Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy Releases Fiscal Year 2020 Funding Agreement

Congressional Democrats Reject Dangerous Cuts And Champion Historic Investments In The American People And Working Families…

WASHINGTON (MONDAY, Dec. 16, 2019) – The House Monday released a $1.4 trillion bipartisan, bicameral agreement to fund the federal government through fiscal year 2020, rejecting the devastating and short sighted cuts proposed by President Trump, and making historic investments in the American people and working families.  The agreement took shape late last week when Chairman Shelby, Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairwoman Lowey, and Ranking Member Granger met in Leahy’s Capitol office, mirroring the same successful negotiation between the four that ended the longest partial government shutdown in American history. 

Leahy said: “Any successful compromise will leave both sides unhappy.  But this is a strong, bipartisan bill that makes real and historic investments in the American people and communities.  It rejects the anti-science know-nothingism of President Trump, continues funding to secure our elections ahead of the 2020, and for the first time in decades it makes a real investment in researching the causes of gun violence.  I look forward to working with my dear friend Chairman Shelby, Chairwoman Lowey and Ranking Member Granger in urging our colleagues to pass this bill and send it to the President as soon as possible.”

The agreement flatly rejects the devastating cuts proposed by President Trump that would have completely eliminated several programs that the American people rely on like:

  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance;
  • Community Development Block Grants;
  • HOME;
  • After School And Teacher Training Programs;
  • 37 Rural Development Grant Programs;
  • Legal Services Corporation;
  • The Anti- Heroin And Anti-Meth Task Forces; and
  • Teen Pregnancy Prevention.

On top of eliminating key programs, President Trump proposed devastating cuts to the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and NASA Science among others to advance his administration’s anti-science know-nothingism agenda.  The President would have also crippled environmental protections by slashing the Environmental Protection Agency by $2.6 billion. 

Due to the efforts of Congressional Democrats, these short sighted cuts were rejected in favor of historic investments in programs the American people rely on.  These historic investments include:

  • Child Care and Development Block Grants -- $5.826 Billion;
  • Head Start -- $10.6 Billion;
  • National Institutes of Health -- $41.5 Billion;
  • Education for the Disadvantaged -- $16.3 Billion;
  • Pell Grants – Record Maximum Award of $6,345;
  • State Opioid Response Grants -- $1.5 Billion;
  • Violence Against Women Act Grants -- $502.5 Million; and
  • First Step Act -- $75 Million.

For the first time in decades, the agreement ends the Republican enforced ban on funding gun violence research, providing the Center for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health $25 million to research this epidemic.  In 2017, gun violence killed nearly 40,000 people in the United States.

Congressional Democrats rejected the president’s request of $8.6 billion dollars to build his a vanity-wall along the southern border, providing only level funding of $1.375 billion from fiscal year 2019, the same amount he would receive under a continuing resolution.  If the president chooses to once again steal funding from our troops and their families to pay for his wall, that is a decision that he and Congressional Republicans will have to justify to the women and men who serve and protect our country. 

And importantly, it continues funding to secure our elections by providing $425 million Election Security Grants.  Leahy was the leading advocate to secure funding in fiscal year 2018, and championed the additional funding in fiscal year 2020.  It is widely accepted in the intelligence community that Russia interfered in the 2016 Presidential Election and that the threat of election interference continues today. 

Bill text is available HERE:



A summary outlining how Democrats delivered for the nation and the middle-class by investing in America is available HERE.

A breakdown by Appropriations Subcommittee is available below:


Commerce, Justice, Science


Energy and Water

Financial Services and General Government

Homeland Security

Interior and Environment

Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Programs

Legislative Branch

Military Construction and VA

State, Foreign Operations and Related Agencies

Transportation, Housing and Urban Development 

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CONTACT: Jay Tilton – 202-224-2667