Congressman Heck Commends the Passage of 2020 Appropriations Bills
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representative Denny Heck (WA-10) voted in support of the two legislative packages that together make up the twelve funding bills for fiscal year 2020. Congressman Heck secured a number of vital provisions in both pieces of legislation that will create and protect U.S. manufacturing jobs, support infrastructure surrounding our nation’s defense communities, fund housing on tribal lands, and invest in veterans programs and Puget Sound restoration.
“These spending bills are a thoughtful, bipartisan compromise that put the priorities of the American people first, and I was pleased to vote in support of both pieces of legislation today,” said Heck. “In addition to properly funding our military, supporting our veterans, and continuing restoration of Puget Sound, I am proud to report that the funding bills included a seven-year reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, a major priority I fought hard to include in the final text. These bills also include, for the first time, funding to support infrastructure needs in communities that serve growing military bases. These are hard-fought wins I am honored to have played a part in securing.”
The domestic priorities and international assistance appropriations minibus, H.R. 1865, includes the conference agreements for the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education, Agriculture, Energy and Water Development, Interior-Environment, Legislative Branch, Military Construction-Veterans Affairs, State-Foreign Operations, and Transportation-Housing and Urban Development appropriations bills.
Among its provisions, H.R. 1865 increases funding for vital housing and homelessness programs including those on tribal lands, supports surface transportation grants, allows crucial funding for gun violence research, supports programs critical to Washington state including the Puget Sound Geographic Program, Port Security Grant Program, and Pacific Salmon Commission, and provides record funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
This legislation also reauthorizes the Export-Import Bank for seven years, a priority of Congressman Heck’s. As the official national export credit agency, the Export-Import Bank sole purpose helps finance exports made in U.S. Because it fills gaps in private trade financing, the Bank primarily serves small businesses and makers of long-lived capital goods. The Export-Import Bank is fundamentally important to entrepreneurship and the U.S. manufacturing economy.
H.R. 1865 passed the House by a 297 to 120 vote.
The national security appropriations minibus, H.R. 1158, includes the conference agreements for the Defense, Commerce-Justice-Science, Financial Services and General Government, and Homeland Security appropriations.
H.R. 1158 supports programs our veterans rely on, fully funds the military and better supports our service members, invests in research and strategies to fight climate change, increases funding for the Violence Against Women Program (VAWA), helps states better secure their elections, and fully funds the Census. It also fully funds the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which oversees foreign investment in the U.S. and in order to protect national security.
H.R. 1158 also includes several provisions led by Congressman Heck, including $50 million for the Defense Community Infrastructure Program (DCIP) to fund infrastructure needs in communities that serve growing military bases. Rep. Heck originally proposed DCIP in 2014 in the COMMUTE Act (H.R. 5290, 113th Congress), and it was first authorized in the FY 2019 National Defense Authorization Act.
H.R. 1158 also fully funds the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe which is a program designed to provide opportunities to adolescents who have left school before earning a high school diploma but demonstrate a desire to improve themselves and lead successful and productive lives. In addition, the bill fully funds the Procurement Technical Assistance Program which provides individualized, intensive assistance to small businesses seeking to enter the defense market. The bill also provides a 3.1 percent pay raise for military and federal civilian employees.
H.R. 1158 passed the House by a 280 to 138 vote.