Schakowsky Announces District and National Wins in Funding Bills

July 31, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC -  Today, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Senior Chief Deputy Whip and Chair of the Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee, released a statement highlighting significant victories for Illinois’ 9th Congressional District and other communities across America in H.R. 7617, the second fiscal year 2021 appropriations bills, that just passed the House.

H.R. 7617 will boost our nation with $1.3 trillion in discretionary funding and consists of six Fiscal Year 2021 appropriations bills: Defense, Commerce-Justice-Science, Energy and Water Development, Financial Service and General Government, Labor-Health and Human Service-Education, and Transportation-Housing and Urban Development.

Congresswoman Schakowsky issued the following statement:

“I voted for this House Democratic spending package because it prioritizes data-driven public health in the face of an Administration that doesn’t listen to the science; invests in education and job training as our communities struggle with record unemployment; expands access to safe, affordable, and fair housing to uplift families in this economic downturn; further addresses police reform as we reckon with state-sanctioned violence and racial injustice; makes critical investments in our nation’s infrastructure; supports service members and military families; combats climate change; and sets up my district and our nation for continued success. While I believe $694.6 billion in new discretionary spending for the Department of Defense is far too high, this bill includes important provisions restricting the President’s ability to go to war with Iran absent Congressional authorization and enables steps to be taken to close Guantanamo Bay Detention Center. I am ecstatic that my friend and colleague Representative Barbara Lee’s amendments to repeal the 2002 Authorization for Use Military Force (AUMF) and sunset the 2001 AUMF were included in the final bill. These amendments are critical to preventing unnecessary war, and must become law to hold this lawless Administration accountable.

“I am particularly proud to have spearheaded two new initiatives that passed through this funding package. Last year, President Trump imposed new restrictions on biomedical research using fetal tissue that have had a chilling effect on the ability of experts to innovate during this global pandemic, but the provisions I secured in his new legislation would enact guardrails to protect biomedical research involving fetal tissue moving forward. These stringent protections for lifesaving fetal tissue research could be key to finding a cure or treatment for coronavirus. The second initiative addresses “product hopping,” the action that pharmaceutical manufacturers take to reformulate products that raise drug prices. While the Trump Administration has refused to take any meaningful provisions related to drug pricing, the provisions I secured would push the Federal Trade Commission to more directly engage in their statutory mandate to protect consumers from pharmaceutical price gouging and investigate these practices.

“In 2013, I introduced the Mental Health on Campus Improvement Act to ensure colleges and universities have the resources and support they need to address what was then a growing mental health crisis. I reintroduced it again in 2015 as the crisis only worsened, and President Obama signed its provisions into law in 2016, through the 21st Century Cures Act. Unfortunately, the bill’s key provisions—an interagency College Campus Task Force on mental and behavioral health and new efforts aimed at reducing the stigma associated with mental health services—went unfunded for two years under the Republican Congressional majority. Last year, I secured funding for these critical initiatives for the first time. And yesterday, the House passed my $2 million amendment to fully fund those improvements that was included in this final package.

“As Co-Chair of House Democratic Caucus Task Force on Aging and Families (TFAF), I prioritized older Americans and their families in this minibus. In March, we signed into law improvements to Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP) and Geriatrics Academic Career Awards (GACA) through my EMPOWER for Health Act. Now, in this legislation, I secured over $40 million in this funding package for GWEPs and GACAs, the only federal programs that aim to develop a health care workforce to maximize patient and family engagement while improving health outcomes for older adults.

“I also worked with TFAF leadership to secure over $50 million in funding for the Medicare State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) to help older Americans, people with disabilities, and their families navigate Medicare enrollment and obtain benefits. We also secured over $400 million in funding for the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), the only federal job training program targeted at unemployed, low-income individuals 55 years old and older. This funding will be critical as House Democrats push to reopen the Part B enrollment period in light of the coronavirus pandemic and as unprecedented employment caused by the pandemic has disproportionately impacted workers of color, seniors, low-income workers, immigrants, women, and those with low or limited education.

“The Task Force on Aging and Families is also focused on caregiving as older Americans are separated from their loved ones or confined to their homes during the pandemic. We secured over $190 million for Family Caregiver Support Services that provide a range of support services to family caregivers in, over $12 million for Native American Caregiver Support that provides a range of services to Native American family caregivers, over $26 million for Alzheimer’s Disease Support Services and Specialized Supportive Services. We also secured $10 million for Lifespan Respite Care, which funds grants to improve the quality and access to respite care for family caregivers of children or adults of any age with special needs.

