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Matthew Cartwright

07/31/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/31/2020 17:11

Cartwright Passes FY21 Funding Bill to Invest in Coal Communities, Small Businesses, Broadband Expansion

Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright (PA-08) voted to pass the second fiscal year 2021 'minibus' appropriations package on the House floor. It now advances to the U.S. Senate for consideration.

'I'm proud that we're prioritizing critical investments in former coal communities, funding to combat opioid addition, grants for manufacturers and small businesses, pay raises for our servicemembers, common-sense policing reform and rural broadband expansion,' said Cartwright, a member of the Appropriations Committee. 'This legislation also secures funding to modernize our infrastructure, protect affordable health care and grow local economies while responding to the coronavirus pandemic. This major funding legislation was months in the making, but I know my work doesn't stop here. When it's enacted, I'll work to bring our fair share of this funding back to Northeastern Pennsylvania. I'm excited to see what we can do with these strong investments.'

In total, the minibus contains six bills which provide a total of $1.3 trillion in discretionary funding, including $71.5 billion for Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies; $24.64 billion for Financial Services and General Government; $158.3 billion for Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies; $196.5 billion for Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies; $694.4 billion for Defense; and $49.6 billion for Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies.

As a member of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Subcommittee, Cartwright fought to include:

  • $37 million for the Assistance to Coal Communities program which works to help communities affected by the decline of the coal industry, attracting much-needed jobs to former coal towns in Northeastern Pennsylvania and boost recovering economies;
  • $412 million to combat the opioid crisis to help stem abuse, including for drug courts, treatment, prescription drug monitoring and overdose-reversal drugs;
  • $153 million for the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), a public-private partnership that helps small- and medium-sized manufacturers across the U.S. grow;
  • $35 million for the Economic Development Administration's Regional Innovation Strategies program which awards grants to help build new American businesses. The program has created more than 14,000 jobs and more than $1.6 billion in follow-on investment in American companies;
  • Two Cartwright bills that support research on extreme weather preparedness and climate change; and
  • $22.63 billion for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), funding investments in human space exploration efforts, as well as efforts to make air travel more environmentally sustainable and programs for young people to engage in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields.

As a member of the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee, Cartwright advocated for initiatives that will boost development in Northeastern Pennsylvania, including:

  • $61 billion to expand the availability of broadband to rural and underserved areas and $371.6 million to implement new broadband mapping initiatives;
  • $500 million to ensure the integrity and security of elections and to improve campaign finance transparency; and
  • Cartwright legislationthat closes the pay gap for employees at military installations like Tobyhanna Army Depot and prevents the Department of Defense (DOD) from outsourcing federal jobs overseas.

In the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies division of the bill, Cartwright fought to include:

  • $2.1 billion for the Federal Transit Authority's (FTA) New Starts Program, funding projects to create and extend commuter rail systems. These transit improvements bring increased mobility, environmental benefits, congestion relief, and economic growth to areas that will be the next ones connected to existing transit and passenger rail systems;
  • $7.5 billion for Community Development Block Grants which includes a $4 billion coronavirus appropriation to help local cities get back on their feet and fund critical services during the health crisis; and
  • $50.6 billion to expand safe, affordable housing, including $25.7 billion for rental assistance, $7.8 billion for public housing and $893 million for housing for seniors.

Cartwright and the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee also provided:

  • $3 billion for state and local health departments to strengthen emergency preparedness and fund local laboratories, building on our COVID-19 response at the community level;
  • $5 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue life-saving medical research that will accelerate vaccine development and production;
  • $957 million for senior nutrition programs and $400 million for home and community-based supportive services for seniors under the Administration for Community Living;
  • $10.8 billion for Head Start and $5.9 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant for working families that have been hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic; and
  • $10 million for the National Living Donor Assistance Center to address our nation's organ transplant shortage, a critical lifeline for those most in need.

Cartwright and the Defense Subcommittee enacted:

  • $1.4 billion for Army-Land Forces Depot Maintenance, robust funding to support Tobyhanna Army Depot;
  • A 3 percent pay raise for all servicemembers in the military;
  • $33.3 billion for health care programs for servicemembers, including $323 million for sexual assault prevention and response programs and $512.5 million for cancer research;
  • $104.3 billion to invest in development and testing of new technologies for the military to respond to tomorrow's challenges.

In the Energy, Water Development and Related Agencies Subcommittee, Cartwright fought to include:

  • $175 million for the Appalachian Regional Commission which creates jobs and opportunities in Pennsylvania, including a $15 million increase for the POWER+ Plan which supports current and former coal communities in Northeastern Pennsylvania;
  • $3 billion for the Weatherization Assistance Program to improve energy efficiency for low-income households, driving down energy costs and supporting over 8,000 jobs; and
  • $2.85 billion for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) programs and $435 million for Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) that will innovate and modernize our energy sector, preparing our infrastructure for generations to come.

A division-by-division summary can be viewed here. The full bill text can be viewed here.