U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine (each D-VA) at the moment celebrated ultimate Senate passage of a invoice to fund the Departments of Protection, Well being and Human Providers, Schooling, and Labor for Fiscal Yr 2019, which begins on Oct. 1, and to fund the remainder of the federal government by way of Dec. 7 as negotiations proceed. If the laws is signed into regulation, it should keep away from a authorities shutdown on the finish of September—one thing Warner and Kaine have lengthy referred to as for—and supply the Division of Protection and different businesses some readability on 2019 spending ranges in common finances order, serving to to maintain the nation safer. President Trump has threatened to veto any spending payments that don’t fund a border wall.
“Despite the President’s continued attempts to cut vital federal programs, this bipartisan agreement upholds many defense, education, and workforce priorities that are important for Virginians,” stated Warner. “As we continue to tackle the opioid crisis and combat the resurgence of black lung disease, this bill upholds our promise to save more lives. I’m also pleased to report that this bipartisan legislation provides the necessary resources to protect our men and women in uniform and supports Virginia’s critical national security footprint. While the Senate did its part to fund these programs, it’s now up to the House and the President to move swiftly and keep the government open.”
“I’m proud that we were able to pass this legislation to avoid a shutdown and fund so many of the programs that Virginians care about,” Kaine stated. “Health care, defense, education, and worker protections are all huge priorities as we ensure Virginians have access to the resources they need and that we are investing in the right ways to keep our country safe. I’m glad we were able to swiftly pass these bills, and I hope that President Trump will drop his threats to shut the government down over funding for his wall and quickly sign them into law.”
Warner and Kaine pushed for a lot of priorities by means of the appropriations course of that have been included on this last invoice:
Well being Care
- Funds childhood illness analysis: The invoice supplies $12.6 million for the Gabriella Miller Youngsters First Pediatric Analysis Program to conduct pediatric most cancers and illness analysis. Warner and Kaine labored to enact the laws authorizing this program, named for 10-year-old Gabriella Miller of Loudoun County, who handed away from most cancers in October of 2013.
- Early detection of black lung illness: The invoice additionally features a provision Warner and Kaine superior to enhance the participation fee of coal miners in federal well being surveillance packages that detect and deal with black lung. Warner and Kaine have been robust advocates for coal miners and their households, supporting laws that ensures they preserve the well being and retirement advantages they deserve.
- Protects the ACA, Medicare, and Medicaid: The Senators ensured that the invoice didn’t embrace proposed language that may have restricted HHS’s authority to manage or implement the ACA. The invoice retains funding and program authorities according to 2018, thereby defending Facilities for Medicare and Medicaid Providers’ means to manage Medicare, Medicaid, and the ACA.
- Supplies $5.7 billion to fight substance abuse: The invoice supplies $5.7 billion for the Substance Abuse and Psychological Well being Providers Administration (SAMHSA), which is $584 million greater than Fiscal Yr 2018. This consists of $1.5 billion for State Opioid Response Grants, a rise of $50 million for Licensed Group Behavioral Well being Clinics, and $105 million for the Nationwide Well being Service Corps. It additionally expands mortgage reimbursement eligibility necessities to incorporate substance use dysfunction counselors, which can help recruitment and retention of well being professionals wanted in underserved and rural areas.
- Will increase funding for Alzheimer’s and mind analysis: The invoice supplies $39.1 billion for the Nationwide Institutes of Well being (NIH), a rise of $2 billion from final yr’s degree and $four.5 billion above the President’s steered finances. The rise consists of a further $425 million for Alzheimer’s analysis for a complete of $2.34 billion and a rise of $29 million for the BRAIN Initiative.
- Funds a 2.6 % pay increase for servicemembers: Funds the pay increase that was approved within the annual protection invoice Kaine labored on together with his colleagues on the Senate Armed Providers Committee. Warner and Kaine strongly supported the pay improve.
- Helps Virginia’s shipbuilding business: Offers over $24 billion in Shipbuilding Accounts, with greater than $12 billion going in the direction of packages that may profit Virginia just like the Columbia & Virginia Class Submarines, Ford Class Service development, and Nimitz Class overhaul. It additionally helps the Navy’s aim of achieving a 355-ship fleet, which Warner and Kaine have each strongly endorsed.
