WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), a leader on the Senate Appropriations Committee, today voted to pass legislation that includes seven government funding measures, completing the FY2019 appropriations process. Among the measures in the legislation is one authored by Senator Capito to fund the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. After Senate passage of the bill by a vote of 83 to 16, Senator Capito issued the following statement:
“This bipartisan government funding measure demonstrates we can work together to get things done on behalf of the American people. As one of the few Republican senators who negotiated the agreement, I can say that while we may have compromised on some policies, we never compromised on our principles. After many months of negotiations, meetings, and consultations, we came to an agreement that makes tremendous strides in strengthening our borders through physical barriers, increased technology, and enhanced personnel—all to provide for the safety and security of our country and address national priories like fighting the opioid epidemic. Our agreement makes a significant down payment on the president’s ultimate border security goal, and to help further achieve that goal, I plan to support his national emergency declaration.
“In addition to border security funding, this legislation also includes resources for West Virginia priorities that I have long advocated. It highlights efforts to improve broadband, encourage economic development in rural communities, advance scientific and educational resources, and help law enforcement as they work to prevent crime and stop the flow of illegal drugs. These are all things I’ve pledged to champion since my first day in office, and this bill advances and builds on each one.
“I’m incredibly proud to have worked with my colleagues from both sides of aisle to craft this important agreement, supporting and shaping it throughout the committee process and now sending it to the president for his signature.”
Highlights from each funding measure include:
AGRICULTURE, RURAL DEVELOPMENT, FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, AND RELATED AGENCIES, 2019
- $47 million in additional base funding for regulatory science, enforcement, and innovation activities to combat the opioid epidemic.
- $16 million for Rural Development Distance Learning & Telemedicine Grants to help rural communities combat the opioid crisis. Grants can be used to purchase equipment such as transmission facilities, audio equipment, interactive video equipment, and computer hardware, as well as technical assistance for using eligible equipment.
- $550 million for a rural broadband pilot grant/loan program targeted to areas that currently lack access to broadband service. Provisions are included in the bill to prevent overbuilding or duplicate existing broadband infrastructure, which has been a concern for the cable and telecommunications industries.
COMMERCE, JUSTICE, SCIENCE, AND RELATED AGENCIES, 2019
- Includes $468 million to combat the opioid epidemic.
- The Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR) is funded at $563.4 million, an increase of $59 million over FY2018. This funding enables the Department to hire additional immigration judge teams and upgrade to an electronic case management system, which will help reduce the Immigration Court backlog, a top priority in the Administration’s efforts to address the crisis at the border.
- The agreement provides increased support for state and local law enforcement agencies, victims of crime—including child abuse and human trafficking—and the fight against opioids. Highlights include:
- Byrne JAG Grant Program: $423.5 million, an increase of $4.5 million above FY2018.
- COPS Hiring Grant Programs: $303.5 million, an increase of $28 million above FY2018.
- Anti-Opioid Grant Programs: $468 million, an increase of $21.5 million above FY2018.
- $11.4 billion, an increase of $277 million above FY2018, to focus on core economic development activities, protecting intellectual property rights, strengthening trade enforcement, advancing cybersecurity research, and improving severe weather forecasting.
- $304 million for the Economic Development Administration (EDA), including $117.5 million for the Public Works program, $23.5 million for the Regional Innovation Program, and $30 million for grants to assist troubled coal mining communities.
- $39.5 million for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), including up to $7.5 million to continue updating the national broadband availability map.
FINANCIAL SERVICES AND GENERAL GOVERNMENT, 2019
- $250 million to increase economic opportunity and support investment in underserved communities through the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund. The bill places emphasis on serving persistent poverty counties and supports the enhancement of CDFI presence and activities in underserved rural communities.
- In the Office of National Drug Control Policy, $280 million is included for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program, and $100 million is provided for the Drug-Free Communities programs within the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
INTERIOR, ENVIRONMENT, AND RELATED AGENCIES, 2019
- $3.22 billion for the National Park Service, $20.4 million above the FY2018 level.
- $6.087 billion for the U.S. Forest Service, $152 million above the FY2018 level, including funding increases for programs to reduce the risk of wildfires, particularly in the wildland-urban interface.
- Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) programs receive $435 million. Within this amount, BLM receives $28 million; FWS receives $65 million; NPS receives $168 million; USFS receives $72 million; and Forest Legacy receives $65 million.
STATE, FOREIGN OPERATIONS, AND RELATED PROGRAMS, 2019
- $3.3 billion for assistance for Israel under Foreign Military Financing Program, equal to the current Memorandum of Understanding level and the President’s request.
TRANSPORTATION, HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, AND RELATED AGENCIES, 2019
- The bill once again provides a $10 billion increase over FY2017 levels for infrastructure programs. This includes an increase of $400 million over FY2017 for BUILD grants; an increase of $500 million for airports; an increase of $5.3 billion for highways; an increase of $1 billion for transit; an increase of $1 billion for rail; an increase of $609 million for maritime; an increase of $605 million for community development; and an increase of $1.1 billion for assisted housing.
- The Department of Transportation, Office of the Secretary is provided $1.2 billion, of which $900 million is for BUILD grants.
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