“This funding bill also includes important provisions to protect civil and human rights. I am pleased that amendments put forward by myself and other members of the Chicago and Portland delegations were included to protect our communities from this Administration’s abusive response to Americans protesting racial injustice and police violence. These amendments prevent the Department of Justice and Defense Department from deploying personnel to respond to public protests unless it has received a written request from the state or local government, or unless necessary to protect Federal property or employees; and it requires any personnel deployed to wear uniforms with appropriate identification displaying their names and agency.

“House Democrats also worked to include key provisions from the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in this appropriations package. It includes $400 million for grants to carry out investigations of police misconduct, independent oversight of police, and efforts of community-based organizations; $50 million for training to eradicate police misconduct; and language conditioning federal funding for state and local law enforcement on their elimination of racial profiling and implicit bias, excessive force and chokeholds, no-knock warrants in drug cases, contractual arrangements that prevent investigations of law enforcement misconduct, and sexual contact between police and persons in their custody. It also includes funding restrictions on Attorney General Barr to prevent him from further abusing his power. It prohibits taxpayer funds from supporting his travel outside the National Capital Region, restricts his ability to transfer funds from other accounts, and eliminates a provision that would have allowed up to $50,000 for Attorney General reception and representation expenses.

“My colleagues on the Congressional Cannabis Caucus and I were also able to include an amendment that protects individuals who engage in the state-sanctioned use, production, and dispensing of cannabis to those over age 21 from prosecution by the Department of Justice.

“Finally, I am also pleased that Rep. Chuy García and I were also able to secure language from our Robust International Response to Pandemic Act to ensure that the International Monetary Fund can provide critical resources to fight COVID-19 in developing countries and help them get through this crisis with less poverty, unemployment, and suffering than would otherwise occur.

“This funding package will be transformative. But we must keep fighting. I submitted amendments to this package to stop pharmaceutical companies from price gouging consumers on taxpayer-funded COVID-19 drugs and to surge $20 billion for payments to States and Tribes to support COVID-19 testing, PPE, staffing, and safe cohorting in nursing homes, CMS-certified State Veterans Homes, psychiatric hospitals, and intermediate care facilities. I will keep working to pass these priorities during the devastating coronavirus pandemic. 

“Now, we must continue this debate with the U.S. Senate. I look forward to working with my colleagues to make sure that final appropriations bill that the Senate votes on will include these vital wins and become law.”

Below are a number of additional notable wins for American communities, including IL-09, in H.R. 7617:

INFRASTRUCTURE

  • $107.2 billion in total budgetary resources for the Department of Transportation, $19.4 billion above Trump’s request
  • $7.6 billion for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, including studies, construction, and operation & maintenance
  • $1.64 billion for U.S. Bureau of Reclamation water resources projects, including WIIN Act-authorized projects
  • $75 billion in emergency funding to rebuild our nation’s transportation and housing infrastructure
  • $61 billion in emergency funding to expand the availability of broadband to unserved and underserved areas
  • $43.5 billion in emergency spending modernize water and energy infrastructure
  • $24.425 billion in emergency spending to support state and local public health agencies and global health activities

MEDICAL RESEARCH

  • $47 billion for the National Institutes of Health, an increase of $5.5 billion above FY20
  • $50 million, an increase of $25 million above FY20, for firearm injury and mortality prevention research at CDC and NIH

EDUCATION AND JOB TRAINING

  • $73.5 billion for the Department of Education, $6.9 billion above Trump’s request
  • $10.2 billion for the Employment and Training Administration, $1.5 billion above Trump’s request

HOUSING

  • $50.6 billion for Housing and Urban Development, $13.3 billion above Trump’s request
  • Blocks Trump administration rules targeting undocumented immigrants and LGBT people

STRONG COMMUNITIES

  • $3.5 billion for Community Development Block Grants, rejecting Trump’s proposal to eliminate the program
  • $356 million for the Economic Development Administration, helping boost struggling communities
  • $273.5 million for Community Development Financial Institutions, rejecting Trump’s proposal to eliminate the program

SERVICE MEMBERS AND MILITARY FAMILIES

  • Provides full funding necessary to support the 3 percent military pay raise
  • More than $33.3 billion for Defense Health Programs, including $512.5 million for cancer research

CLIMATE CHANGE

  • $12 billion across Department of Energy programs to support clean, affordable, and secure energy
  • $5.45 billion for NOAA, helping address important priorities such as climate research
     

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