- Helps block-buy of Ford-class plane carriers: The laws preserves the Navy’s means to pursue a block-buy of plane carriers as soon as it completes an unbiased value evaluation and certifies that the technique will save taxpayer dollars, as required by the 2019 Protection Bill.
- Gives price range certainty to our troops and army leaders: This laws appropriates a full yr of funds for the Division of Protection, addressing Warner and Kaine’s considerations, shared by army leaders, that Congress’ failure to return to common finances order has interfered with DoD’s potential to plan forward and that persevering with resolutions have been painful to the nation’s nationwide safety initiatives.
- Addresses lead poisoning in army housing: Following studies of lead poisoning in army housing models, the laws requires the Authorities Accountability Workplace in session with the Division of Protection to conduct an investigation and supply a report back to Congress on poisonous lead ranges in all army housing. In August, Kaine and Warner despatched a letter to the Secretary of the Military asking for a briefing after a report surfaced about lead poisonings and harmful lead ranges in housing on U.S. Military installations.
- Enhancing cyber resiliency: This laws offers $306 million in further funding to broaden and speed up cyber analysis throughout the Division of Protection. Warner has been a robust advocate for cyber resiliency and stronger cyber instruments on the DoD.
- Protection Cyber Scholarship Program: The laws consists of Warner’s modification to make obtainable $7 million in funding for the DoD Cyber Protection Scholarship Program, bringing it in-line with the funding degree from the Home-passed appropriations package deal. Warner efficiently included a provision to spice up the cyber scholarship program’s recruitment efforts within the FY19 Nationwide Protection Authorization Act. This modification builds on the enlargement of this system that Senator Kaine championed final yr by way of his DoD Cyber Scholarship Program Act within the FY18 NDAA.
- Supplies funding to assist academics, social staff, army personnel, and different public servants cancel their scholar mortgage debt: For a second yr consists of $350 million for the Public Scholar Mortgage Forgiveness (PSLF) program that mirrors Kaine’s invoice to repair a technical glitch that may permit debtors who have been within the flawed reimbursement program to be eligible for PSLF.
- Consists of language to assist HBCUs entry funds to make infrastructure enhancements: Consists of language from Kaine’s invoice to require the HBCU Capital Financing Advisory Board, which offers monetary steerage to the nation’s Traditionally Black Schools and Universities (HBCUs), to offer Congress with a report on the loans granted beneath this system together with suggestions to deal with points associated to development financing for HBCUs.
- Supplies further funding for the HBCU Capital Financing Program: Consists of a further $10 million to make sure that all eligible establishments—together with Virginia Union College—are capable of entry this system’s deferment authority. Warner and Kaine each referred to as for this supplementary funding to offer further flexibility for eligible HBCUs to satisfy their infrastructure wants.
- Will increase entry to Pell Grants: Will increase the utmost Pell Grant award to $6,195, a $100 improve from FY18, and in addition consists of help for year-round Pell Grant funding.
- Will increase funding for Scholar Help and Educational Enrichment block grants: Consists of $1.17 billion, a $70 million improve from FY18, for Okay-12 public faculties to create a well-rounded schooling, guarantee protected and wholesome college students and help using know-how within the classroom.
- Will increase funding for profession and technical schooling: Will increase funding for the just lately reauthorized Carl D. Perkins Profession and Technical Schooling Act to $1.26 billion, a $70 million improve from FY18.
- Funds black lung well being clinics: Authorizes black lung well being clinics at $11 million, $1 million above its full authorization degree.
- Offers $30 million to coach rural and Appalachian staff: Consists of $30 million to offer workforce coaching to dislocated staff in rural areas with a selected precedence for Appalachian communities.
- Supplies $160 million to help apprenticeships: Consists of $160 million for registered apprenticeship packages.
- Requires higher monitoring of profession and technical occupations to assist put together the longer term workforce: Directs the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) to trace and report on enhancements they’re making to the Present Inhabitants Survey (CPS) to gather knowledge about profession and technical occupations. With this knowledge, the nation could have extra info to trace the place enhancements are wanted and make sure that the workforce is educated with the talents wanted for jobs out there in at present’s financial system.
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