $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill

Members of both parties supported the appropriations bill that will keep the government operating.

Virginia Lawmakers Applaud $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill
Virginia members of Congress from both parties praised the $1.1 trillion spending bill passed by Congress this week, noting that it provides stability for the area's military and federal workforce by ensuring the government will remain open for business.

The Virginia delegation unanimously supported the bill, which was passed 359-67 in the House on Wednesday and by 72-26 by the Senate on Thursday.

The Fiscal Year 2014 Omnibus Appropriations bill, which provides discretionary funding for the federal government through the end of the fiscal year, was approved  by both the House and Senate this week. Details of the overall bill can be found at The Washington Post or Congressional Quarterly, including news stories, press releases and key documents.

"We’ve alleviated the worst effects of the sequester, secured more funds for life saving medical research at NIH, averted another harmful government shutdown, and protected the EPA,” Rep. Jim Moran, D-8th, said in a statement. “Federal employees won’t have to work in a climate of uncertain furloughs and pay freezes for at least the next few years.  This agreement secures their first pay raise in three years and provides them well deserved financial security."

Moran, who is retiring from Congress, is the highest ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Interior subcommittee and the senior member of the Defense Appropriations subcommittee, 

On the other side of the aisle, Rep. Frank Wolf, R-10th, held a press conference Friday to discuss the bill. Wolf, who is also retiring, is chairman of the House Appropriations Commerce-Justice-Science subcommittee.

“The bill continues my effort to rein in federal spending while continuing to preserve core priorities such as job creation, boosting U.S. competitiveness through smart investments in science and space exploration, fighting crime, gangs and terrorism, and bolstering cybersecurity,” Wolf said. “All things considered, it is remarkable that the Appropriations Committee has been able to make these types of cuts while still producing a bill with strong bipartisan support.

Virginia's two Democratic senators, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, issued a joint press release supporting the bill.

“This two-year agreement should help Virginia families, employers and community leaders move forward with more predictability and confidence," Warner said. "While I’m pleased that, at least in the near term, we will not be lurching from crisis to crisis, we still need to have an adult conversation about our nation’s spending and debt.”

Kaine agreed: “This bill offsets the worst effects of sequestration while funding so many critical priorities for Virginia communities. I will also continue to pursue every path — both legislatively, as well as through my role on the Armed Services Committee — to reverse the provision in the budget agreement that makes a reduction to the cost of living increase (COLA) for certain military retirees."

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