Gianforte Votes to Protect Community Health Centers, Provide Long-Term Military Funding
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Montana Congressman Greg Gianforte voted for a funding bill that prevents a government shutdown and includes measures to protect Montana’s community health centers and to provide critical funding for America’s military. The measure passed the House 245-182 and awaits action in the Senate.
The bill provides a two-year reauthorization of the Community Health Center Fund, which serves more than 106,000 Montanans of whom 85 percent live at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
Gianforte speaks today in support of Montana’s community health centers at a press conference
“I’ve been a strong advocate for community health centers, which about one in ten Montanans rely on for their health care needs. Three months ago, I voted to extend this vital program, and I voted again today to provide continued, predictable funding for our community health centers. I hope the Senate will act to protect Montanans’ access to care,” Gianforte said.
The legislation also provides full-year, Fiscal Year 2018 funding, totaling $659.2 billion, for the Department of Defense, including the largest pay raise for troops in eight years.
“We can’t keep kicking the can down the road with funding our national defense. As global threats grow, our military needs certainty and long-term funding. Our troops deserve a pay raise, and they need to have the resources they need to get the job done and come home safely,” Gianforte said. “I encourage the Senate to act swiftly to pay our troops and take care of our national defense.”
The measure continues non-defense funding for the federal government at current levels through March 23, 2018.
The legislation awaits action in the U.S. Senate.
Extending Community Health Centers
On February 2, Gianforte urged House Speaker Paul Ryan to reauthorize the Community Health Center Fund and provide community health centers with continued, predictable funding. A group of 105 House members sent the letter to Ryan.
On December 21, 2017, Gianforte voted to provide $550 million in community health center funding through March 2018. The House and Senate passed the measure, and the president signed it into law the next day.
On November 3, 2017, Gianforte voted to reauthorize community health centers for two years and the Children’s Health Insurance Program for five. The measure, the Championing Healthy Kids Act, passed the House 242-174.
On October 27, 2017, Gianforte encouraged House Speaker Paul Ryan and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi to work together on a five-year reauthorization of the Community Health Center program. A bipartisan group of 155 House members sent the letter to Ryan and Pelosi.
According to the National Association of Community Health Centers, Montana’s community health centers served 106,342 patients in 2016, of which 85 percent were at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
Funding National Defense
The bill provides full-year, Fiscal Year 2018 funding, totaling $659.2 billion, for the Department of Defense.
The bill provides a 2.4 percent pay raise for America’s troops, their largest raise in the last eight years
The bill authorizes increases to the size of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Army Guard and Reserve, Naval and Air Reserve, and Air Guard, while making key investments in equipment, training, maintenance, and facilities as well as modernizing missile defense and cyberspace security.
Preventing a Government Shutdown and Keeping the Governmenent Open
Gianforte has repeatedly worked to keep the federal government operating. On January 18, Gianforte voted to prevent a government shutdown. The bill also provided 24,000 Montana children with health insurance with a six-year extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The House passed the bill 230-197.
On January 19, 44 Senate Democrats filibustered the funding measure, shutting down the federal government and jeopardizing CHIP.
On January 20, the first day of the shutdown, Gianforte instructed appropriate officials to withhold his pay until America’s troops get paid. Gianforte also cosponsored the Pay Our Protectors, Not Our Politicians Act.
On January 22, Gianforte spoke on the House floor, urging Senate Democrats to reopen the federal government and provide health insurance to 9 million vulnerable children in America.
On January 22, Gianforte voted to reopen the federal government after most Senate Democrats lifted their filibuster and the Senate passed a bill to fund and reopen the government.