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Voting to Fund Key Priorities

Dear Friends,

I wanted to share with you my statement on the House's recent passage of a vital appropriations bill. This appropriations package is a sweeping investment in America's working families, infrastructure, education system, and much more, including important projects in our district. I was proud to support it.

"Madame Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 4502, the Seven Bill Appropriation Minibus for Fiscal Year 2022.

"This critical bill is a massive down payment on the promises we have made to the American people. After years of disinvestment in our infrastructure, reductions in health care spending, and limits on climate research, after 18 months of a devastating pandemic from which nearly all of our communities continue to struggle, this bill represents a chance to create good jobs, secure our safety net programs, and address the impacts of climate change.

"The bill makes a massive investment in working families. It provides a $20 billion increase for high-poverty schools and a $3 billion increase in funding for special education programs. The bill dramatically expands funding for early childhood education and childcare. It continues our commitment to expanding access to higher education by increasing the maximum Pell Grant by $400, dramatically increasing funding to expand higher education opportunities, including TRIO programs and GEAR UP, and increasing funding for Teacher Quality Partnerships and other higher education programs. The bill also provides $106 billion for SNAP and includes provisions to ensure that SNAP will not run out of money and families will continue receiving benefits throughout the year.

"I am proud to see the dramatic increases in funding for key health care priorities and to address long-stand health disparities and inequities. First and foremost, this bill finally, after 45 years, repeals the racist, anti-woman Hyde Amendment to ensure that women are able to access abortion regardless of their income or where they live. The bill also provides a massive boost in funding for Title X Family Planning Services and for Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, to ensure that these science-based, cost-effective programs continue to provide critical health and wellness services. In addition, the bill continues to increase our investments in life-saving research and public health infrastructure, including $49 billion for the National Institutes of Health, $10.6 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, $1 billion in new flexible funding to improve the public health infrastructure, $1.8 billion for Health Centers, which includes a nearly 1000% increase in funding to $50 million for school-based health centers.

"The bill makes a significant investment in our crumbling infrastructure while creating new jobs and ensuring that we finally address the climate crisis. In particular, it provides $105.7 billion to invest in transit passenger rail, airports and highways and provides $250 million to ensure those investments also reduce our admissions, benefit communities too often left behind, and increase the climate resiliency of our infrastructure. The bill also doubles investments in passenger and freight rail and promotes safety through investments in transit state of good repair and expanded transportation safety and inspection workforce. Finally, after the House passed an amendment I offered, the bill will provide $6 million in grants for security and maintenance at 9/11 Memorials and Museums. Taken all together, these investments will create tens of thousands of good-paying, union jobs and help our economy continue to recover and grow.

"Access to housing remains a major concern in New York, and this bill will take some steps so that more New Yorkers are safely and affordably housed. The bill expands housing choice vouchers, or Section 8, to help125,000 more individuals and families find affordable housing in their community and ensures that all 4.8 million families currently receiving housing assistance can stay in their homes. The bill also matches my request for $600 million for the Housing Opportunities for Persons with HIV/AIDS (HOPWA), a $170 million increase, so that New York City and other major cities do not face a massive funding cut this year. I am, however, very disappointed the bill provides just $3.4 billion for public housing capital needs, which is not even enough to cover the massive repair backlog at NYCHA alone. As I have said many times before, the ongoing underfunding of public housing capital needs is not sustainable for NYCHA or other large public housing agencies. I am committed to working with my colleagues in the New York Delegation and across Congress to address this concern as quickly as possible.

"In addition to all of these critical investments, the minibus funds eight critical community projects in my district, totaling over $9.2 million in direct funding to NY-10. These projects include a new Parenting Center at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, elevator repairs at Harborview Terrace Housing Development, expansion of mental health and substance abuse program at the LGBT Center, and funding for the Columbia-Harlem Small Business Development Center. I am proud to be able to deliver this funding and bring new jobs, better health outcomes, and improved financial stability back to my district."

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