WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, tonight issued the following statements after voting in favor of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 omnibus appropriations bill, which includes all 12 appropriations measures and legislation to provide targeted coronavirus relief.
ON THE OMNIBUS FUNDING PACKAGE: “These funding bills are full of provisions beneficial to West Virginia, including support for broadband expansion, transportation and water infrastructure, and opioid recovery. Also included in this package—and something I am incredibly proud of—is my legislation to redesignate the New River Gorge National River as a National Park and Preserve, which will bring significant economic benefits to our state. Congress was able to pass all 12 appropriations bills last year, and I am very pleased we are able to do so again. Funding of the federal government needs to return to regular order. I will continue working with my colleagues on the committee and in the full Senate to ensure this necessary Congressional duty is no longer used as a partisan tool and delivers for the American people,” Senator Capito said.
ON COVID RELIEF: “Earlier this year, we came together and responded to this crisis by passing the CARES Act. I’m pleased today we could finally deliver additional relief to those that need it the most like our small businesses, health care workers, communities, and individuals and families across the country as we continue battling this pandemic. But, let’s be clear: this relief should have and could have been delivered months ago. Many of the provisions that passed today were included in the targeted relief Senate Republicans offered up in the HEALS Act in July,” Senator Capito said. “Speaker Pelosi herself admitted to holding out on this relief because she thought it would benefit her politically in the election. Millions of Americans were pawns, struggling to make ends meet. Countless small businesses have shut their doors in the meantime. Though long past due, we are now able to provide some relief to the American people that hopefully can provide optimism and support to our fellow citizens this Christmas.”
WEST VIRGINIA WINS INCLUDED IN THE OMNIBUS PACKAGE:
The FY2021 government funding bill includes resources to support many West Virginia priorities that Senator Capito supported, including:
- A $300 million increase was included for Alzheimer’s research through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), along with an additional increase for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act, and language diversifying the depth and focuses of research.
- Full funding for the Office of Fossil Energy Research, supporting clean and efficient energy creation at the National Energy Technology Lab (NETL) in Morgantown through their engineering and supercomputing efforts. Furthermore, within the office, $15 million is included for research of commercial-scale front-end carbon capture technologies, which Senator Capito has championed with bipartisan support in the Senate. Language is also included to address maintenance backlog.
- $346 million for the Economic Development Administration (EDA), an inactive program in West Virginia up until Senator Capito was elected to the Senate that now continues to invest in the state.
- $180 million was included for the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), a constant driver of economic and infrastructure development in the region, and $100 million for the Appalachian Highway Development System (ADHS). Senator Capito pushed for dedicated funding for incomplete corridors in FY20 and the amount has been maintained.
- Support for the Leetown Science Center in Kearneysville and the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, along with continued funding for the Allegany Ballistics Lab at Rocket Center and the Biometric Technology Center in Clarksburg. The legislation also supports the men and woman of the FBI at the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division in Clarksburg, NASA’s Katherine Johnson IV&V Facility, and the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration (NOAA) National Environmental Security Computing Center in Fairmont.
- Funding and Senator Capito-authored language is maintained for the State Opioid Response (SOR) grants, enabling West Virginia to receive over $100 million since the establishment of the program in 2018.
- Authorized under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), funding is included for both the Sexual Assault Services Program and the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative.
COVID RELIEF BILL HIGHLIGHTS:
- Direct payment of $600 for individuals making up to $75,000 per year and $1200 for couples making up to $150,000 per year, plus an additional $600 per child.
- Enhanced unemployment benefits of $300 per week for 11 weeks.
- $319 billion for small businesses, including $284 billion through the Paycheck Protection Program, $20 billion for EIDL loans, and $15 billion for live venues.
- $25 billion in rental assistance with an extension of the eviction moratorium.
- $82 billion for schools and universities, with $10 billion dedicated to childcare.
- $7 billion for increased access to broadband.
- Funding to support coronavirus vaccine distribution.
- CARES Act spending extension for state and local governments.
Senator Capito launched a page on her website to help bring current and accurate information to West Virginians during the COVID-19 pandemic. Click HERE to access the webpage for the latest updates and resources.
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