WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), a leader on the Senate Appropriations Committee, today participated in the first markup for the FY22 government funding measures, advancing the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies bill; the Energy and Water Development bill; and the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies bill. The three pieces of legislation passed out of the committee with bipartisan support, however, Senator Capito, along with Appropriations Vice Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), warned that further compromise is needed to continue the appropriations process.
“The three bills we marked up today contain measures I have supported my entire time in the Senate. These initiatives provide funding to support efforts to better connect West Virginia, expand fossil energy research, and provide care for our veterans,” Senator Capito said. “While today’s markup was a step in the right direction for the funding process, our committee must continue this bipartisan momentum by removing poison pill riders and supporting funding levels that reflect a balance between defense and domestic spending. The president’s budget vastly shortchanges the budgets for Defense and my subcommittee, Homeland Security.”
This year, the Senate has reinstated the policy allowing members to make Congressionally Directed Spending submissions. Senator Capito made several requests for funding in cooperation with local entities and governments. These bills include the first listing of those projects that may be eligible for funding should these appropriations bills become law, which Senator Capito will be working hard to ensure they do.
Programmatic highlights of the FY22 Agriculture Appropriations bill include:
- $2.5 million increase for the Community Connect Program.
- $500 million for Rural Water and Waste Disposal grants.
Congressionally Directed Spending projects in the FY22 Agriculture Appropriations bill include:
- $41,000 for the Town of Anmoore – Funding will help improve accessibility to the Anmoore safety Complex and Fire Department building.
- $462,000 for the Pocahontas County Board of Education – Funding will help improve access to educational services provided to Pocahontas County students through the use of technology for distance learning provision of Surface Go devices to K12 students, provision of Surface Pro devices to teachers and installation of a Broadband Access Station at Green Bank Elementary/Middle School.
- $110,000 for Shepherd University – Funding will support the computer and telecommunications hardware to build distance learning classroom kits at the Shepherd University’s main campus, campus farm site, and two participating high school end sites.
- $328,000 for West Virginia University – Funding will be used to support a project Investigating the use of telepresence systems to allow STEM instruction or teacher training in remotely located rural schools.
Programmatic highlights of the FY22 Energy and Water Appropriations bill include:
- $30,000,000 increase for the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), a driver of economic development in the region.
- Increased funding for Fossil Energy Research and Development, supporting the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) in Morgantown.
Congressionally Directed Spending Projects in the FY22 Energy and Water Appropriations bill include:
- $1,000,000 for West Virginia University – Funding will be used to develop a national, standards based, two-year curricular model and educational materials that Community and Technical Colleges may adopt leading to an Automotive Technician Associate's Degree.
- $3,200,000 for the Huntington District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Funding will support a project that will conduct sanitary sewer improvements of Marrtown Road.
- $2,959,000 for Development Authority of Mercer County – Funding will support a 4-mile gas line extension along John Nash Blvd. in Bluefield, West Virginia. This gas line would connect to the cutoff point at the intersection of Hwy 460 and extend 4 miles to the Cumberland Industrial Park.
- $546,000 for the Pittsburg District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – This project will fund the planning and design phase of USACE flood reduction recommendations. The plan will install new and improved culverts and wing walls, new debris racks, and improved drainage settlement traps at the Elm Run.
- $6,900,000 for the Huntington District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Funding will support a roller gate replacement at the Winfield Lock and Dam.
- $500,000 for the Huntington District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Funding will be used to examine and recommend solution(s) to water resource related problems with a primary focus on flood risk management within the Kanawha River Basin.
- $1,668,000 for the Huntington District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Funding will be used to replace existing waterlines to improve distribution and provide adequate fire protection in Shepherdstown.
Programmatic highlights for the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill include:
- Maintains funding for the Agritherapy Pilot program, which Senator Capito originally created through report language, and is utilized at the Hershel Woody Williams VA Medical Center in Huntington.
- As part of Senator Capito’s continued efforts to ensure what happened at the Clarksburg VA never happens again, she was able to secure language recommending security infrastructure to VA facilities.
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