March 01, 2023

Van Hollen Statement on House Republicans’ Decision to Ban Congressionally Directed Spending that Benefits Our Communities

Move represents a reversal from House Republicans’ participation in FSGG congressionally directed spending last year

Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Chairman of the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations Subcommittee, released the following statement on House Republicans’ reported decision to ban congressionally directed spending from FSGG appropriations and other subcommittees: 

“House Republicans are trying to strip away resources that directly support our small businesses, drive economic opportunity, and boost innovation and entrepreneurship in our states. These congressionally directed funds have provided a vital lifeline to our communities, and the Senate will continue to ensure these federal investments are able to boost economic development in our states.” 

Notably, a review from the Bipartisan Policy Center recently found, ‘The 117th Congress restored members’ directed spending in a fiscally and ethically responsible manner by instituting transparency and accountability reforms that make the practice more resistant to the abuses of the past.’

Projects Senator Van Hollen secured funding for in Maryland through his Chairmanship on the FSGG Committee last year include: 

Project Name: Baltimore Community Lending Small Business Development & Resource Center
Applicant: Baltimore Community Lending, Inc.
Description: Baltimore Community Lending has served the Baltimore community since 1989 with flexible financial resources. Funds will be used to acquire a facility to house their Small Business Development and Resource Center to serve as an accessible facility for community meetings, skill trainings, and other educational activities. The Center will provide co-working and business incubation space as well as legal services and support on accounting, procurement, insurance, and other technical assistance to develop start-up businesses.
Project Location: Baltimore City, MD
Amount Included: $1,000,000

Project Name: Maryland Economic Opportunity Center
Applicant: University of Maryland, College Park
Description: Funds will be used to support the Center's work as a hub helping to start, grow, and sustain small businesses from underserved communities across the state by connecting business owners with assistance in planning, financing, marketing, and other services and identifying and filling gaps in services available to the minority and women-owned small businesses. The Center also provides paid internships to UMD students to apply their academic lessons to the real world of helping underserved business owners to succeed.
Project Location: College Park, MD
Amount Included: $2,250,000

Project Name: National Veteran Institute for Procurement
Applicant: Montgomery County Chamber Community Foundation
Description: Veteran Institute for Procurement (VIP) provides technical assistance on government and industry procurement processes, networking and connections to potential customers, and opportunities for veteran-owned companies to stay connected and support each other. Funds will be used to expand VIP training classes to accommodate increased demand and allow up to 450 service-disabled and veteran-owned small businesses to participate in the program.
Project Location: Rockville, MD
Amount Included: $2,000,000 

Project Name: TEDCO Open Institute for Black Women Entrepreneurs
Applicant: Maryland Technology Development Corporation
Description: Funds will be used to support TEDCO's new Open Institute for Black Women Entrepreneurs, a partnership with Maryland's four HBCUs to determine these entrepreneurs' needs at the intersection of research, tech transfer, and education.
Project Location: Columbia, MD
Amount Included: $418,000

Project Name: UMES Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Applicant: University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Description: Funds will be used to convert underutilized facilities into a new Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at UMES, which will provide entrepreneurial resources, business incubator spaces, a Maker's Space, and educational facilities. Services will be free to the public, with the ultimate purpose of bringing economic development to the region and supporting minority-owned small businesses.
Project Location: Princess Anne, MD
Amount Included: $1,500,000

Project Name: AFRO-American Newspapers’ Digitization Preparation Fellowship
Applicant: Afro Charities, Inc.
Description: The AFRO-American Newspapers is the oldest Black-owned business in Maryland and has an archive of approximately three million photographs, several thousand letters, back issues of the paper, and personal audio recordings of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Funds will be used to prepare the physical materials in the AFRO archives collection for future digitization so they can be available to the public. Afro Charities will recruit community members as Fellows to prepare the archive and digitize the collection.
Project Location: Baltimore City, MD
Amount Included: $257,000