Senate Passes Bipartisan Funding Package in 82-15 Vote
Senate overwhelmingly passes MilCon-VA, Transportation-HUD, and Ag-FDA appropriations bills
Sen. Murray: “The three bills we just passed are the first and only serious, bipartisan appropriations bills to clear either chamber of Congress.”
Washington, D.C. — Today, in a 82-15, the U.S. Senate passed the MilCon-VA, Agriculture-FDA, and Transportation-HUD appropriations bills as part of a bipartisan appropriations package. The bills, which were passed out of Committee unanimously this summer, are the first and only bipartisan appropriations bills to clear either chamber of Congress this year. The Senate considered a total of 40 amendments to the package in an open process—and adopted 30 of those amendments.
Upon passage of the package, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said:
“The three bills we just passed are the first and only serious, bipartisan appropriations bills to clear either chamber of Congress.
“These bipartisan bills deliver crucial resources to keep our sacred promise to veterans, help Americans keep a roof over their head and get to where they need to be safely and efficiently, support farmers and ranchers, keep families healthy, invest in our service members, and keep our nation safe.
“Let’s be clear: we have a lot more work to do. While we may need another CR before our work is done, we absolutely have to remember long-term CRs are no way to govern, and they are certainly no way to lead. We all know our competitors across the world are not putting their budgets on autopilot. We need to pass full-year funding, with the investments we need to keep our country strong, safe, and competitive—especially in a moment that truly calls for American leadership.
“Today, we’ve also shown there is a clear roadmap for how we can best get our work done. I am talking with Vice Chair Collins about the next set of bills we’ll work to move in the Senate and continuing work to move a comprehensive, bipartisan supplemental funding package—and we need to start conferencing our appropriations bills with the House. This will require House Republicans to get serious about governing, stick to the spending agreement they themselves negotiated, and work with us to finalize bipartisan bills that meet this moment and address the needs of our families—so let’s get to it and let’s be quick about it.”
On passage of the MilCon-VA bill, Senator Murray, Chair of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee, said:
“It is a top priority of mine to ensure we make good on our promise to veterans. This package fully funds VA and veterans’ medical care and benefits with important new resources to support the men and women who have served our country. It will increase funding for mental health and suicide prevention programs for veterans, get women veterans the medical care they need, support the expansion of the caregivers program, and so much more. It will also help construct everything from housing to child care centers for our servicemembers and military families, make critical upgrades to installations, and strengthen our presence in key regions around the world.”
On passage of the Transportation-HUD bill, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI), Chair of the Transportation-Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee said:
“Our bill directly addresses America’s housing crisis by protecting affordable housing and homeless assistance programs that will help more than 10 million people. It also includes record level of investment in Native housing, and maintains funding to improve public transit, airports, railways, and roads across the country.”
On passage of the Ag-FDA bill, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Chair of the Agriculture, Rural Development, and Food and Drug Administration Subcommittee said:
“From supporting American farmers, protecting our food supply, and promoting the health and well-being of our children, this bill delivers. I am especially proud that this legislation includes funding for important nutrition programs like WIC, which will ensure women, infants, and children will receive the nutrition they need. I remain committed to protecting this vital program.
“We can do good work for the American people when we push partisan politics aside and focus on real solutions for the real challenges facing families today. That’s what the Senate continues to do. House Republicans need to stop wasting time on extreme proposals designed to create chaos and join us in passing serious, bipartisan funding bills that will grow our economy and put families in New Mexico and across the country first.”
As Chair of the full Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Murray marshaled all twelve appropriations bills out of Committee for the first time in five years—and has worked to keep the appropriations process moving by ensuring consideration of the MilCon-VA, Agriculture-FDA, and Transportation-HUD bills by the full Senate and continuing work to get serious, bipartisan bills to the President’s desk as soon as possible. Seven of the Senate’s twelve appropriations bills cleared Committee unanimously—and all bills passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.
Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Bill
The bill, which was voted out of Committee in a unanimous 28-0 vote on June 22:
- Keeps our sacred promise to veterans by fully funding veterans’ medical care and benefits and fully funding VA programs, including by:
- Delivering a $2.3 billion increase in funding to get veterans the mental health care they deserve.
- Providing $557 million more to strengthen VA’s caregiver program and reach more families, $439 million more to support women veterans’ health care, and $23 million to expand the Child Care Pilot Program to eliminate barriers for veterans in need of child care while attending medical appointments.
- Boosting our investments in VA facilities to deliver better care for veterans across the country.
- Investing $938 million in VA Medical and Prosthetic Research to advance efforts related to Traumatic Brain Injury, PFAS exposure, and more.
- Strengthens our national security by delivering a historic funding level to modernize critical military infrastructure and build our presence in key regions around the world, including by:
- Boosting funding to support critical maintenance projects, upgrade our nation’s shipyards, and improve the resiliency of our bases and military infrastructure, particularly in the face of climate-driven threats.
- Providing more than $1.8 billion in funding for projects in the Indo-Pacific Command to support the Pacific Deterrence Initiative, delivering $300 million for projects to support the European Deterrence Initiative, and fully funding the U.S. commitment to support the NATO Security Investment Program.
- Supports our servicemembers and military families, including by:
- Delivering new resources to construct new family housing, maintain and upgrade existing units, and strengthen oversight of privatized housing.
- Increasing funding for child development centers to expand access to child care for military families.
- Providing additional funding to address the threat posed by PFAS and to support environmental remediation at BRAC installations.
Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Bill
The bill, which was voted out of Committee in a unanimous 29-0 vote on July 20:
- Gets Americans safely to where they need to be, including by:
- Increasing FAA’s resources by $1.255 billion to address the shortage of air traffic controllers, improve safety, reduce flight delays, and increase efficiency.
- Addressing rail safety deficiencies after recent derailments with $32 million in new funding for the Federal Railroad Administration to improve safety and operations nationwide.
- Continuing critical investments in America’s transit and highway infrastructure.
- Expanding transportation infrastructure assistance for Tribes.
- Increases America’s housing supply and affordability and addresses the homelessness crisis, including by:
- Increasing the supply of affordable housing with funding to build nearly 10,000 new rental and homebuyer units across the country through the HOME Investment Partnerships Program.
- Delivering $275 million in new funding for Homeless Assistance Grants to help address homelessness in communities across the country, and providing new resources to better connect people experiencing homelessness with health care services.
- Extending funding for the “Yes In My Backyard” grant program to support state and local governments in removing regulatory barriers that contribute to the national housing shortage and unlocking private investment in building more housing.
Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Bill
The bill, which was voted out of Committee in a unanimous 28-0 vote on June 22:
- Invests in agricultural research with new funding to support farmers and ranchers, particularly as they continue to respond to a changing climate.
- Protects the safety of America’s food supply and helps keep American families healthy and safe by delivering new resources for FDA and the Food Safety and Inspection Service to fulfill their critical missions.
- Supports kids and families by delivering additional funding for vital nutrition assistance programs like WIC to help get families the nutrition they need.
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