Bipartisan spending deal addresses critical priorities for Washingtonians, including Hanford clean-up, affordable housing, and critical agricultural research among others
A senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Murray also successfully secured strengthened investments in vital child care, transportation and infrastructure, gun violence prevention research, and more
Senator Murray: “As a voice for our state in the other Washington, I am glad I was able to help push through the DC gridlock to help guide these investments to Washington state, and now it’s up to the President to sign this important deal that will support our families and communities”
ICYMI: 2019: Senator Murray Keeps Delivering for Washington State Families, Workers, Students, Veterans and More – MORE HERE
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, applauded the passage of bipartisan legislation to fund the government that also included millions of dollars of new and renewed federal investments in important priorities for Washington state. The twelve spending bills, which the Senate passed in two packages, will ensure the government remains open after the current budget expires on December 20th and keep the government funded through the 2020 fiscal year.
“Every day in the Senate I work to make progress on the issues that matter to Washingtonians, and I am very pleased Congress was able to come together to keep the government open and make valuable investments in our state’s workers, students, families, seniors, and veterans. While this is not the budget I would have written myself, especially when it comes to patients’ access to reproductive health care, I’m glad that in this spending deal we were able to address some of the challenges that directly impact so many people across our state—including access to quality, affordable child care, critical transportation and infrastructure needs, homelessness and housing instability, and much-needed research on gun safety and violence prevention. I’m also proud this bill addresses challenges that are specifically relevant in our state, including Hanford clean-up and agricultural research, as well as preventing the closure of our state’s Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers. As a voice for our state in the other Washington, I am glad I was able to help push through the DC gridlock to help guide these investments to Washington state, and now it’s up to the President to sign this important legislation that will support our families and communities,” Senator Murray said.
See below highlights of several federal investments and other priorities Senator Murray secured for Washington state in the funding package:
- Transportation & Infrastructure
- TIGER/BUILD program: $1 billion, $100 million above FY19 level. Since Senator Murray created the TIGER program in 2009, it has awarded $7.1 billion to help facilitate 554 projects in every state in the country, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. Of that total, Washington state has received $270 million to support over 20 projects, including: the Barker Road grade separation in Spokane Valley, Tacoma LINK expansion, a new ferry terminal in Mukilteo, the North Spokane Corridor, the Mercer Corridor Redevelopment project in Seattle, the South Park Bridge Replacement in King County, the West Vancouver Freight Access project at the Port of Vancouver, improvements to I-5 to relieve congestion around Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and terminal modernization projects at the Ports of Seattle and Everett.
- Homeless Assistance Grants: $2.777 billion, $141 million above FY19 level. These grants provide funding to break the cycle of homelessness and move the homeless to permanent housing through rental assistance, emergency shelter, and supportive service provision, among other steps. This funding includes a $50 million set-aside for supportive service projects to assist survivors of domestic violence, and a $80 million set-aside for homeless youth.
- HOME Investment Partnerships Program: $1.35 billion, $100 million above FY19 level. The HOME program is the federal government’s only block grant program to help state and local governments create more affordable housing units for low-income families. Senator Murray has been instrumental in continuing the HOME program, previously fighting to save the program from near elimination, and successfully working to protect the program from attacks from the Trump Administration in spending bills over the past two years.
- Community Development Block Grants (CDBG): $3.4 billion, $100 million above FY19 level. These grants support home ownership, housing rehabilitation, public improvements, and economic development projects in communities throughout the country.
- Specialty Crop Research Initiative: Stemming from a mistake in the 2018 Farm Bill, the deal includes a fix to allow USDA to waive the matching funds requirement in the grant program.
- Agricultural Research: a $4.5 million increase for the Agricultural Research Service above FY19, including increased funding for research supporting potatoes, alfalfa, cranberries, wine grapes, pulse crops and more.
- Frankenfish: The spending package contains bill language Senator Murray helped secure to label genetically engineered (GE) salmon as “genetically engineered” to ensure that products are clearly marketed.
- Environment, Interior, Energy and Climate Change
- Puget Sound clean-up: $33 million for Puget Sound, $5 million above FY19 enacted level.
- Pacific Salmon Treaty: $35.5 million for implementation, $20 million above the FY19 level.
- Hanford clean-up: $900 million for Richland Operations and $1.616 billion for Office of River Protection to facilitate nuclear waste cleanup at Hanford, an approximately $90 million increase above FY19.
- West Coast Groundfish Loan Re-estimate: The spending agreement includes language that will forgive $10 million in accrued loan interest unnecessarily placed on West Coast trawlers after the National Marine Fisheries Service failed to establish a repayment system.
- Defense & Veterans
- Polar Security Cutters: $40 million for the full costs of pier improvements at Base Seattle required for the Polar Security Cutter (formerly known as Polar icebreakers). Read more info on Senator Murray’s work to bring the Polar Security Cutter fleet to Seattle here.
- Military Child Care: $33 million for planning and design of Child Development Centers, following up on Senator Murray’s successful work to secure a new, dedicated line of funding for military child care center construction in the National Defense Authorization Act (read more here).
- Education & Workforce
- Early Learning & Head Start: a $550 million increase for the Head Start program, and a $25 million increase for Preschool Development Grants.
- Child Care: $550 million increase for the Child Care and Development Block Grant above FY19, which helps expand access to high-quality, affordable child care for working families, as well as a $3 million increase to the Child Care Access Means Parents In School (CCAMPIS) program to support student parents in college, building off a historic 233 percent ($45 million) increase Senator Murray secured in FY18. More information available here.
- Support for Elementary and Secondary Education: $16.3 billion, an increase of $450 million more than the FY19 enacted level, for the Title I-A grants to local educational agencies program. The bill also includes an increase of $400 million—$12.8 billion in all—for special education, and $1.250 billion, an increase of $28 million, for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program. Federal Title I-A grants and special education funding bring more than $500 million annually to Washington state schools.
- Job Corps: $1.74 billion for the Job Corps Program, an increase of $25 million above FY19, and new bill language to prohibit the Department of Labor from closing Civilian Conservation Centers. Earlier this year, Senator Murray successfully fought back against the Trump Administration’s attempts to dismantle the CCC program, which would have impacted three Washington state’s three CCC sites.
- Institute of Museum and Library Services: $252 million, an increase of $10 million above FY19.
- Health Care
- Maternal Mortality: $53 million for the Maternal Mortality Initiative in CDC and HRSA, an increase of $3 million in HRSA and maintaining the $12 million FY19 level in CDC.
- Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners Training Grants: $9 million, $1 million increase above FY19. Previously, Senator Murray introduced the Survivors’ Access to Supportive Care Act (SASCA), which would direct the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish a national training and continuing education pilot program to expand access to health care for survivors of sexual assault and develop federal standards around examinations and treatment.
- Opioids: $3.8 billion total in funding to address opioid crisis, including $1.5 billion for State Opioid Response grants, and funding for programs to build up the mental health care and substance use disorder treatment workforce. Senator Murray has long worked to strengthen federal investments and support to help families and communities navigating substance misuse, including opioids. More information on Senator Murray’s recent opioids work in Washington state available here.
- Gun Violence Prevention Research: $25 million split between CDC and NIH to fund research on firearm injury and mortality prevention, an effort long supported by Senator Murray and the first dedicated investment in this research in more than two decades.
- Mental Health: $10 million for a new CDC initiative for suicide prevention programs targeting vulnerable populations who have been identified at higher risk of suicidal behaviors.