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Press Release

Rep. Castor Hails House Passage of Appropriations Package

Aid to Ukraine, Tampa Community Priorities, Help to Lower Costs for Americans

Today, Rep. U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) voted to pass vital federal funding that invests in the people and priorities of the Tampa Bay area and sends urgent humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine.

“This bipartisan bill lowers costs for our neighbors and invests in good-paying jobs here in Tampa and across the country,” said Rep. Castor. “The important community projects included address some of the most pressing needs in our community, and will have an immediate and far-reaching impact. The projects represent the diversity of needs in the Tampa area - from East Tampa to Town ‘N Country to the University Area, the entire Tampa-Hillsborough district is represented.”

Details on the nine community projects Castor championed can be found here.

This funding package will:

  • Help Working Families With The Cost of Living: Reduces costs by expanding child care and early learning programs to more working families, investing in America’s K-12 public schools, making college more affordable, expanding access to homeownership, and bringing the promise of rural broadband to more communities
  • Create American Jobs: Create good-paying American jobs, putting folks to work rebuilding our infrastructure, helping small businesses grow and thrive, fostering the green energy jobs of tomorrow, and supporting high-quality job training and apprenticeship programs so every American can contribute and succeed
  • Support the Vulnerable: Support the vulnerable by meeting Americans basic needs, by strengthening nutrition assistance, funding more affordable housing, and cracking down on gender-based violence
  • Protect Our National Security: Protect our national security with robust funding for defense, diplomacy and global development, a strong focus on cybersecurity, and investments in responsible border and maritime security that keeps us safe and respects the rights and dignity of migrants
  • Confront the Climate Crisis: Confront the existential threat of climate change through a renewed focus on environmental enforcement, pioneering funding for environmental justice, and historic investments in clean energy and climate science
  • Strengthen Public Health: Strengthen health care in America by rebuilding our public health infrastructure, investing in lifesaving biomedical research, and confronting urgent health crises, including maternal health, mental health, substance misuse, and gun violence

“In addition to a 2.7 percent pay raise for our men and women in uniform, my bipartisan proposal to fund partnerships at civilian trauma centers – like the one at Tampa General Hospital with MacDill Air Force Base personnel – to train military trauma care teams receives its first direct funding.

“Tinker Elementary on MacDill Air Force Base remains a popular K-8 school since it provides students with a support system, counselors and administrators who understand the unique needs and challenges of military families. This bill will provide over $500M to restore schools on military installations, like Tinker, to help address overcrowding and build permanent structures for students so that they can learn in the best possible environment.

“After learning six years ago that Florida and the Tampa Bay area have some of the worst HPV vaccination rates in the country, I joined forces with Moffitt Cancer Center, Dr. Anna Giuliano and USF College of Public Health to improve vaccination rates, increase public knowledge and save lives. This package builds on my House-passed PREVENT HPV Cancers Act and includes my language encouraging the National Cancer Institute to expand their research on HPV-associated cancers and urging the CDC to conduct an awareness campaign to increase childhood vaccinations like HPV. Further, the bill included $227M that I championed to provide breast and cervical cancer screenings to underserved communities. Americans are dying from cancer when they shouldn’t, and I’m confident we can increase health equity and positive outcomes through these initiatives.

“It was heartening to have First Lady Jill Biden visit Moffitt Cancer Center a few weeks ago to see the incredible work being done by doctors and researchers to end cancer as we know it firsthand. To support President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot initiative, our legislation provides substantial funding for the National Institutes of Health’s cancer researchers, the Cancer Moonshot and will establish the Alcee L. Hastings Program for Advanced Cancer Screening in Underserved Communities in honor of my late friend and colleague. This is in addition to the community project I championed to help Moffitt researchers build on current computer technology and help improve outcomes for cancer patients throughout the U.S.

“My language to direct the Department of Housing and Urban Development to survey public housing authorities to determine how many are known to be built on cemeteries or historical burial grounds and report its findings to the Congress was included in this bill and will hopefully provide clarity and peace of mind for families in Tampa and around the country. As we continue to identify lost graves in Tampa and across the nation, we can show respect for the final resting place of countless individuals and provide long-awaited peace of mind for their families. The history of Tampa’s Zion Cemetery, the Black families buried there, and the imperative to do right by the families who live in Robles Park have brought us to a moment and this direction to HUD will help bring recognition and justice here in Tampa and across the nation at similar sites.

“Members of Congress are elected to serve the public interest, not their personal interests, and in the spirit of my legislation to end Zombie Campaigns, this bill directs the Federal Election Commission report on their efforts to investigate the personal use of dormant campaign funds by former candidates. Ex-lawmakers and candidates should not be able to personally benefit from leftover campaign funds, and if we pass my bipartisan bill, we can put Zombie Campaigns in the grave once and for all.

“I’m proud to announce the bill also will advance the goals in my Environmental Justice Air Quality Monitoring Act, which I introduced earlier this year with Reps. Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-AL) and Rep. Ritchie Torres (NY15). Here in Tampa, we know all too well how block-level air pollution can harm families and workers, especially after officials discovered dangerous levels of lead in the air coming from the Gopher Resource factory. Recognizing that we must empower local communities to tackle air pollution block-by-block, the budget report urges the Environmental Protection Agency to prioritize community air quality monitoring systems, so we can identify hotspots in specific communities like the one around the Gopher factory. It also encourages EPA to use this information to provide regularly-updated data to overburdened and marginalized communities.

“These investments support our neighbors, economic engines and Tampa small businesses and will foster economic development and create good-paying local jobs. I look forward to President Biden signing this funding package into law soon, making a real difference in the lives of so many in our community.”