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My Work on the Appropriations Committee

I'm proud to look out for Maine's interests as a member of the House Appropriations Committee. Our committee writes annual legislation that allocates federal funding to government agencies, departments, and organizations. 

Committees I Serve On
What is the Appropriations Committee?
What is Community Project Funding?

FY2023 Community Project Funding
FY2023 Interior Appropriations Funding Bill

Committees I Serve On

In January 2021, I was elected to serve as Chair of the House Appropriations Committee Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, which oversees discretionary spending for the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Forest Service, and several agencies related to the arts and humanities.

Portland Press Herald: Pingree to chair powerful appropriations subcommittee

I also serve on the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies Subcommittee, as well as the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Subcommittee.

Please follow the links below for more information on the subcommittees I serve on.

What is the Appropriations Committee, and how does it work?

Congress can be complicated. And you may be wondering how, "What is the Appropriations Committee, and how does it work?" 

Watch this video explainer to understand what our committee does.

Among the three branches of government, Congress is holds the “purse strings” and it alone has the power to fund the federal government. And it is the Appropriations Committee that sets the funding levels for all federal spending every year.

The House and Senate both have Appropriations Committees, which are permanent – or “standing” – panels made up of members from both parties. The House committee has 53 members while the Senate has 30 members. The committee chair is from the majority party. 
Right now, Democrats control Congress – so in the House our Chair is Democratic Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut and in the Senate the chair is Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont. 

The committee also has “ranking members” – these are the top committee leaders from the minority party. Today, the Republicans are in the minority party so the Ranking Member in the House is Republican Kay Granger of Texas and in the Senate it is Richard Shelby of Alabama.

The federal budget is vast, touching most parts of American life. That’s why the House and Senate Appropriations Committees each have 12 subcommittees to focus on narrow portions of the overall spending package every year.

My House Appropriations committee colleagues and I held public hearings to determine how to best prioritize funding for FY2023.
After each subcommittee finishes its bill, it is debated and voted on by the full committee. After it is approved by the full committee, it is sent to the full House for a vote. The Senate is supposed to complete this same process and then the two chambers will hold a conference to reconcile any differences in the two funding bills. Once an agreement is reached, both chambers will vote on that compromise bill and send it to the President. 
If is signed by the President, the government is fully funded for another year.

What is Community Project Funding?

Community Project Funding is a critical tool to directly enrich our communities and a vital instrument that has facilitated member-to-member cooperation between the parties for decades. By giving all members an equal stake in the success of legislation for our constituents, the reintroduction of Community Project Funding will make Congress work better and heal the widening partisan divisions that threaten our democratic process.

For FY2022, I secured millions of dollars for 10 community projects Maine's First District. Click here to learn more about the projects I fought for. 

FY2023 Community Project Funding

More than $31.6 million for Maine’s First District is included in the Fiscal Year 2023 House Appropriations bills. From climate resilience and mitigation projects to workforce development and community engagement projects, all 15 of the community projects I submitted have been funded. 

