Domestic Priorities Funding Bill Passes House with Levin Provisions Included

December 17, 2019
Press Release
The domestic priorities and international assistance “minibus” contains many top priorities for House Democrats and two provisions authored by Congressman Levin.

The House of Representatives today passed a package of spending bills that grants critical funding for domestic priorities and international assistance and prevents a government shutdown.

Two provisions authored by Congressman Andy Levin, vice chair of the House Education and Labor Committee, were included in the package of bills.

In March, Congressman Levin led a letter signed by 139 House Democrats requesting a funding increase to the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). An increase was included in the funding package passed today.

Congressman Levin’s other provision included in the package bars the United States from providing assistance to the Haitian armed forces. Congressman Levin made request for the provision based on the troubling human rights record of the current Haitian regime, the history of involvement in human rights abuses of the six men tapped to lead the revival of the FADH; and the absence of a rationale to reinstate an army in Haiti.

“Today, I was proud to vote for the domestic priorities and international assistance funding package that includes so many wins for Macomb and Oakland Counties,” Rep. Levin said. “The package includes my request to increase funding for CSFP, an essential nutrition assistance program for vulnerable seniors, and, for the first time in more than two decades, the House has allocated funding for gun violence research. The package also includes funding increases for some of my top priorities in Congress, including worker protection agencies and programs, life-saving medical research at the National Institutes of Health, Pell Grants that make college more accessible to low income families, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and a guarantee that those funds will be available in case of a government shutdown, increased funding for Registered Apprenticeship Programs, and more.

“Despite the many victories in the package, I wish there were more. I regret that my amendment to shift funds to the Department of Education watchdog agency was not included. Betsy DeVos has abandoned her duty to stand up for students and follow the law, and now more than ever, we must make sure our oversight agencies are fully equipped.

“There were also many important provisions included in the military spending package, like increased funding for research into the health effects of PFAS and PFOA exposure, a pay raise for federal employees, preservation of the 6-day postal service, and security assistance for Israel. However, the package allocates exorbitant funds for military spending and fails to place guard rails on the Department of Homeland Security, which has abused past funding with the intention of building the President’s wasteful and ineffective border wall. As a Member of Congress, I am charged to be a responsible steward of taxpayer dollars and a check on the Executive Branch. To meet those responsibilities, I voted against the military spending package.”

See below additional details on the domestic priorities and international assistance funding package.

LABOR/HHS/EDUCATION

  • $1.7 billion for Worker Protection Agencies, $48 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $21 million above the President’s budget request. Within this amount, the bill includes $582 million for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, an increase of $24 million above the 2019 enacted level and the President’s budget request. 
  • $96 million for the International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB), an increase of $10 million above the 2019 enacted level and $78 million above the President’s budget request.
  • The bill provides a total of $41.7 billion for NIH, an increase of $2.6 billion above the 2019 enacted level and $7.5 billion above the President’s budget request.
  • For the first time in more than 20 years, the bill includes funding – $12.5 million – to specifically support firearm injury and mortality prevention research.
  • $6,345 for the maximum Pell Grant, an increase of $150 over the 2019 enacted level and the President’s budget request. The increase will help the maximum award keep pace with inflation.

AGRICULTURE

  • Funding boost to Commodity Supplemental Food Program.
  • The bill provides for $67.9 billion in required mandatory spending for SNAP. For the first time, SNAP reserve funds are available for three full years to provide certainty in case of a future shutdown.

ENERGY AND WATER

  • Army Corps of Engineers – Provides $7.7 billion, an increase of $652 million above the fiscal year 2019 level and $2.7 billion above the budget request.

INTERIOR AND ENVIRONMENT

  • Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) – The bill provides $495 million for LWCF, including $237 million for the federal program and $258 million for state programs.  The total is $57 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $462 million above the President’s budget request.
  • $43 million in new funding at EPA and partner agencies for scientific and regulatory work and cleanup assistance for PFAS, needed to establish drinking water and land cleanup standards. This level of funding more than triples current spending levels for this work.

MILITARY CONSTRUCTION AND VETERANS AFFAIRS

  • BRAC/PFAS – The agreement provides an additional $120 million to address legacy Navy BRAC issues and the PFAS issues at installations.

STATE AND FOREIGN OPERATIONS

  • Support for U.S. allies and partners, including Israel ($3.3 billion, fulfilling the MOU) and Ukraine ($448 million). 
  • Reverses the impact of the Administration’s hiring freeze and restores State Department and USAID personnel to 2016 levels.
  • The bill provides $75 million for security assistance programs for the West Bank and $75 million for the humanitarian and development needs of the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
  • Blocks funding to armed forces of Haiti.

TRANSPORTATION AND HOUSING/URBAN DEVELOPMENT

  • $290 million for the Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes, $11 million above the 2019 enacted level and equal to the President’s budget request. This includes $50 million for the Healthy Homes Initiative, to address other health and safety hazards in the home, including carbon monoxide, asthma, mold, and radon.

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