Joyce Highlights Buckeye Wins in Bipartisan Government Funding Agreement

WASHINGTON, DC – Last night, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) voted in favor of the combined COVID-19 relief, FY2021 government funding bill, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. The omnibus portion of this legislation, which Joyce has worked on since the House Appropriations Committee began hearings back in February, funds the government at $1.4 trillion for FY2021 and includes numerous Buckeye priorities. You can learn more about the COVID-19 relief portion of the legislation here.

“While the process that took place to produce this legislation was unacceptable, the reality is that America can’t afford for Congress to make the perfect the enemy of the good right now,” said Joyce. “The resources in this legislation are critical to continuing our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting our veterans, and enhancing our national security. There were also a lot of wins for Ohio in this legislation, like increased funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, more resources to help us fight the opioid crisis, and improved support for rural broadband. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I look forward to continuing to advocate for Ohio’s priorities next Congress and will fight to prevent another last-minute scramble when it comes to keeping our government funded and fully operational.”

Specifically, Joyce helped secure a $10 million increase for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, ensuring the successful program receives a total of $330 million in FY2021. The legislation also includes $25 million total for Asian carp prevention efforts at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, including a $500,000 increase for Asian carp contract fishing to keep them out of the Great Lakes, and an increase of more than $2.75 million in Harmful Algal Blooms funding at United States Geological Survey and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Additionally, report language accompanying the bill states that funding “be made available to expand breakwaters and advance local shoreline mitigation measures, which provide much needed protection for Great Lakes shorelines threatened by rising lake levels.”

Additionally, the legislation includes another one of Joyce’s top priorities: combatting the rape kit backlog. By increasing funding to address the backlog of untested rape kits, more offenders can be taken off our streets and survivors can have access to the justice they deserve. One of the first pieces of legislation Joyce introduced during the 116th Congress encouraged states to make the necessary reforms to address this backlog. Learn more about that bill here.

The bipartisan package also includes but is not limited to the following priorities and provisions:

Combatting the Opioid Crisis & Supporting Americans in Recovery

  • Provides $5.9 billion for substance use disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery, and research into alternative therapies for pain management.
  • Combats the drug epidemic by increasing funding for programs such as High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas by $5 million to a total of $290 million.
  • Advances treatment and recovery initiatives by investing $541 million in grant programs that support drug courts, prescription drug monitoring, overdose-reversal drugs, and at-risk youth programs.
  • Protects our communities from heroin, fentanyl, and methamphetamines by increasing federal law enforcement resources to investigate and prosecute drug traffickers.

Investing in Our Nation’s Health and Safety

  • Provides $43 billion for the National Institutes of Health, an increase of $1.25 billion above the enacted FY20 level. This critical funding includes $3 billion for Alzheimer’s disease and more than $6 billion for cancer research.
  • Secures $10 million for the Government Accountability Office to review and examine the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Provides $35 million for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Mental Health Block Grant program.
  • Expands services and support for mental for children and youth including $107 million for Project AWARE, an increase of $5 million.
  • Sets aside $975 million to support Health Resources and Services Administration programs to improve maternal and child health, an increase of $32 million.
  • Provides $5.9 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant program, an increase of $85 million.
  • Provides $196 million for Family Violence Prevention and Services and the Domestic Violence Hotline, an increase of $8.5 million.

Reigniting Our Economy

  • Secures $272 million for Entrepreneurial Development Programs within the Small Business Administration (SBA), an increase of $11 million. That funding includes $136 million for Small Business Development Centers and $23 million for Women’s Business Centers.
  • Provides $142.9 million in disaster cap adjustment funds for SBA Disaster Loans.
  • $3.5 billion for Community Development Block Grants, a $50 million increase.
  • $1 billion for Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grants, including a requirement that half of the grants go to rural communities.
  • $346 million for the Economic Development Administration (EDA).
  • $9.4 billion for the Employment and Training Administration, an increase of $99 million. This includes $185 million for Registered Apprenticeships, which is a $10 million increase.

Improving Rural Development

  • Provides $732 million for rural broadband, the highest level in history, including $635 million for the ReConnect broadband pilot for unserved and underserved areas as well as $60 million for Distance Learning and Telemedicine grants.
  • Provides $3.9 billion for rural development programs, as well as more than $38.1 billion in loans for rural housing, rural utilities, and rural businesses, which assists in building sustainable rural infrastructure for the modern economy and helps create an environment for economic growth and opportunity.

Supporting Our Veterans

  • Allows transfers of previously appropriated CARES Act funds to the Veterans Benefits Administration, the National Cemetery Administration, and the Board of Veterans Appeals to address the increased backlog due to COVID-19.
  • Provides a total of $10.3 billion for VA mental health programs, including $313 million for suicide prevention outreach, $661 million for gender-specific care for women, $504 million for opioid abuse prevention, and $300 million in rural health initiatives.
  • Provides a total of $1.9 billion to prevent veteran homelessness, including $420 million for Supportive Services for Veterans Families and $270 million for the Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program.
  • Allows transfer of previously appropriated CARES Act funds to support State Veterans Homes.
  • Provides a total of $2.63 billion to continue VA’s transition to a new electronic health records system and increases congressional oversight of the program.

Addressing Our Nation’s Broken Immigration System

  • Supports the continued hiring of additional judges to address the backlog in immigration cases.
  • Assists Border Patrol Agents by providing $20 million for new border processing coordinators and $103 million for improvements to border patrol facilities.
  • Provides $45 million over the Trump Administration’s request for investments in border security technology such as mobile video surveillance systems, range finders, and thermal imaging devices, and $80 million over the request to expand CBP’s air surveillance capabilities.

Enhancing Our National Security

  • Provides the funding needed to support a three percent pay raise for all military personnel, effective January 1, 2021.
  • Provides $368 million to protect our nation’s energy infrastructure against cyber and other attacks and to improve the nation’s electricity delivery system.
  • Fully funds the national security review of foreign investment from China, Russia, and other nations by providing $20 million for the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.
  • Fully funding the National Instant Criminal Background Check System at $85 million.
  • Provides $1.482 billion to support implementation of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy and $300 million for the global Countering China Influence Fund.
  • Provides $290 million for the Countering Russian Influence Fund.
  • Provides $29.5 million for investments in cyber defense and training programs to ensure America has the workforce and knowledge to protect our cyber systems, and $10.5 million to establish a Joint Cyber Center for National Cyber Defense.

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