  1. Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences Innovation and Education Wing Project$10,622,000: This funding will support the construction of a new Innovation and Education Wing at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences. The new Wing will house laboratory space for four additional Senior Research Scientists, increasing scientific productivity and understanding of the foundations of global ocean health. Further, this will allow expansion for two additional classrooms and teaching laboratories that will serve students and scientists across the state of Maine and around the world.
  2. Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center$619,000: The funding would be used to support the creation of Women Lead: an Enterprise Institute, a comprehensive entrepreneurial leadership training program for immigrant women and girls. Women Lead will prepare immigrant women and girls to pursue small business leadership and ownership through a variety of services, including business mentorships, educational programming, language services, and assistance with marketing and finance.
  3. Boots2Roots Transition to Work Initiative$597,076The funding would be used to expand ongoing efforts to connect Maine small businesses with military members and military spouses transitioning to living and working in Maine. The Transition to Work Initiative will bring together an expanded network of small businesses in Maine in need of workers, identify their unique needs and types of jobs available, and promote small business opportunities in Maine to transitioning military members and spouses looking to live and work in Maine. The Transition to Work Initiative will also increase its capacity to serve more transitioning military members and spouses each year.
  4. Town of Limerick Drinking Water Project$1,000,000: The Limerick Water and Sewer District operates and maintains both the public water and sewer systems in Limerick. The current sewer mains were installed in 1920 and households in the project area are at serious risk from drinking water contamination from the lead joints and sewage potentially leaking into the water lines. This project will replace the water and sewer mains in the Hollandville neighborhood in Limerick and restore access to clean drinking water for the residents.
  5. Saco Water Resource Resiliency Project$3,452,978: The funding would be used to support the Headworks Phase of the Saco Water Resource Resiliency Project that will make the headworks resilient to the effects of sea-level rise, intensifying wet weather events, and climate change impacts. Saco’s existing headworks structure was built more than 50 years ago at low-lying elevation and has been flooded several times, most recently during an October 2021 storm. To address this and other indicated concerns, Saco plans to construct the new headworks at an elevation that accounts for additional sea-level rise.
  6. Alfond Youth and Community Center Wellness Wraparound Pilot Program$500,000: The funding would be used to support a Wellness Wraparound Pilot Program that would provide targeted support services to children and families in need. These services would include case management, on-site behavioral health services through a partnership with a community hospital, nutritional training, and unlimited access to wellness facilities and classes.
  7. Northern Light Mercy Hospital English Language Acquisition Program$1,000,000: This funding would be used to substantially increase access to English language acquisition services in greater Portland, with the goal of supporting participants in advancing in health care or related career pathways.
  8. Maine Clean Energy Partnership Workforce Initiative$2,750,000: The Maine Governor’s Energy Office has established a Clean Energy Partnership that convenes public and private sector entities to advise on workforce and innovation strategy in the weatherization and building performance, electrician, and HVAC industries. The funding would be used to support the Maine Clean Energy Partnership Workforce Initiative, which develops programming for workforce and training opportunities and provides direct training services to workers and potential workers in the clean energy sector.
  9.  Amistad, Freedom Place at 66 State$535,000: This funding would be used to provide permanent, peer-supported, and recovery-focused housing for 38 women who previously experienced homelessness or incarceration, and who face challenges related to substance use disorder, mental health, and histories of trauma that include the experience of human trafficking and domestic violence.
  10. Central Lincoln County YMCA Child Care$750,000: This funding would be used to build a new childcare center at the Central Lincoln County YMCA’s main location to expand services and better meet the demand in the community.
  11. Maine Irish Heritage Center$3,000,000: This funding would be used to restore, prevent further deterioration, and weatherize their building so it can continue to operate as a community space for cultural education.
  12. Sanford Library Association, Louis B. Goodall Memorial Library$3,000,000: The funding would be used to renovate and expand the library’s existing space. A community room, study rooms, and office space for volunteers would be added to provide a crossroads of access to the town’s many resources. Additionally, funds would be used to update the existing technology currently used by the library.
  13. Apex Youth Connection: $750,000: This funding would be used to acquire and start construction on the Apex Future Focus Job Readiness Center. This center will target the community’s most at-risk youth and young adults to teach job readiness and life skills.
  14. Preble Street Food Security Hub$1,000,000: The funding would be used to support a Food Security Hub that would provide assistance to those facing hunger and homelessness. This Food Security Hub would act as an industrial kitchen, food processing center, educational site, office space, and conference center dedicated to collective advocacy work and efforts to address hunger.
  15. Knox Clinic Expansion$2,105,000: This funding would be used to establish a Federally Qualified Health Center that would provide much-needed primary care, dental care, and mental health care to the citizens of midcoast Maine. Funding would support renovations of an existing space and construction of new medical and dental offices.

FY2023 Interior Appropriations Funding Bill

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies approved its fiscal year 2023 funding bill. Supported by President Biden’s ambitious request to increase funding over last year, I’m confident the FY2023 Interior Appropriations bill will further the United States’ commitment to clean energy, environmental justice, health infrastructure on tribal lands, and the arts.

Through investments in clean energy technology, climate mitigation programs, and by restoring environmental protection, the Interior bill will take a whole-of-government approach to securing a safe and habitable world for future generations.

In total, the bill includes $44.8 billion in regular appropriations, an increase of $6.8 billion – 18 percent – above the FY 2022 enacted level. There is also an additional $2.55 billion of funding provided under the fire suppression cap adjustment. The legislation:

  • Honors the federal government’s responsibilities to Native American families by investing in tribal communities including through education and health care programs
  • Creates good-paying American jobs and strengthens the environmental workforce through investments in renewable energy development
  • Confronts the climate crisis and builds resilience to climate change by expanding environmental enforcement efforts with a focus on land and water conservation
  • Protects and preserves public lands and biodiversity, which encompasses threatened and endangered species and their habitats
  • Invests in historically underserved communities overburdened by disproportionate impacts from pollution
  • Dedicates the highest-ever level of funding to the arts and humanities

A summary of the fiscal year 2023 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies bill is . The text of the draft bill is here.

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