Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE1) says the $1.3 Trillion dollar spending bill was rushed through, but it gets the job done.
He says it funds the military to keep the country safe, and includes money for domestic programs.
“There is more dedicated funding for things like opioid abuse, a down payment on rebuilding America’s infrastructure,” Fortenberry tells LNK Today on Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN. “We got the military a much-needed pay raise, which I think is very important.”
Fortenberry says the bill included improvements to federal gun background checks.
It would penalize federal agencies for failing to report records and encourage states to send criminal history records to the system.
He says it was the increase in military spending that won him over.
“When General Mattis, the secretary of Defense, looks us in the eye and says, ‘I need this money, this level of money, to keep our country safe,’ that’s pretty serious,” Fortenberry explains.
Even though the bill was passed quickly to avoid a government shutdown, he says most members of the House should have been familiar with the basics of the bill.
“Are we going to discover, in a week or two, that there were things added or negotiated at the eleventh hour by leadership in the Senate and the House? Probably,” he admits. “So this is one of the reasons why you want to try to avoid last minute considerations of bills this big.”
Fortenberry says one addition was a fix to the tax cut bill passed in December that impacts Nebraskans.
He says a tax incentive that favored co-op grain elevators over privately owned elevators was corrected.
AUDIO: Mike Loizzo reports [:35]