Capito Supports Senate Passage of Appropriations Bills

Packages includes four bills containing important West Virginia priorities authored by Senator Capito

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), a leader on the Senate Appropriations Committee, today voted in favor of passage of the first appropriations package to clear the Senate.  The bill includes FY20 funding measures for the Appropriations Subcommittees on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies; Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies; Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies; and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies. The measure passed by a vote of 84 to 9.

“I’m encouraged that the Senate was able to work together in a bipartisan way to pass these important appropriations bills,” Senator Capito said. “Our most basic duty is to fund the government, and we are doing what the American people expect us to do. I am proud to say that this legislation supports many of the priorities I have adopted from my first day in the Senate. In these bills, we provide resources to improve broadband access, expand scientific research, invest in our infrastructure, protect our environment responsibly and support law enforcement in their efforts to keep us all safe, most notably in the constant fight against opioids.”

The FY2020 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act includes: 

  • Support for rural development, particularly for broadband through $65 million for Distance Learning /Telemedicine and Broadband grants.
  • $75 million for the Food and Drug Administration, as authorized in the 21st Century Cures Act, to help stem the opioid crisis.
  • Full funding for food and nutrition programs such as Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

The FY2020 Commerce, Science, Justice and Related Agencies Appropriations Act includes:

  • Enacted funding for the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration’s (NOAA) supercomputing research and a $1 million increase for high performance computing initiatives. These funds support the National Environmental Security Computing Center in Fairmont. 
  • Language recognizing the importance of Green Bank Observatory in the continued exploration of outer space and encouraging NASA to utilize the world’s largest, fully steerable telescope.
  • $180 million for NASA Restore-L, which contributes to programs such as the collaboration between Maxar Technologies and the West Virginia Robotic Technology Center—which are engineering SPIDER, a robotic in-space assembly system.
  • $378 million for anti-opioid funding—which will also include other illicit drug use, allowing this money to be available for further uses in West Virginia—and an additional $35 million for Anti-Heroin Task Forces.
  • $7.47 billion for the Bureau of Prisons and language calling for improved hiring practices to reduce the officer-to-prisoner ratio, an issue Senator Capito has discussed directly with U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr. 
  • $545 million for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants, which contribute to numerous activities of crime prevention and control across the state. 
  • $100 million for the STOP School Violence Program, supporting Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS).
  • By way of the Violence Against Women Act, $215 million for STOP grants—along with a $1.5 million increase for the Rural OVW grants and $2 million increase for the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative grants. 
  • A $2.9 million increase for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), with funds to enhance the National Broadband Map.

The FY2020 Interior, Environment, Related Agencies Appropriations Act includes:

  • $20 million to assist states addressing PFAS contamination through the EPA, an issue Senator Capito has worked on extensively.
  • Inaugural funding for the Innovative Water Infrastructure Workforce Development Program, a new competitive grant Senator Capito championed in last year’s passage of the America’s Water Infrastructure Act.
  • Support for both the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, which help the public wastewater systems and public health standards in rural areas.
  • A $1 million increase for Brownfield Projects, a useful tool in the development of former industrial and military manufacturing sites in West Virginia.
  • Funding for the Office of Surface Mining Regulation and the Chemical Safety Board.
  • Funding for the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown.
  • Funding under the United States Geological Survey’s Fisheries, which support programs such as the Leetown Science Center in Kearneysville.

The FY2020 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act includes:

  • $100 million for the Appalachian Development Highway System, which Senator Capito brought to the attention of the subcommittee, most recently leading a letter to the chairmen and ranking members requesting dedicated funding for incomplete corridors, such as Corridor H.
  • $3.3 billion for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), an integral resource for the success of many West Virginia cities. Senator Capito was a leader in enabling CDBG funds to be used for broadband deployment.
  • $1 billion for the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Grants, competitive awards West Virginia has received on multiple occasions.
  • Language encouraging the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to continue working with local leaders to find solutions important to commuters such as the MARC train in the Eastern Panhandle.
  • $25 million authorized under the SUPPORT ACT for grants to help communities assist individuals recovering from substance abuse.

Senator Capito also authored two amendments that were adopted today:

An amendment in the Commerce section provides $10 million for the Select USA program at the International Trade Administration, a program that can play a vital role in West Virginia’s economic development. 

In the Agriculture section, her amendment added $3 million to a program she created through the most recent Farm Bill, to provide grants to low- and moderate- income households for connecting their homes to existing wastewater infrastructure or installing or upgrading individually-owned decentralized wastewater systems. 

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