U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy of Winter Park, Fla., led bipartisan coalitions in the House of Representatives in support of federal initiatives to reduce drug-related violence, help entrepreneurs and small businesses grow, and strengthen U.S. manufacturing. The coalitions sent letters to the House Appropriations Committee in support of these three priorities as part of the appropriations process for Fiscal Year 2018, which begins Oct. 1, 2017. Appropriators use these letters to determine which federal initiatives receive funding and in what amount. Murphy also sent letters in support of numerous other central Florida priorities on issues ranging from transportation and infrastructure to housing and health care.
“Among my top priorities are to keep the American people safe and to strengthen our region’s economy through the creation of more and better-paying jobs. I’m proud to lead these bipartisan coalitions because they demonstrate my commitment to central Florida in the federal budgeting process,” said Murphy. “I’m working in a bipartisan way to secure important federal investments in our region, particularly around transportation, security, and job creation. Central Florida is one of the nation’s fastest growing regions, and I’m fighting to ensure we have the resources we need to sustain that growth.”
Murphy, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, led a bipartisan coalition that urged the Appropriations Committee to provide robust funding for the Department of Defense’s National Guard Counterdrug Program. Under this program, the federal government provides about $200 million annually to the national guards of each state and territory, which in turn use this funding to assist federal and local law enforcement agencies as they work to reduce the supply of illegal drugs, drug-related violence, and drug demand in our communities. In Fiscal Year 2016, Florida received nearly $9 million in funding under this program, the fifth-most of any jurisdiction. The coalition’s letter was endorsed by the National Guard Association of the United States, the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States, and the Reserve Officers Association.
Murphy, who is a leader on the House Small Business Committee, led a second bipartisan coalition urging the Appropriations Committee to provide strong funding for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Entrepreneurial Development Programs, which offer training, counseling, and technical assistance to aspiring and existing small business owners so they can thrive, hire new workers, and spur economic growth. There are about a dozen different Entrepreneurial Development Programs, including: Small Business Development Centers; the SCORE program; the Microloan Technical Assistance program; Women’s Business Centers; and several programs aimed at military veterans who want to begin or expand a business.
Finally, along with Republican Congressman Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania and Democratic Congressman James McGovern of Massachusetts, Murphy led a coalition in support of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Manufacturing Extension Program (MEP). This program, which President Trump has proposed to eliminate, provides vital support to the 12.3 million Americans who work for small and medium-sized manufacturing companies throughout the country, including about 20,000 individuals in Florida’s Seventh Congressional District. MEP is a national network of non-profit centers that employ industry experts who help manufacturers improve production processes, upgrade technological capabilities, facilitate product innovation, support workforce training, and promote exports. Murphy became a strong supporter of MEP after meeting with local constituents who have benefited tremendously from the program. Murphy helped secure over 100 signatures in support of the coalition’s letter from Members of Congress in both parties, which is a strong show of support that should help protect the funding from the president’s proposed cuts.
Murphy, who also helped introduced No Budget, No Pay, said she is encouraging her colleagues to work together and pass all 12 appropriations bills before the Oct. 1 deadline to avoid a government shutdown.
“One of Congress’ chief responsibilities is to set the nation’s budget. That’s why I’ve introduced a bill that says if Congress doesn’t pass a budget and all appropriations bills on time, then they don’t get paid,” said Murphy. “I strongly urge my colleagues to work together, stop the political bickering, and do the work they were elected to do.”
Constituents may learn more about Congresswoman Murphy’s work at StephanieMurphy.house.gov.