Rep. Danny K. Davis Advocates and Votes to Make Historic Investments in Jobs, Opportunity, Working Families, Equity, and the Environment with New Government Funding Package

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July 29, 2021
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Today, Rep. Danny K. Davis voted for the budget he has been advocating for: to make historic investments in American jobs, opportunity and working families with H.R. 4502, a package to fund the federal government in the next fiscal year.  This essential legislation will improve the health and financial security of American families – while also investing in clean energy, public health, and education to set America up for future success.

 

“With this funding package, Democrats are following through on our pledge to Build Back Better by investing in jobs, opportunity and working families that I have been advocating” said Rep. Davis.  “The crucial programs in these bills will deliver historic investments in jobs, infrastructure, education, public health, equity, the environment and more that will address the needs of the American people in this critical moment.  I am proud to support this package, which puts children and families first as we work to build a stronger, cleaner, brighter future, more just, equitable future.”

 

For the upcoming fiscal year, the House bundled seven government funding bills into a single “minibus” package.  In this essential legislation, House Democrats have included landmark investments in nutrition, public health, education, veterans, and other key social programs that will create new jobs and lift up working families in the wake of the pandemic, while advancing equity and justice for underserved communities and businesses.

 

  • The bill includes $253.8 billion in overall funding for FY 2022 for Labor, Health and Human Services and Education initiatives, an increase of $55.2 billion (28 percent).
  • The bill provides $26.55 billion in discretionary funding for FY 2022 – an increase of $2.851 billion (more than 10 percent) for Agriculture and the FDA including such programs as SNAP, WIC and other Child nutrition programs.
  • The bill provides more than $14 billion of transformative investments in clean energy and science, which will help develop clean, affordable, and secure American energy and rebuild our nation’s water infrastructure
  • The bill provides $43.4 billion for the Environment, an increase of $7.3 billion (20.2 percent). There is also an additional $2.45 billion for fire suppression. Also includes $507 million increase for Bureau of Indian Affairs, $1.8 billion increase for Indian Health Service, $33.5 million increase for NEA and NEH and $1.2 increase for U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • The bill provides for an increase in VA Medical Services of $7.6 billion
  • The bill provides $162.6 billion for Transportation and Housing, an increase of $8.7 billion (more than 11 percent) including an increase of $545 million for Project-based Rental Assistance, an increase of $178 million for low-income Senior housing and $125 million increase for Housing for Persons with Disabilities

 

Across the nation, the minibus will invest more federal dollars in:

  • Health: SNAP, WIC and child nutrition, as well as programs to expand access to quality, affordable health care
  • Clean Energy: setting America on course for a secure energy future and creating tens of thousands of good-paying green jobs with investments in clean energy and science
  • Education: Title I and Special Education, Pell Grants and other financial assistance, and Minority-Serving Institutions including HBCUs, Hispanic Serving Institutions and Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities
  • Public Health: bolstering the CDC to fight future pandemics, as well as more funding to pursue scientific breakthroughs for diseases such as ALS, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and cancer, treat substance abuse, and improve mental health and maternal and child health
  • Veterans: supporting veterans’ health – including women’s health care and mental health – as well as initiatives to combat veterans’ homelessness, create economic opportunities and rebuild military infrastructure
  • Infrastructure: creating tens of thousands of good-paying American jobs by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, including airports, highways, transit, rail and port systems, and directing more funding toward rural development including broadband, rental and other housing initiatives

 

Illinois residents will experience the impact of the new federal dollars included in this historic package in their families and communities.  Under this new funding package, the 7th Congressional District will receive:

  • $541,000 in new, additional funds to support local job training programs for adults and youth
  • $100.7 million in new, additional funds for public schools supporting children at risk of being left behind
  • $55.2 million in new, additional funds to strengthen veterans’ health care programs

 

“How we spend our tax dollars is a reflection of our nation’s principles and priorities,” Rep. Davis continued.  “This funding package is For The People, investing our tax dollars in what matters most: our workers, families and communities.  From food stamps to early education to strengthening our public health to creating new clean energy jobs, this crucial legislation makes key investments in vital lifelines for so many.  I look forward to helping Illinois residents take full advantage of everything this legislation will deliver.”

 

As the bill was being debated, Congressmen Davis successfully increased funding for education and research in the Agricultural funding bill in a floor amendment as an important step to improving equity in the agriculture, food, and nutrition sciences and workforce.  The amendment passed as part of the appropriations package that makes historic increases in funding for Democratic priorities such as education, health care, housing, worker protections, and environmental justice.

 

The amendment increased funding for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture Research and Education Activities account by $2 million.  This account funds the Multicultural Scholars Program designed to increase the diversity of the food and agricultural scientific and professional workforce.

 

“My amendment is an important step to increasing grants to low-income minority students who attend colleges and universities skilled at educating and graduating individuals who are underrepresented in these fields,” said Rep. Davis.  “Currently, the Multicultural Scholars Program receives only about $945,000 a year. This funding level is critically low given the current racial/ethnicity gaps in food and agricultural sciences and given the fact that communities of color were disproportionately harmed by the dual economic and health crises in our country.”

 

“Predominantly Black Institutions like Harold Washington and Chicago State are minority-serving institutions that offer quality programs in food and nutrition science.  For example, Chicago State offers a wonderful Urban Agriculture program. We need more scholarships for Black, Latinx, AAPI, and Native American students to improve racial/ethnic equity within the food, nutrition, and agricultural sciences and workforce. Increasing these funds is the first step; next, I will work to specify that these funds specifically provide scholarships to low-income students attending PBIs and other minority-serving institutions.”

 

Each fiscal year, which runs from October through September, Congress must pass legislation to fund the federal government and all of the vital programs it administers.  The minibus package that passed yesterday will fund the following areas of the federal government: Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies; Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies; Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies; Financial Services and General Government; Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies; Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies; and Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies.

Other provisions in the bill strengthen our democracy by:

 

  • Eliminating three provisions that limit transparency into political spending
  • Requiring OMB to make appointments of appropriations publicly available in a timely manner and providing funding for OMB to implement such a system
  • Improving budget execution by requiring budget authority be made available prudently for obligation, executive agencies to provide budget and appropriations information to the GAO promptly, and agencies to notify Congress of certain delays or restrictions in apportionment of appropriations.
  • Including a new provision related to recordkeeping requirements for certain GAO audits
  • Makes Dreamers eligible for Federal employment.
  • Eliminates provisions preventing Federal Employee Health Benefit Plans from covering abortion services.
  • Creates a commission to identify and recommend name changes or removal of Federal property that is inconsistent with the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion

 

 

This package now goes to the Senate for consideration.