Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) voted along with a majority (309 to 118) of the House of Representatives to approve the Fiscal Year 2017 Omnibus Appropriations bill that will provide discretionary funding for the federal government for the current fiscal year. Rep. Calvert serves as the Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior and the Environment, and as Vice-Chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.
“The funding bill approved today funds a number of important priorities for the country, California and the Inland Empire,” said Rep. Calvert. “As Chairman of the Interior Subcommittee, I’m especially pleased that we were able to fund increases in programs like the Diesel Emission Reduction Program, which clean our air by leveraging modest federal investments with state and private dollars. The bill also provides critical increases in resources for our military to improve readiness and training. I’m especially pleased that the bill provides our troops with a much deserved 2.1 percent pay raise for the military, instead of 1.6 percent that had been requested by former President Obama.
“Make no mistake, this is not a bill that Nancy Pelosi would have written. In total, the bill includes a $1.5 billion increase in funding for border security, including more agents and tools to stop illegal activity. Combined with the Trump administration’s elimination of the misguided ‘catch and release’ policy, this funding will help further curtail the flow of illegal immigration across our borders. We also rejected calls to increase the D.C. bureaucracy at agencies like the EPA, which we hold to its lowest staffing level since 1989, and prohibit a number of job-killing regulations.”
Some of Rep. Calvert’s key priorities included are:
$34.1 billion for the Defense Health Program to provide care for our troops, military families, and retirees. The agreement provides $312 million for cancer research, $125 million for traumatic brain injury and psychological health research, and $296 million for sexual assault prevention and response programs.
The bill provides increases to end strength above fiscal year 2016, including funds for an additional 1,000 active-duty Army soldiers, 1,000 Army National Guard soldiers, 1,000 Army Reserve soldiers, and 1,000 active-duty Marines.
Funding for the procurement of 20 Gray Eagle UAVs to fulfill Army requirement and keep production stable.
Procurement of 62 Black Hawks, which includes an increase for the National Guard, and full funding of National Guard Cyber Protection Teams.
Additional $7M for Navy RDTE, anti-submarine technologies which will enable the Navy to contract with University National Oceanographic Laboratory Systems, including UC Scripps.
$121.1 million is included for E-Verify, a program that Rep. Calvert created through legislation in 1996. E-Verify allows employers to check the legal work status of their employees.
$45.1 million for the Air and Marine Operations Center (AMOC), $19.6 million above FY 2016 level. The funding lines includes the operation of the AMOC facility located at March Air Reserve Base.
$14.3 billion for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which is $1 billion more than the FY2016 enacted level, $743.2 million more than the House level.
$6.8 billion for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which is $629.2 million more than the FY2016 enacted level, $556.9 million more than the House level.
INTERIOR AND ENVIRONMENT
$4.2 billion for wildland fire including $407 million in emergency spending.
An additional $10 million for WIFIA funding bringing this year’s level to $30 million, which can be leveraged for $3 billion for water infrastructure.
$2.3 billion for Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving funds.
$60 million for Diesel Emission Reduction Act, $10 million above the FY2016 enacted level.
$30 million for Targeted Airshed Grants directed to the top five most polluted areas for air quality, which includes Riverside County, CA.
ENERGY AND WATER
$230 million for activities to modernize the electricity grid, which is $5 million more than the House bill and $24 million more than the FY2016 enacted level.
The Santa Ana River Mainstem project is funded at $37.2 million.
Funding for California water projects, including $10 million for water recycling, $6 million for desalination projects, and $67 million for water storage projects.
$7 million for Endangered Species action plans to help recover species and ultimately de-list them.
$5.39 billion for the Department of Energy Office of Science, which is $8 million less than the House bill and $41.8 million more than the FY2016 enacted level.
COMMERCE, JUSTICE, SCIENCE, AND RELATED AGENCIES
$210 million for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, which helps reimburse state and local governments for the costs of incarcerating criminal illegal immigrants.
$221.5 million for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Program. Within this funding, $137 million is for the hiring of law enforcement, which is the same as the FY 2016 level and $137 million above the House bill.
$155 million in total for Industrial Technology Services, including $130 million for the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership.
$376 million for the Byrne-JAG program excluding set-asides, which is $29 million above the FY2016 enacted level and $48.5 million less than the House bill.
$15 million for police officer safety and active shooter training programs, including $7,500,000 for the Officer Robert Wilson III Preventing Violence Against Law Enforcement Officer.
Resilience and Survivability (VALOR) Initiative and $7,500,000 under the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) header for the Protecting Our Lives by Initiating COPS Expansion (POLICE) Act.
Supports the “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act” (FAST Act), the five-year highway bill that passed Congress and was signed into law in FY2015.
$500 million for National Infrastructure Investment, the same as the fiscal year 2016 enacted level. These grants are awarded by the Department of Transportation to states and local communities for infrastructure construction and improvements.
$1 billion for the FAA’s Next Generation Air Transportation Systems (NextGen), and funds Contract Towers at $159 million. These investments will help ease future congestion, help reduce delays for travelers in U.S. airspace, and reduce costs for travelers.
$3 million for the National Surface Transportation and Innovative Finance Bureau, which was created by the FAST Act to promote efficiency by creating a “one-stop shop,” consolidating the administration of several DOT programs (TIFIA, RRIF, PAB, and FASTLANE grants).
The bill maintains increased funding for Huanglongbing (Citrus Greening) Emergency Response within the Specialty Crop Pests line item and provides an additional $5.5 million to support the Huanglongbing Multi-Agency Coordination (HLB MAC) group. The agreement encourages Animal Plant Health Inspection Service to allocate sufficient resources to continue vital management, control, and associated activities to address citrus greening and to support priorities and strategies identified by the HLB MAC group.
The bill directs USDA to not fully implement the final rule allowing the importation of lemons from Argentina until the Operational Work Plan ensures that Argentina can meet the same phytosanitary risk standards required by the other current countries importing citrus into the United States.
LABOR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
$34 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), $2 billion above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level. Includes specific increases for research related to Alzheimer’s disease, the brain, antibiotic resistance, and the Precision Medicine Initiative.
Funds Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration at $3.6 billion (SAMHSA), $130.5 million above the previous Administration’s budget request.
Provides $12 million for discretionary grants to states to prevent opioid overdose-related deaths.
$2.7 billion for WIOA Job Training State Grants, which is the same level as the 2016 enacted level and $20 million less than the House bill.