Four Levin Provisions Included in House Appropriations Bill Passed by House Today
Two amendments and two funding requests made by Congressman Andy Levin, vice chair of the House Education and Labor Committee, were included in the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Defense, State, Foreign Operations, and Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act that passed today.
“The additions I made to today’s appropriations bill reflect several of my top priorities as a Member of Congress,” Congressman Levin said. “I’ve made it my personal mission to secure funding to improve the Chapaton Retention Basin in St. Clair Shores. As a father of two kids with Crohn’s disease, funding research for inflammatory bowel disease is extremely personal to me. As a former Human Rights Watch investigator in Haiti, I believe we must deny any assistance to the Haitian armed forced on account of the horrific human rights records of those in charge. And as an advocate for strong public schools, I will make sure that Secretary DeVos and her Department of Education are held accountable for their assault on public education.
“I will keep fighting for these priorities, and to raise the standard of living for people in Macomb and Oakland Counties and across the country, as long as I am a Member of Congress.”
Congressman Levin last week led a group of eleven members of the House Committee on Education and Labor in introducing an amendment that would appropriate $4 million to the Department of Education Office of Inspector General, the watchdog office that conducts nonpartisan oversight and investigations of the agency. The money would be moved from the Office of Labor-Management Standards, which, under the Trump Administration, has been used to harass labor unions. The amendment passed the House 233 – 187.
Congressman Levin’s other amendment would bar assistance to the Haitian armed forces for several reasons: 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. The amendment was cosponsored by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Albio Sires, Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Congresswoman Maxine Waters.
A funding prioritization made by Congressman Levin for improvements to the Chapaton Retention Basin combined sewer overflow facility is also in the bill. In April, Congressman Levin led a bipartisan letter to the House Appropriations Committee requesting federal dollars to make essential improvements to the facility.
Finally, funding requested by Congressman Levin for research into inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis, is included in the funding package. Congressman Levin has two sons with Crohn’s disease.
“The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation is very grateful to Congressman Levin and the other members of Congress who supported our inflammatory bowel disease medical research, public health, and therapy development appropriations provisions,” Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation CEO Michael Osso said. “We are very pleased that the House has included these priorities in the Fiscal Year 2020 Labor, HHS and Agriculture FDA spending bills, and we look forward to continuing to work with Congressman Levin and other lawmakers to advance these priorities to improve life and health of the 3.1 million Americans living with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.”
The bill also includes other funding requests made by Congressman Levin:
Energy and Water:
• U.S. Army Corps Construction, Soo Locks, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan funded at $$75,333,000, consistent with the budget request.
• U.S. Army Corps additional funding Construction account funded at $265 million for navigation, for which the Soo Locks project can compete.
• Department of Energy Office of Science, Nuclear Physics, Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FIRB) funded at $40 million; FRIB is estimated to bring 5,000 construction jobs and 400 scientists, engineers and staff to the region.
Labor, Health, and Human Services:
• National Labor Relations Board: $341.5 million, an increase of $67 million over the fiscal year 2019 enacted level.
• Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): $660.9 million, an increase of $103 million over the fiscal year 2019 enacted level.
• WIOA Title I-B State Grants (Adult Training, Youth Training, and Dislocated Worker Assistance): $3 billion, an increase of $177.5 million over the fiscal year 2019 enacted level.
State, Foreign Operations:
• Report language regarding human rights in Haiti that urges the Secretary of State and USAID Administrator to support dialogue aimed at resolving the political crisis in Haiti.
• Report language directing the Secretary of State and USAID Administrator to expedite the release of funds for the UN Haiti Cholera Response Multi-Partner Trust Fund.
• $12.5 million for the Global Labor Program.