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Accelerate Colorado

2014-2015 Successes

NASA Funding
The House met the President’s proposal to increase funding for the space agency to $18.5 billion, an increase of nearly $1 billion though it prioritized the money differently within the agency, most notably adding funds to the SLS and Planetary Science Division. NASA will have a large budget in 2016 versus another continuing resolution at last year’s 2015 level. A budget allows new programs to begin, existing ones to move forward and removes uncertainty for the rest of the year. 
 
Medical Device Tax 
In December 2015, Congress agreed to impose a two-year moratorium on the medical device excise tax. Though this isn’t a permanent fix to repealing the unpopular tax, it is a significant step in the right direction.
 
Ending Prohibition on Crude Oil Exports
Congress passed H.R. 702, which effectively ended the ban on crude oil exports and received bipartisan support in both houses. The president, signed the bill in exchange for opponents agreeing to a $1.8 trillion government spending and tax relief bill.  
 
Reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank
House Republicans used a rare parliamentary maneuver called a Discharge Petition to bring reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank to the House floor for a straight up or down vote. It passed overwhelmingly with the support from Colorado Congressional Democrats. 
 
Veteran Affairs Medical Center
Senators Bennet and Gardner and Congressmen Perlmutter and Coffman secured the last round of funding $625 million to finish construction at the VA Medical Center in Aurora. The VA and the Army Corps of Engineers have awarded a contract with Kiewit Turner to complete construction. 
 
Multiyear Highway Reauthorization
President Obama signed into law a five-year, $305 billion highway bill. The new law, paid for with gas tax revenue and a package of $70 billion in offsets from other areas of the federal budget, calls for spending approximately $205 billion on highways and $48 billion on transit projects over the next five years.