Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) today heralded the House Appropriations Committee’s final markups of the Fiscal Year 2021 funding bills as directly beneficial to Mainers during the coronavirus pandemic and the crises of systemic racism, climate change, and the economic harm caused by COVID-19. The FY2021 Appropriations bills include robust funding for climate change mitigation efforts, coronavirus-related public health infrastructure and economic response efforts, police accountability, and support for immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.
“The Trump administration has repeatedly attacked science, promoted xenophobia, and undermined the safety net that protects Americans from harm – and has doubled down on these attacks during a global public health crisis,” said Pingree. “I’m proud that the Appropriations Committee has responded with dedicated investments to support Americans through difficulty and uncertainty. The House has proven once again that we’re committed to prioritizing the future of this country for generations to come. These twelve budget bills will help our country to better respond to future waves of COVID-19, help prioritize an equitable and green economic recovery from COVID-19, and invest directly in the lives of Mainers when they need it most. “
The full House of Representatives will consider all twelve funding bills beginning next week.
Highlights from the FY2021 Energy and Water Funding Bill
- $104 million for wind power
- $4 million for work 3-D printing large offshore wind blades
- Nearly $3 billion investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency programs
- Included language in support of continued research and development of nanocellulose and wood-based construction technologies
- Prohibits funding for nuclear weapons testing
- Additional COVID-19 emergency funding to build and repair water infrastructure projects and modernize energy infrastructure for a clean energy future, including $7.8 billion to deploy efficient and clean energy infrastructure
Highlights from the FY2021 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Bill
- $24.25 billion in emergency funding to support state and local health departments, public health laboratories, and research and development of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics
- $47 billion for the National Institutes of Health, included targeted investment in priorities like a universal flu vaccine, Alzheimer’s disease, and gun violence prevention
- Significant investments in early childhood programs, including $10.8 billion for Head Start and $5.9 billion for Child Care and Development Block Grants
- $2.8 billion for LIHEAP
- Blocks Trump administration rules that allow health care providers to discriminate based on LGBTQ identity and gut protections for sexual assault survivors on college campuses.
Highlights from the FY2021 Commerce, Justice, and Science Bill
- $190 million for climate research at NOAA
- $71 million for the National Sea Grant College Program to continue work in scientific research, education training, and extension programs to support coastal ecosystems, sustainable fisheries, and resilient communities
- $13 million for Marine Aquaculture program to help meet increasing seafood demands, support commercial and recreational fisheries, and restore species and marine habitats
- Language requiring state and local governments to comply with nine conditions aimed at improving police practices; eliminating racial profiling and implicit bias; eliminating excessive force and chokeholds; eliminating “no-knock” warrants in drug cases; eliminating contractual arrangements that prevent investigations of law enforcement misconduct; and eliminating sexual contact between police and persons in their custody to receive FY21 COPS or Byrne JAG funds
Highlights from the FY2021 Defense Bill
- $2.9 billion to build two DDG-51 destroyers, plus language encouraging the Navy to extend a multi-year procurement contact in the future.
- Language blocking DOD from ending collective bargaining rights for its employees
- A provision blocking funding for military force against Iran that is not authorized by Congress, as well as repealing the authorizations for war in Iraq and Afghanistan
Highlights from the FY2021 Transportation and Housing and Urban Development Bill
- $75 billion in COVID-19 emergency funding to support transportation and housing infrastructure.
- Rejects the Trump Administration’s proposed elimination of affordable housing and community development programs. Including emergency funding, the bill provides an increase of $4.1 billion for Community Development Block Grants and $17.9 billion for the HOME Investment Partnership Program compared to last year’s levels.
- $2 billion for Amtrak (an increase of $50 billion from FY20)
- $1 billion for the BUILD Grant Program, with an additional $3 billion to help respond to the COVID-19 pandemic
Highlights from the FY2021 Homeland Security Bill
- Amendment successfully offered by Pingree to raise the cap on H-2B visas in FY21, upon a determination they are needed.
- Blocks several onerous Trump administration immigration policies, including a new rule improperly restricting asylum claims.
- $150 million (a $25 million increase) for the FEMA Emergency Food and Shelter program
- $385 million each for the firefighter grant, first responder grant, and emergency management performance grant programs.
Highlights from the FY2021 Financial Services-General Government BIll
- $274 million for Community Development Financial Institutions
- $500 million for Election Security Grants
- $939 million for the Small Business Administration (27% more than the President’s request, including $277 million for SBA technical assistance for veterans, women and underserved communities.
- Language protecting banks and credits unions who serve marijuana businesses