Van Hollen, Cardin Advance Maryland Priorities in Senate-Passed Spending Bill
U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin lauded Senate passage Thursday of the Fiscal Year 2020 Appropriations for Agriculture & the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); Commerce, Justice & Science; Interior and Environment; and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development. The package, which provides funding for the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program and safe drinking water, funding for Mallows Bay, the first designated National Marine Sanctuary in 20 years, WMATA/Metro and the Purple Line, now goes to conference with the House of Representatives.
“I am pleased that we were successful in securing vital federal investments for our state. These programs help expand our public transportation, boost critical research and support environmental efforts, including to protect the Bay. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I will continue fighting for these programs that are central to Maryland’s success,” said Senator Van Hollen.
“Every corner of Maryland is helped in some way by the federal resources we were able to secure in this package, from the health of the Chesapeake Bay and clean drinking water, to funds for poultry and aquaculture research, and the core of our transportation infrastructure,” said Senator Cardin. “Working together, using all the tools and resources of our delegation, we are creating partnerships and opportunities that will create and secure jobs, keep our water clean and safe, and protect and our environment for future generations.”
The appropriations package, which passed the Senate Thursday with an overwhelming, bipartisan 84-9 vote, included the priorities below:
Agriculture & FDA Appropriations
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Programs – Boosts spending by $15.7 million for NRCS Conservation programs, preserves the Regional Conservation Partnership Program, which provides resources for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, and provides an additional $25 million for the Watershed and Flood Prevention Program that assist local entities mitigate flood risks.
USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), based in Beltsville, Md. – Provides a $121.7 million increase in funding and directed ARS to conduct research in topics critical to Maryland’s Seafood industry, including Sustainable Aquaculture, and Shellfish Research.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA), based in White Oak, Md. – Provides an $180 million overall increase in funding for the agency with $54.9 million for the FDA White Oak Campus Consolidation and $75 million in authorized funding under the 21st Century Cures Act.
Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations
United States Census Bureau (Census) based in Suitland, Md. – $7.6 billion for Census, a $3.7 billion increase that will fully fund the 2020 Census. In addition, the legislation provides funding for a Mobile Response Initiative that will partner with trusted representatives in hard-to-count communities across Maryland and ensure all demographic groups are represented across our state for the purposes of representation and distribution of more than $900 billion in federal assistance.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), based in Silver Spring, Md. – Rejected the administration’s proposed $880 million reduction, maintains critical climate change research initiatives, and provides additional funding for the newly designated National Marine Sanctuary at Mallows Bay in Charles County, Maryland, the first in more than 20 years to protect the area’s ghost shipyard. In addition, the legislation provides at least $1.5 million for NOAA Chesapeake Bay Oyster Recovery programs.
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), based in Gaithersburg, Md. – Provides a $53 million overall increase to $1.04 billion for NIST, with an additional $10 million for the Quantum Information Science initiative authorized under the National Quantum Initiative Act.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center, based in Greenbelt, Md. – Rejects the President’s proposals to eliminate programs under the Earth science mission that assist with climate science research and maintains critical research jobs at a Maryland facility.
Interior and Environment Appropriations
EPA – Geographic Programs (Environmental Programs Management Account) – First increase in funding in more than five years, up from $73 million to $78.280 million for Chesapeake Bay Program, despite President Trump’s efforts to cut funding for the Bay by 90 percent.
EPA – Geographic Programs (Environmental Programs Management Account) – $1.5 million increase for each of the Small Watershed Grants and Nutrient and Sediment Removal Grants, up from $6 million to $7.5 million per grant program.
Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Funds and WIIN Act Grant Programs – $1.64 billion for CWSRF, $1.13 billion for DWSRF, and $25.816 million for Section 2104 Assistance for Small and Disadvantaged Communities Grants, $19.511 million for Section 2105 Reducing Lead in Drinking Water Grants, and $29.186 million for Section 2107 Lead Testing in School and Child Care Program Drinking Water Grants.
Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Fund – $4.91 million, a $1 million increase. This funding protects the health of the Baltimore Oriole.
National Park Service – Chesapeake Bay Programs
- $3 million for Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails, a nearly $1 million increase, and language for the administration to continue to distribute funding for the program.
- $391,000 for Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail
- $151,000 for the Star Spangled Banner National Historic Trail
- $488,000 for NPS Chesapeake Bay Office
Chesapeake Bay Nutria Eradication Project (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Habitat Conservation – $1.725 million to help protect wetlands in the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge and other Eastern Shore communities from invasive nutria.
Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations
DOT Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) – $150 million.
DOT Amtrak – $2 billion for Amtrak, a $58.4 million increase with $680 million for the Northeast Corridor route, a $30 million increase.
DOT Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Projects (FLTP) Program – $100 million, a $75 million increase. Funds allocated to FLTP can assist necessary repairs on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and the Clara Barton Parkway.
DOT Capital Investment Grant (CIG) Program – $1.978 billion, with funding for the federal share of Maryland’s Purple Line.
DOT Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Grant Program – $1 billion with $15 million available in a set aside for planning grants.
HUD Lead Based Hazard Control and Healthy Homes Lead Hazard Reduction Program – $290 million, an $11 million increase, with $45 million for Healthy Homes Grants and Supports Program.
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