Pelosi Dear Colleague on Omnibus Legislation
December 18, 2015
Dear Democratic Colleague,
Until late last night we were still working to provide urgent relief to Puerto Rico. As you may be aware, the Speaker has agreed to take action on restructuring legislation by March 31, 2016, and last evening, he committed to start that process with a hearing on our first day back in January.
With the leadership of Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and Puerto Rico’s many friends in the Congress, we will continue highlighting the urgency of Congress acting as soon as possible.
Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of the Omnibus. I hope the fact sheet below is helpful to you as I urge a yes vote on this bill.
Thank you for your friendship and your leadership.
DEMOCRATIC WINS IN THE OMNIBUS
Some of the Key Provisions Democrats Got Included in the Omnibus:
Two-Year Delay of the So-Called “Cadillac” Tax: Delays the so-called “Cadillac” tax in the Affordable Care Act, a tax on employer-provided health plans worth over a certain threshold, from 2018 to 2020.
Suspending Health Insurance Tax for One Year: Suspends the Health Insurance Tax in the Affordable Care for one year – 2017, which will result in a reduction in health insurance premiums.
Extension of the Wind and Solar Tax Credits: Extends the wind Production Tax Credit for five years (2015-2019), with the credit reduced by 20 percent in 2017, 40 percent in 2018, and 60 percent in 2019. Also extends the solar Investment Tax Credit for five years (2017-2021), with the credit reduced by 20 percent in 2020 and 40 percent in 2021. Extending the solar Investment Tax Credit is estimated to create 61,000 jobs in 2017 alone. It is also estimated that the wind industry will grow to over 100,000 jobs over four years with the renewed wind tax credit.
9/11 First Responders: Includes the reauthorization of the critically important James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, making the World Trade Center Health Program permanent and reauthorizing the Victims Compensation Fund for five years. If Congress does not act now, the benefits will run out for the 70,000 9/11 first responders and survivors.
Reauthorizing Land and Water Conservation Fund: Includes provisions that reauthorize the vital Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which Republicans allowed to expire on September 30, for three years. The LWCF is one of our country’s most successful outdoor recreation and conservation programs. Over the last 50 years, it has conserved national parks and forests, farms and ranches, fish and wildlife refuges, trails, and state and local parks.
Approving IMF Governance Reform Package: Includes critical provisions approving the IMF Reform Package, which includes key modernization reforms supported by both Republican and Democratic Administrations. The failure of the Congress in approving this package over the last few years has deprived the IMF of the resources it needs to stabilize the world economy and to combat future global market crises that have the potential to undercut U.S. national interests.
Some of the GOP Ideological Riders that Democrats Got Removed from the Omnibus:
No GOP Rider Defunding Planned Parenthood: The GOP policy rider defunding Planned Parenthood, thereby depriving millions of women of critical preventive health care services, was not included in the Omnibus.
No GOP Rider That Would Have Caused Many Women to Lose Access to Comprehensive Health Care Services: The GOP policy rider enacting the so-called “Abortion Non-Discrimination Act,” which would have caused many women to lose access to comprehensive health care services, was not included in the Omnibus.
No GOP Rider Blocking Funding for Title X Family Planning: The GOP policy rider blocking any funding for Title X Family Planning programs was not included in the Omnibus.
No GOP Rider Reinstating the “Global Gag Rule”: The GOP policy rider reinstating the “Global Gag Rule,” which provides that the U.S. government cannot provide funding for family planning services to clinics or groups overseas that also offer abortion-related services, even if the funding for those services comes from non-U.S. sources, was not included in the Omnibus.
No GOP Rider Providing A Big Gift to the Tobacco Industry: The GOP policy rider exempting e-cigarettes and other tobacco products – including flavored products designed specifically to attract young smokers – from FDA’s pre-market review requirement, was not included in the Omnibus.
No GOP Rider Keeping Out Syrian Refugees: The GOP policy rider keeping out Syrian refugees was not included in the Omnibus.
No GOP Rider Blocking Funding for So-Called “Sanctuary Cities: The GOP policy rider prohibiting the awarding of Department of Justice grant funding to so-called “sanctuary cities,” thereby seeking to punish them, was not included in the Omnibus.
No GOP Rider Blocking the Clean Power Plan: The GOP policy rider blocking the Administration’s Clean Plan, which establishes the first-ever national standards to limit carbon pollution from plants, was not included in the Omnibus.
No GOP Rider Blocking “Waters of the U.S.” Rule: The GOP policy rider blocking the Administration’s “Waters of the U.S.” rule, which will ensure clean drinking water for millions of American families by clarifying the federal jurisdiction of navigable waters under the Clean Water Act, was not included in the Omnibus.
No GOP Rider Blocking Hydraulic Fracking Rule: The GOP policy rider blocking the Administration’s final rule on Hydraulic Fracturing (or Fracking) on federal and Indian lands was not included in the Omnibus.
No GOP Rider Providing A Big Gift to the Mining Industry: The GOP policy rider that blocks holding mining companies accountable by prohibiting EPA from requiring that mining companies be financially capable of cleaning up pollution resulting from mining operations was not included in the Omnibus.
No GOP Rider Blocking Joint-Employer Ruling: The GOP policy rider blocking the NLRB “joint-employer” ruling that companies can be held responsible for labor violations committed by their contractors under certain circumstances, was not included in the Omnibus.
No GOP Rider That Would Have Been A Large Gift to the Big Wall Street Banks. The GOP policy rider, which would have lowered the amount that big banks have pay over to the Federal Reserve to enjoy the benefits of membership from 3 percent of their assets to 0.5 percent, was not included in the Omnibus. According to the Wall Street Journal, the GOP rider would have returned about $25 billion to the biggest banks, including $4.3 billion to Bank of America, $3.5 billion to Citigroup, $2.7 billion to Wells Fargo, and $2.4 billion to J.P. Morgan Chase.
No GOP Rider Undermining the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: This GOP policy rider, which would have undermined the vital Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by eliminating its mandatory funding and making it subject to the appropriations process, was not included in the Omnibus.
No GOP Rider Blocking the Fiduciary Rule: The GOP policy rider blocking the Administration’s proposed fiduciary rule, which requires financial advisors to give advice that is in their client’s best financial interest, was not included in the Omnibus.
No GOP Rider Blocking Net Neutrality: The GOP policy rider blocking the FCC’s Net Neutrality Rule, which is a pro-consumer rule and ensures that the big Internet service providers cannot use pay-for-priority schemes benefiting deep-pocketed special interests, was not included in the Omnibus.
No GOP Rider Providing A Big Gift to the Trucking Industry: The GOP policy rider endangering public safety by allowing double 33-foot tractor-trailers on our nation’s interstate highways (roughly the size of an eight-story building) was not included in the Omnibus.
No GOP Rider Weakening Campaign Finance Reform: The GOP policy rider eliminating caps on the amount of cash parties can spend in coordination with candidates was not included in the Omnibus.
No GOP Rider on Sales of Multiple Long Guns: The GOP policy rider preventing the Department of Justice from requiring federal firearms licensees to report on the sale of multiple long guns to the same person was not included in the Omnibus.
No GOP Riders on Undermining the Fair Housing Act: The three GOP policy riders undermining the Fair Housing Act, such as by eliminating private enforcement funding for the Fair Housing Initiatives Program, were not included in the Omnibus.
Partial List Only