News Releases

Senate bill passed 89 to 8 today 

Bill includes investments in Murray’s innovative transportation infrastructure program and homeless assistance for youth, veterans, Native Americans in WA state  

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, applauded Senate passage of a spending bill including several priorities she fought for that are important to Washington state. The bill passed the Senate 89 to 8 and now moves to the House, and includes funding for the innovative TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) competitive grant program Sen. Murray created in 2009 to support transportation infrastructure projects, and improves access to affordable housing, amongst other investments in critical transportation and housing programs.

“I’m proud to fight for investments to tackle the backlog of infrastructure projects in this country and to improve housing access for Washington state families in need,” Senator Murray said. “Though I am very glad to see this bill pass out of the Senate with bipartisan support, there is far more work to be done, and I will be fighting to protect these provisions to help Washington state families and communities as they are considered by the House.”

Transportation

  • Includes $525 million for the TIGER competitive grant program, $25 million increase over Fiscal Year 2016 funding. TIGER supports critical investments in roads and bridges, public transit, freight and passenger rail, and ports.  
  • Prevents the FAA from eliminating the Contract Weather Observer program at any airport, including at Spokane International Airport, which will ensure this critical safety program is in place for travelers coming in and out of Washington.
  • Provides $43.1 million for FAA to conduct environmental sustainability research and development, $1.29 million increase over Fiscal Year 2016 funding, and helps fund the FAA Center of Excellence for Alternative Jet Fuels and Environment, led by Washington State University.
  • Provides $10 million for assistance to small shipyard grants, $5 million increase over Fiscal Year 2016 funding, and helps small shipyards increase their competitiveness.
  • Provides $1.5 million for the Office of Pipeline Safety for Information Grants to Communities. This funding is critical to communities and organizations in Washington, like the Pipeline Safety Trust, working to help local governments understand where pipelines are located, implement programs to prepare first responders, and more.

Housing

  • Includes $20 million for Family Unification Program vouchers, which help to keep families together by providing support to low-income families whose lack of adequate housing is a primary factor in the imminent placement of a child into foster care.
  • Increases funding for Homeless Assistance Grants Program by $80 million over Fiscal Year 2016 funding. These effective grants provide resources to local communities 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.
  • Includes $40 million to continue efforts to combat youth homelessness, including several provisions that focus on better data acquisition and implementation of new comprehensive service approaches that make sure homeless youth are sheltered and provided the services they need to stay housed.
  • Sustains $950 million for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, an essential program that helps non-profit organizations and housing authorities build new affordable housing.
  • Provides $50 million for new HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) vouchers, with an additional $7 million for HUD-VASH vouchers targeted specifically to Native American veterans, even though the Administration requested no funding for new vouchers.
  • Increases Section 8 voucher funding to make sure every family currently receiving this important support can stay in their home.

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