Rep. Peters Votes to Fund San Ysidro Border Crossing and Reduce VA Backlog
WASHINGTON, D.C. – This evening, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) voted in favor of bipartisan legislation that prevents a federal government shutdown and funds San Diego’s border infrastructure, gives our troops a pay raise, brings in personnel to cut down on the backlog of claims at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), provides money to fight wildfires, and supports NIH and algae research being done in our region.
“Our constituents sent us to Congress to forge bipartisan solutions that improve their lives and provide opportunities for economic growth, not to threaten government shutdowns with manufactured crises,” Rep. Peters said. “I supported today’s bipartisan legislation because it contains many provisions that will benefit San Diego and help grow our nation’s economy.”
Although Congressman Peters voted to support the overall package, there were elements within it that he opposes. “I oppose the provision that increases the influence of money in politics and will continue to work for meaningful campaign finance reform,” Peters continued.
The $1.1 trillion bill funds most of the federal government through the end of September 2015, and is the result of lengthy negotiations between the Senate, House, and the President to reach a compromise. The President supports the final bill, as did a mix of House leaders in both parties. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.
Benefits for San Diego in the Funding Package
- $216 million to fund the last phase of construction at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, the world’s busiest land crossing, where recent bipartisan efforts to secure construction funding have dramatically reduced wait times
- 12 MQ-9 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) that are a priority of the Air Force; UAVs are an economic driver in San Diego County and extend our national defense range
- 1% pay raise for our country’s troops
- Funding to refuel the USS George Washington, which maintains our nation’s 11-aircraft carrier fleet; San Diego is home to two carriers that provide $500 million each in economic benefit
- $30.1 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an increase of $150 million from 2014; in 2013, California received $3.3 B in NIH funding, and the San Diego region received $785 million
- $3.5 billion for wildfire fighting efforts, which covers the 10-year average
- An additional $40 million to hire personnel to continue reducing VA claims backlog
- Investments in alternative energy, including $25 million in algae research and $45 million to support collaboration between the Navy and the Department of Energy to develop new fuels