September 13, 2017
Today, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) voted against a partisan government spending package that, among other drastic measures, completely eliminates the U.S.-Mexico Border Water Infrastructure Grant Program. These grants support a bi-national partnership that has funded and would continue to fund repairs to sewage infrastructure that is at risk of rupturing and causing sewage spills that effect San Diego. The elimination of the Border Water Grant Program is part of a 7% overall cut to the Environmental Protection Agency that would severely limit its resources to protect clean air and water.
“Eliminating this program would take away one of our tools to improve sewage infrastructure along the border and prevent these constant spills that threaten public health and damage our quality of life. It also threatens the cross-border cooperation and leadership that is necessary to keep sewage out of American waterways,” said Rep. Scott Peters, who first raised the alarm when President Trump called for eliminating the program in his budget proposal. “This is a priority, and I am going to continue working to restore this program and ensure the federal government plays its part in helping to prevent these spills.”
The spending bill, which passed the House on a party-line vote and still requires approval by the Senate, would also:
- Block enforcement of the individual health insurance mandate. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that without enforcement (or effective replacement) of the mandate, average health insurance premiums in 2018 and 2019 will increase 15 percent to 20 percent higher than they would otherwise.
- Eliminate federal healthcare funding for Planned Parenthood.
- Get rid of $2.5 billion worth of teacher training and arts education programs.
- Reduce the State Department’s budget by more than 10%.
- Cut 19% of funding from NOAA’s Office of Ocean and Atmospheric Research that studies climate change and extreme weather.
- Eliminate the competitive TIGER Infrastructure Grant Program, which is currently being used to fund improvements to the Port of San Diego.
Rep. Peters continued, “At a time when we are working with our allies to counter new and dynamic threats around the world, Congress should not be gutting the State Department. At a time when extreme weather and climate change are threatening our communities and our economy, Congress should not be restricting clean air programs and climate research. And as Americans are continuing to struggle with rising healthcare costs, Congress should not be destabilizing the insurance market and raising their premiums.”
“This spending package falls far short of making the investments needed to create high-paying jobs and secure our nation. It’s time for a bipartisan process that will deliver the results that the American people deserve,” Rep. Peters concluded.