House Passes Five-Bill Appropriations Package
WASHINGTON — The House today passed, on a 227 to 194 vote, a package of fiscal year 2020 appropriations bills. The package consists of five bills that fund federal departments including Commerce, Justice, Agriculture, Interior, Veterans Affairs, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development Energy from October 1, 2019 to September 30, 2020.
“This bill makes important investments that will strengthen communities and improve millions of lives,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey. “It invests billions in America’s infrastructure, strengthens and modernizes public housing, and delivers the promise of broadband to rural communities. The bill would protect the environment and tackle the climate change crisis by expanding climate research and prioritizing climate change resilience in federal programs. And it would strengthen our democracy, with strong funding increases to conduct a thorough and accurate 2020 Census, improve civil rights enforcement, and protect voting rights. I urge the Senate to swiftly take up this legislation.”
“This legislation rejects the Administration’s proposals to gut critical programs for combatting climate change, promoting economic development, and implementing justice reform efforts,” said House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Chair José E. Serrano. “As the author of the Commerce, Justice and Science division of this bill, I am extremely proud of our accomplishments to expand access to justice, fund critical science research and innovation programs, and address the vital funding needs of the Census Bureau. These programs will have a tremendous positive impact in local communities all across the nation, in urban as well as rural areas.”
“Few people may recognize the far-reaching jurisdiction of the agriculture subcommittee. From food safety and agriculture research to rural development and nutrition assistance, the programs in this division touch the lives of every citizen on a daily basis,” said House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Chairman Sanford Bishop, Jr. “This is why we rejected the Administration’s draconian cuts to programs that assist our rural communities and vulnerable populations, and allocated more than $5.1 billion above the budget request, totaling $24.310 billion.”
“This appropriations package, which includes the Interior-Environment funding bill, rejects the dangerous cuts proposed by the Trump administration and instead invests billions in the health of our communities and the environment,” said House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Chair Betty McCollum. “With this bill, we are protecting and preserving our public lands and natural resources, ensuring clean and safe water to drink and air to breathe for our families, and honoring our federal trust and treaty responsibilities to Native American communities. Our $37.3 billion funding bill starts to reverse the Trump administration’s policies of climate denial and begins to address the serious challenges climate change poses to the American people – today and in the future.”
“I’m thrilled that the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill strengthens our commitment to our servicemembers, their families, and our veterans – while not diverting vital military construction funding from previously approved national security projects for an unnecessary border wall,” said House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. “This legislation will ensure safe, adequate housing for military families; support military readiness; provide significant and enhanced funding for the VA; deliver on our promise of medical care and benefits that veterans have earned through service to our nation; and make smart investments in critical programs that make a real difference in the lives of servicemembers and Veterans. Additionally, I am proud that the Interior Appropriations bill includes my amendment to protect our water quality and environment by prohibiting oil drilling off Florida’s shores.”
“This year’s transportation and housing funding bill, included in H.R. 3055, will benefit all American communities – urban and rural – and lay the foundation for economic growth and opportunity,” said House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Chairman David Price. “It reflects the determination of Democrats to seriously invest in infrastructure and to give affordable, accessible housing the priority it deserves. It makes transportation and housing safer, addresses the pressing needs of our most vulnerable citizens, and mitigates and responds to the impacts of climate change.”
The $383.3 billion package, H.R. 3055, includes the FY 2020 Commerce-Justice-Science, Agriculture-Rural Development-FDA, Interior-Environment, Military Construction-Veterans Affairs, and Transportation-Housing and Urban Development spending bills.
The legislation rejects the proposed slashing and outright elimination of critical programs in President Trump’s budget request and instead invests in important priorities like infrastructure, the environment, tackling the climate crisis, strengthening democracy, consumer safety, and resources for service members, military families, and veterans.
Additionally, the legislation provides robust oversight of the administration, including blocking it from diverting Military Construction funds to build a border wall, preventing the use of funds for a citizenship question on the 2020 Census, and blocking its rule change on undocumented immigrants in affordable housing, which would threaten the housing of 55,000 children who are citizens or legal residents.