Press Release

Castor Statement on House Passage of 2020 Appropriations Bills

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Washington, December 17, 2019 | comments
U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) issued the following statement on the passage the FY2020 appropriations bills.
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U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) issued the following statement on the passage the FY2020 appropriations bills:

“Hardworking families, service members, seniors, students and veterans in Tampa Bay stand to benefit from investments in their lives reflected in the federal appropriations package. Our major economic engines like Moffitt Cancer Center, University of South Florida, Port Tampa Bay, and Tampa International Airport are poised to grow with good-paying jobs, medical research funding, environmental protection and a strong commitment to public education. Importantly, Congress rejected President Trump’s misguided cuts to schools, health care, infrastructure, and environmental protection and clean energy programs - and thankfully he did not shut down the government over policy disagreements this year. 

“The Democratic-led House secured priorities to ensure our national and domestic security and support our neighbors, including: appropriating gun violence prevention research funding for the first time in more than 20 years, prioritizing the Environmental Protection Agency with a record-level budget, providing election security grants for states including Florida, fully funding the 2020 census, providing record-level funding for the National Institutes of Health, which will bolster cancer research at Moffitt Cancer Center, and increasing funding for initiatives that support the next generation, including Head Start, Child Care and Development Block Grants.

“My hometown, Tampa, is a patriotic community, and this spending package secures critical funding for MacDill Air Force Base, the two combatant commands headquartered there, veterans, service members and their families. I am pleased that my language to provide relief to military families, including those at MacDill, who have been harmed by mold in base housing due to shoddy construction by contractors was included in this package. Importantly, we fought for a 3.1% pay increase – the biggest hike in a decade - for military personnel.”

Highlights of funding increases and investments that will impact Tampa Bay:

  • 3.1% pay increase for military personnel, including service members at MacDill AFB.
  • $9.7 billion to fund SOCOM’s operation and maintenance requirements.
  • Provides relief to military families, including MacDill families. The Department of Defense is directed to ensure that families who have suffered as a result of negligent maintenance, mold, asbestos, radon, faulty electrical wiring, and other safety and health threats are made whole.
  • $41.7 billion for NIH, an increase of $2.6 billion from FY19.
  • $125 million above the budget request for the Veterans Benefits Administration for hiring additional claims and appellate staff, and overtime pay in order to continue reducing the disability claims backlog.
  • A record-setting $9 billion Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) budget.
  • Extends the National Flood Insurance Program through September 30, 2020.
  • $80.2 billion for VA Medical Care, including $222 million in suicide prevention outreach.
  • Extends and increases Medicaid funding to our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico and the territories for two years.
  • $2.8 billion for Energy Efficiency & Renewables initiatives, a $411 million increase over FY19.
  • Extends Brand USA authorization through 2027.
  • $40 million for Explosive Detection System Reimbursements for airports – including $12.7 million for Tampa Airport.
  • $8 billion for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – $636 million above the 2019 enacted level.
  • $12.9 billion for the Federal Transit Administration, including $510 million for Transit Infrastructure Grants, $75 million for low- and no-emission buses, and $8.5 million for areas of persistent poverty.
  • $3.79 billion for Army Corps of Engineers operation and maintenance - including $8.53 million for Tampa.
  • $944 million, an increase of $17 million, for programs to improve maternal and child health, including an additional $5 million to reduce maternal mortality.