Pelosi: Continuing Resolution Is Giant Step Forward in Cleaning Up Republicans' Huge Fiscal Mess
'Today, Democrats have taken a giant step forward in cleaning up the huge fiscal mess left behind by Republicans. Republican failures on the budget left 9 of 11 appropriations bills unfinished. Years of fiscal mismanagement have also created huge deficits and undermined public confidence in government.
'During the first 100 legislative hours of our new majority, Democrats passed crucial measures designed restore fiscal responsibility, reduce spending, and balance the budget. In addition, we have placed a moratorium on earmarks until a new, reformed process is in place to ensure the integrity of every earmark that is funded.
'Today's continuing resolution finishes the fiscal year 2007 process so that Congress can focus on the future and a new direction for the American people. This bill stays within the budget limits set by Congress last year and makes critical investments for the following unmet needs:
- Veterans' health care is increased by $3.6 billion to provide services for 325,000 veterans.
- Housing assistance for 227,000 individuals and families is provided through a $1.4 billion increase for Section 8 housing programs, and an additional $300 million will help public housing authorities pay rising utility costs.
- A $1.3 billion increase to fight the global HIV/AIDS pandemic, providing HIV/AIDS treatment for an estimated 345,000 additional people in the developing world while increasing to $724 million theU.S. contribution to the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria.
- Domestic HIV/AIDS treatment and care is increased by $76 million in order to provide the full amount authorized under the recent reauthorization of the Ryan White CARE Act.
- An increase of $207 million for community health centers to finance the construction of 300 new or expanded health centers, serving 1.2 million new patients.
- U.S. innovation and competitiveness is enhanced by investing an additional $335 million for basic research at the National Science Foundation and $50 million for physical science research at the National Institutes of Standards and Technology. This investment will foster emerging technologies to create the next wave of high-paying jobs.
- An increase of $200 million is included for new energy technologies, including the conversion of cellulosic biomass to biofuels, and another $300 million is provided to accelerate research and development in renewable energy and energy efficiency will reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
- The National Institutes of Health receives an increase of $620 million to fund an additional 500 research projects.
- Funding is provided for to fill 31,359 positions at the FBI, including 12,213 agents and 2,577 intelligence analysts - doubling the number of intelligence analysts since 9/11.
- Pell Grants are increased to help more than 5.3 million students pay for college.
- Special education grants are increased by $200 million to better serve the 6.9 million children inAmerica with disabilities.
- Head Start is increased by $104 million to prevent a drop in enrollment. New funding is also included for 6700 schools that need help to meet the standards set by No Child Left Behind.'