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Congressman Nadler Statement on Passage of H.R. 3055, FY 20 Appropriations Minibus

Washington, June 26, 2019

Washington, D.C. — Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) released the following statement on H.R. 3055, a five bill appropriations package which passed the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday by a vote of 227 to 194. Voting in support of the package, Congressman Nadler applauded the inclusion of language to restore two-way tolling on the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge and language to block the addition of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census. Congressman Nadler also expressed support for increased investments in affordable housing programs, including the Housing Opportunities for Persons with HIV/Aids Program, as well as increased funding to improve our nation's infrastructure and protect our environment. 

Below is Rep. Nadler's full statement:

"Yesterday, I was proud to vote in support of the second FY2020 Appropriations Minibus, a spending bill that includes robust, job-creating investments in our nation’s infrastructure; as well as funding to combat the affordable housing crisis, support social services that improve the well-being of low-income families, and protect our environment.

"I am extremely proud that after more than two decades working on this issue, the Minibus includes a provision that restores two-way tolling on the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge.  The restoration of two-way tolling will significantly reduce traffic congestion while improving road traffic safety and air quality across New York. I am thankful to Congressman Max Rose and Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez for their leadership on this issue and their collaboration in advancing the proposal through the House.  I am also proud that the bill includes critical language in support of the Gateway Tunnel Project and other vital infrastructure projects across the country. The legislation clarifies that federal loans taken out by states cannot be counted as part of those state’s share of project costs. It’s only fair that federal loans that must be repaid by the states are counted towards the state’s share of an infrastructure project. The bill also contains language that will maximize federal funding for the Gateway Tunnel Project while streamlining the approval process. Additionally, the bill includes $700 million for Amtrak Northeast Corridor Grants, a $50 million increase from FY2019. The bill also includes substantial funding for several potential Gateway Tunnel Project funding sources. This includes almost $1.8 billion in funding for Federal Transit Administration grant programs, nearly $1.5 billion to programs at the Federal Railroad Administration, and $1 billion in National Infrastructure Investments grants through the Department of Transportation.

"Beyond transportation and infrastructure investments, I am pleased that the second Minibus provides substantial funding increases to housing and nutrition programs for low-income persons and their families. the legislation contains $410 million for Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program, a $17 million increase from the FY2019 level, matching my request to the House Committee on Appropriations. This is a high-water mark and will ensure that no recipients lose funding in FY2020 under the new HOPWA formula. The bill also includes nearly $24 billion for the Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8), an increase of over $1 billion from the FY2019 level. This increase will ensure that every Section 8 voucher is renewed in FY2020 and make more vouchers are available for families with children, young people aging out of foster care, and domestic violence victims while expanding investment in programs for homeless veterans. Additionally, the bill includes almost $260 billion for housing programs supporting older Americans and persons with disabilities, $3.6 billion for the Community Development Block Grant Program, and nearly $3 billion for Homeless Assistance Grants. The legislation also helps to ensure that millions of low-income families have food on their tables by fully funding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and rejecting another Trump Administration attempt to weaken the program.

"The bill makes critical investments in Justice Department programs, including $582.5 million for Violence Against Women Act programs and makes a significant investment in Reducing Sexual Assault Kits Backlog grants and anti-human trafficking grants. Over $670 million is made available to hire new immigration judges, an increase of $109 million over FY 2019, and the bill provides $75 million to fund the First Step Act, landmark criminal justice reform legislation passed by Congress last year.

"I am proud the bill contains extensive investments to protect our air, water, lands, oceans, and wildlife, while increasing climate research and resilience by providing over $9.5 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), $677 million over the FY2019 enacted level. That funding includes increases of $131 million for the EPA’s environmental program work, $13 million for U.S. Geological Survey National & Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers, and over $1 million to support EPA enforcement of the Clean Air Act.

"Finally, I was especially pleased that the bill blocks funding for several of the Trump Administration’s most harmful regulations and policies, all of which House Democrats have long opposed.  I am thankful that the legislation blocks the administration from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. The Trump Administration’s decision to include a citizenship question is guaranteed—and intended—to produce a census not counting a large part of the immigrant population, thus skewing the census against areas with large immigrant populations, such as New York City. It is vital that the Census Bureau is allowed to conduct a thorough and accurate 2020 Census that counts all persons, as required by the Constitution. The bill also blocks an administration public housing rule change on undocumented immigrants in affordable housing that would have threatened the housing of over 55,000 children who are citizens or legal residents. Additionally, the bill blocks the Administration's proposed plan to allow homeless shelters to deny transgender people experiencing homelessness equal access to shelters.

"Overall, this appropriations package makes critical investments in key Democratic priorities and provides much-needed funding to improve our infrastructure, strengthen critical programs for working families, protect our environment, and reverse some of the most draconian cuts in the President’s Budget. I am proud to support it, and thankful for Chairwoman Nita Lowey’s leadership in advancing this legislation."

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