Capito Helps Advance West Virginia Priorities in First FY2019 Funding Bills
Legislation includes resources for broadband, rural development, opioids prevention, fossil energy efforts
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, a member of the Appropriations Committee, today participated in a markup of the first FY2019 government funding measures, helping to advance two bills that would provide resources for critical West Virginia priorities. The markup was the first convened by new Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.). Both bills passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.
“Today was a great start as we work toward our goal of not only completing consideration of our twelve appropriations bills in committee, but advancing them to the floor for full Senate consideration, conferencing with the House, and getting them to the president’s desk. The bills we approved in committee today contain funding for issues I have fought for since I came to the Senate—including investments in broadband, resources to fight the opioid epidemic, and tools to promote economic development through energy technology and other means. These bills also build on the investments we made through the omnibus passed earlier this year,” Senator Capito said. “I was especially proud to advocate for the continuation of a pilot program at the Department of Agriculture that will receive $425 million to expand broadband access in rural areas; for an additional $59 million for the Food and Drug Administration to combat the drug crisis; increased funds for fossil energy research; and language that continues to promote and encourage the development of an ethane storage hub in Appalachia.”
The FY2019 Agriculture Appropriations Bill includes:
- $3.8 billion for rural development, including an additional $825 million in funding dedicated for infrastructure investments in rural America.
- $425 million for the rural broadband loan and grant pilot program and $53 million in Distance Learning and Telemedicine grants, of which $20 million is dedicated to assist rural communities combat the opioid epidemic.
- $2.97 billion in discretionary funding for the Food and Drug Administration, $159 million over the FY2018 enacted level, including $59 million for opioid prevention efforts.
- Mandatory funds for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and child nutrition programs.
The FY2019 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill includes:
- $6.927 billion, which includes construction at Bluestone Lake Dam and Operations and maintenance at places such as Stonewall Jackson Lake, Tygart Lake, and the Kanawha River Locks and Dams. ($100 million above the FY2018 enacted level and $2.142 billion above the budget request for the Army Corps of Engineers)
- $727 million for technologies to advance coal, natural gas, oil, and other fossil energy resources. These funds includes operations and research at the National Energy Technology Lab in Morgantown, as well as language prohibiting any contracting of facilities. ($183,000 above the FY2018 enacted level and $225 million above the budget request)
- $155 million for the Appalachian Regional Commission.
- Report language directing the Department of Energy to take the necessary steps toward streamlining the approval and permitting process for establishing an ethane storage hub in Central Appalachia.
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