September 13, 2018

Manchin Secures Funding for ARC, VA Caregiver Program and Opioid Epidemic

Washington, D.C. U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, voted to pass the Energy & Water, Military Construction & Veterans Affairs and Legislative Branch spending bills that will benefit West Virginia. Senator Manchin authored provisions that expand the VA Caregiver Program to Veterans of all eras, increase funding to veteran homelessness prevention; and secured additional funding to fight the opioid epidemic in West Virginia.

“Last night, I proudly voted for spending bills that will help West Virginians. I was proud to secure $400 million to fight the opioid epidemic, include funding to expand the VA’s Caregiver Program to Veterans injured in World War II, the Korean, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf Wars, and full funding for the ARC. This bill also protects the National Energy Technology Laboratory in Morgantown and the Title XVII Program, which helps provide loans for projects like the Appalachian Regional Storage Hub. These spending bills have bipartisan support, have been negotiated in committee and between the House and the Senate and have gone through regular order. This is the way Congress is supposed to work and it’s this type of bipartisanship that demonstrates what we can get done when we work together,” Senator Manchin said.

Here is a list of West Virginia priorities Senator Manchin secured in the spending bills that passed today:

  • Appalachian Regional Commission: Full funding of $155 million for the Commission, including $50 million for communities most adversely impacted by the closure of coal plants and $10 million for high-speed broadband deployment in areas most negatively impacted by the coal downturn. 
  • Opioids: $400 million for opioid safety initiatives, including $348 million for substance abuse prevention and treatment programs and $52 million to continue implementation of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA).
  • Fossil Energy Research & Development: $740 million for Fossil Energy R&D, including strong funding for the National Energy Technology Laboratory in Morgantown, as well as report language prohibiting the use of any of these funds to close NETL. The bill includes 50 million for research and operations, $45 for infrastructure, and $54 million for coal R&D, including $18 million to develop technologies to extract rare earth elements (“REEs”) from coal byproducts.
  • Title XVII: $33 million for the continuation of the Title XVII Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program.  The bill also includes language prohibiting the use of these funds to unwind or phase out the loan program.
  • VA Caregiver Program: $865 million, the amount requested in authorizing language and $369 million more than the administration’s request, to expand the program to veterans of all eras.
  • National Guard: Nearly $320 million for National Guard minor construction projects, including an increase of $10 million for Army National Guard minor construction projects.
  • Vocational Rehabilitation: $87.4 million increase to hire additional claims and appellate staff for the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program (VR&E).
  • Small & Modular Coal Tech: Report language supporting DOE’s use of Fossil Energy funding for small and modular coal technologies.
  • Rural & Telehealth: $270 million for the Rural Health Initiative, which funds several projects aimed at alternatives to opioid-centered pain management in rural and remote areas, as well as $30 million for telehealth services
  • Veterans’ Homelessness: $1.819 billion for VA homelessness prevention programs, including $380 million for the Supportive Services for Low Income Veterans and families, and $549.7 million for HUD/VASH.
  • Weatherization: $257 million for the Weatherization Assistance Program.
  • State Energy Programs: $55 million for state energy programs.
  • Advanced Manufacturing Office: $320 million for advanced manufacturing including $132 million for R&D.
  • ARPA-E: $366 million for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy