SPENDING BILLS WITH MANCHIN FUNDING ON OPIOIDS, BROADBAND AND BORDER WALL PASS THE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, secured funding priorities for West Virginia in the FY19 Financial Services & General Government (FSGG), State and Foreign Ops, and Department of Homeland Security appropriations bills.
“As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I have been working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make sure West Virginia receives the funding we need. In these three funding bills, I included funding to fight the opioid epidemic, expand broadband to rural West Virginians, and encourage economic development. These spending bills include $1.6 billion for the border wall because we have to secure our borders. I also believe we need additional border security measures like more border patrol agents, drones, towers, ground sensors, thermal imaging, and Blackhawk helicopters at the border to ensure there is complete surveillance, to properly strengthen our border and protect our country. These bill also includes more than $526 million to fight the opioid epidemic, $371 million for economic growth and small business, and dedicated funding for West Virginia to build out broadband infrastructure. Now, I will be working with my colleagues to make sure these spending bills pass the Senate and that West Virginia receives as much funding as possible,” Senator Manchin said.
Below is a list of West Virginia priorities that were included in these three spending bills:
- Opioids: The bill provides a total of $147.9 million across several DHS components to combat the flow of opioids into the U.S. These funds will deploy detection technology and improve interdiction at ports of entry and international mail facilities, add 15 new CBP drug detection canine teams, expand opioid and other illicit drug investigations (including training in opioid cyber investigative techniques) to combat supply chains using the “dark web,” and develop opioid detectors to protect law enforcement officers and canines who come in contact with dangerous doses.
- Border Security: The bill fully funds the President’s budget request for the border wall system with $1.6 billion for construction of the wall. The bill also provides $14.256 billion for Customs and Border Protection and supports the hiring of 375 new CBP officers for deployment to our air and land ports of entry and 375 new Border Patrol agents.
- Section 232 Tariffs: Report language requiring Customs and Border Protection to issue a report on the resources needed to effectively implement Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs.
- Coast Guard: $7.792 billion for the U.S. Coast Guard and provisions prohibiting the Coast Guard from privatizing the National Vessel Documentation Center and reducing staff or mission at the Coast Guard Operations Systems Center – both in West Virginia.
- Disaster Relief: $250 million for Federal Assistance within the National Pre-disaster mitigation fund and $7.234 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund
- Hiring in Rural Communities: DHS is directed to provide a report to the Committee on the challenges it faces recruiting and retaining federal employees in con-contiguous and rural states
State and Foreign Ops
- Summit Point: Directs the State Department to continue efforts to find alternative uses for its interim training facility located at Summit Point, WV.
- Opioids: $280 million for High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas and $99 million for Drug Free Communities programs, as well as strong language prioritizing aid to rural and underserved areas with the highest rates of addiction like West Virginia.
- ONDCP: Rejects the administration’s proposal to move High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas and Drug Free Communities programs out of the Office of National Drug Control Policy where they are best served.
- Broadband: Urges the FCC to move forward with the Remote Areas Fund, coordinate efforts with the Rural Utilities Service, and prevent discriminatory delivery and ensure call completion to rural America. Senator Manchin also secured an amendment that encourages the FCC to consider setting aside a portion of funds from the $4.53 billion Mobility Fund II auction for areas like West Virginia in which infrastructure is more costly to build.
- Community Lending: $250 million for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to promote economic revitalization in distressed communities.
- Small Business: $241.6 million for the Small Business Administration and Entrepreneurial Development and $130 million for Small Business Development Centers
- Buy America: Strong language encouraging the FTC to consider updating “Made in the USA” standards, as well as provisions determining the feasibility of creating a website to provide transparency on government procurement and Buy America regulations.
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