U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson (left) talks with ETI Director, Scott Ticer (right)
Congressman spoke to 45 business leaders Friday shortly after voting on massive budget bill.
“We are witnessing what I think is the great American comeback,” Thompson, R-5th Dist., said during the Manufacturer & Business Association’s legislative luncheon.
Hours earlier, at 5:30 a.m., Thompson cast a vote in support of a massive, two-year budget bill that ended a brief government shutdown. Thompson, who boarded a flight to Erie at 6:20 a.m. Friday, said the budget bill will fund the Pentagon to the tune of $165 billion; provide $90 billion in disaster relief to Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico; and provide $130 billion for non-defense spending, which includes investments in the opioid epidemic and funding for the Child Health Insurance Program for 10 years. The bill increases the debt ceiling and raises budget caps by $300 billion for the next two years.
It also funds government spending through March 23.
Thompson said he is confident that Republicans and Democrats will find a solution to immigration reform by the end of March. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated that debate over immigration will start next week, according to reports.
Congress then could start discussing, among other things, an infrastructure bill, Thompson said. Fixing the nation’s roads, bridges, airports and expanding new technology like broadband would likely require private investment, which would come in exchange for an abbreviated permitting process. Thompson spoke of the need to shorten the federal permitting process from an average of 10 years to two years without doing anything that would harm the environment.