Utah Priorities Included in End of Year Funding Bills

Includes provisions important for public health, national security, and rural communities

WASHINGTON— U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) today voted in favor of two Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations bills, which include legislation he fought for to reduce youth vaping, support Hill Air Force Base, repeal Obamacare taxes, and protect rural Utah communities.

“While this compromise legislation is far from perfect, it contains legislation I fought for that is important for Utah, our children’s health, and our national security,” Senator Romney said. “Raising the legal tobacco age to 21 is a key step toward protecting kids from addiction, and an FDA review of vaping cartridges will help ensure vaping devices cannot being adulterated with hazardous substances. Additionally, this bill provides funding for critical programs at Utah’s Hill Air Force Base and reauthorizes programs that support law enforcement, county services, and schools in Utah’s rural communities.”

Romney-backed provisions in the end-of-year funding bills:

National Security

  • $1.87 billion in funding for at least 98 F-35s, with repairs and maintenance occurring at Hill Air Force Base.
  • $557 million for modernization of our missile defense system, the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) program, which is managed at Hill Air Force Base.

Health Care and Vaping

  • Tobacco to 21 Act, legislation that Senator Romney helped introduce earlier this year that prohibits the sale of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to anyone under the age of 21.
  • FDA review of e-cigarette cartridges, to ensure that vaping cartridges are tamper proof. Senator Romney introduced a similar provision as a part of the Ending New Nicotine Dependencies (ENND) Act, that he introduced with Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), which would regulate e-cigarette standards and protect public health.
  • Permanent repeal of the medical device tax, which is critical to keeping U.S. health care companies globally competitive, safeguarding patient care, and protecting medical innovation in Utah.
  • Permanent repeal of the health insurance tax, which Senator Romney pushed for earlier this year to lower health care costs for millions of Americans.
  • TICK Act, cosponsored by Senator Romney to improve research, prevention, diagnostics, and treatment for vector-borne diseases.

Rural Utah

  • Reauthorization and full funding for Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) and Secure Rural Schools (SRS), which Senator Romney cosponsored to provide long-term financial security for rural counties in Utah.
  • $175 million for Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations Program, which supports wildfire management and prevention in Utah’s rural communities.
  • $20 million for the Central Utah Project, which provides water from the Colorado River for irrigation, municipal, recreational, and industrial use.
  • $101.5 million for the Wild Horse and Burro Program, which will help the Bureau of Land Management achieve the ideal management level of wild horses and burros.
  • Includes an additional $2.25 billion for wildfire suppression activities.


  • Funding and reauthorization of the E-Verify Program. Earlier this year, Senator Romney introduced legislation to make the E-Verify program permanent, which is the first step in making the program mandatory nationwide.