U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy today helped pass in the U.S. House of Representatives the Fiscal Year 2018 Consolidated Appropriations Act—a must-pass bill that funds the federal government through Sept. 30, 2018. Murphy said the bill contains four bipartisan measures she championed, including allowing the CDC to research gun violence; increasing funding to help women entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses; cutting through red tape to help small businesses get microloans; and protecting funding for the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. The U.S. House passed the so-called omnibus package today 256 to 167, and it will now be considered by the U.S. Senate. Current funding for the federal government expires at midnight Friday, March 23, 2018.
“My constituents sent me to Congress to deliver concrete results, and that’s exactly what we accomplished today,” said Murphy. “Over the past year, I’ve worked with members of both parties to advance policies that protect our families from gun violence, support small business owners and entrepreneurs, and help hardworking families make ends meet. The provisions I secured in today’s funding bill—from language effectively repealing the Dickey Amendment to measures empowering central Florida’s job creators—are major wins for our community and our country.”
The following Murphy measures were included in the final bill:
To protect communities from gun violence: Murphy worked with bipartisan negotiators to secure unprecedented language that effectively repeals the two-decade-old Dickey Amendment, paving the way for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to sponsor evidence-based research into ways to reduce gun violence. Murphy is the author of a bipartisan bill to repeal the Dickey Amendment, the Gun Violence Research Act, which has 173 cosponsors and broad support from gun safety and public health organizations. She also pushed for repeal of the Dickey Amendment at a recent White House summit to discuss gun safety policies convened by President Trump in the wake of the Parkland shooting.
To support job creators: The omnibus includes a measure from a bill that Murphy authored, called the Microloan Modernization Act, to give job creators greater access to capital. Under the Microloan program, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) makes loans to nonprofit organizations, called intermediaries, who in turn make loans of up to $50,000 to small businesses in their communities. The provision Murphy secured in the omnibus will enable intermediaries to help more entrepreneurs navigate the loan application process and better position themselves to obtain the capital they need to start and grow their business.
Empowering women entrepreneurs: Murphy also secured a funding increase for the SBA’s Women’s Business Center (WBC) program, which helps women entrepreneurs start and grow small businesses. These centers provide women entrepreneurs with guidance on business strategy, finance, government contracting, and other topics. Murphy said one of her goals is to bring a WBC to the Orlando area, which currently lacks one. Murphy offered a successful amendment on the House floor in Sept. 2017 that increased funding for the WBC program by $1 million, from $17 million to $18 million, and then worked to ensure that this level of funding was included in the final bill.
FundingtheU.S. Holocaust Museum: The omnibus provides robust funding for the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. Murphy led a bipartisan effort in June 2017 to protect the museum’s funding after the President’s budget proposed a substantial cut. Murphy authored a letter to the House Appropriations Committee urging that this cut be rejected. Sixty bipartisan Members of Congress eventually signed Murphy’s letter, and today’s bill provides $59 million to support the museum—$5 million above the President’s request.