SEPT. 14, 2017
Includes $30 million for Kentucky’s AML Pilot Program in 2018
WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act (H.R. 3354) to fund the federal government in fiscal year 2018.
The legislation includes all 12 annual Appropriations bills, and totals $1.2 trillion, including $87 billion in funding for Global War on Terror (GWOT)/Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO). It funds critical programs like national defense and economic development, while also working to eliminate wasteful spending.
Rep. Rogers, Chairman Emeritus of the House Appropriations Committee, released the following statement about his support of the legislation:
“This bill beefs up our Armed Forces to ensure our brave men and women in uniform are well-equipped to beat back our enemies overseas and keep us safe here at home. It prioritizes our efforts to combat the drug abuse epidemic, providing robust funding for a comprehensive federal response that mirrors Operation UNITE’s successful three-pronged strategy in Kentucky.
“The bill also includes important resources to reinvigorate the economy in our rural coal communities – including strong funding for the Appalachian Regional Commission and another $30 million for the AML pilot program in Kentucky. I have secured two years of funding for this important effort to reclaim and repurpose abandoned mine land to create jobs and long-term opportunities.
“I’m optimistic this important legislation will be signed into law before the end of the year so we can continue to build on our progress in Southern and Eastern Kentucky.”
Though the first four appropriations bills were approved in July, today’s passed legislation combined those and the final eight appropriations bills.
The legislation now heads to the U.S. Senate for consideration.
BILL HIGHLIGHTS FOR KENTUCKY
Combatting Drug Abuse
The legislation reiterates Congress’ commitment to addressing the opioid crisis, providing robust funding for a comprehensive federal response.
Prevention and Treatment: The bill provides $1.86 billion for the Substance Abuse Block Grant to help states plan, implement and evaluate prevention and treatment activities. In addition, this legislation fulfills the second installment of a two-year, $1 billion commitment combatting opioid addiction through the 21 st Century Cures Act and fully funds the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. It also allocates $112 million for CDC Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention and $91 million for Drug Free Communities program. Finally, the bill provides $10 million for a new project to train medical residents and fellows for mental health and addiction treatment in underserved areas that need it the most.
Hal Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program: The bill provides $14 million, $2 million above FY17, to support state programs curbing doctor shopping and out-of-control painkiller prescribing.
Enforcement: The bill supports the Drug Enforcement Agency’s efforts to prevent, detect, and investigate the diversion of controlled substances with $419.5 million, $30 million more than in FY17. It also provides an additional $21 million for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program, which provides help to areas, like Appalachia, tackle high levels of drug trafficking and related violence. In addition, $500 million is provided for the Byrne JAG Program that is critical to law enforcement as they fight against drug use and violent gang activity in our communities.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA): The FDA receives a total of $5.2 billion, including revenue from user fees – $490 million above FY17. This funding will allow the FDA to fully implement new initiatives to encourage development of abuse-deterrent opioids and review new therapies for treating addiction.
Economic Development in Rural Communities
This legislation prioritizes efforts to drive economic growth in rural America, including Southern and Eastern Kentucky.
$182 million for the Abandoned Mine Lands Pilot Program: These funds will enable six participating states to reclaim AML sites in conjunction with economic development projects. Under this funding level, Kentucky will receive an additional $30 million in 2018.
$176 million for the Economic Development Administration: Despite an attempt by the Administration to eliminate this program, this bill funds the EDA at $176M, and language in the bill explicitly provides that the EDA shall continue to provide $30 million to assist coal mining communities.
$122.7 million for Rural Economic Infrastructure Grants: The bill includes $122.7 million to establish the Rural Economic Infrastructure Grant account. The account uses existing authorities from Community Connect grants, Distance Learning and Telemedicine grants, Community Facility grants, and Rural Assistance Housing grants to provide flexibility and maximize impact.
Community Services Block Grant: This legislation provides $600 million to help alleviate poverty and increase self-sufficiency.
$3 billion for Community Planning and Development: $2.9 billion is included for Community Development Block Grants and $140 million for NeighborWorks America. These programs provide communities with resources to address a range of community development needs and seek to serve low income communities.
Fostering Workforce Training and Educational Achievement
$1.7 billion for the Job Corps: This program is a great educational and vocational resource for young men and women. For over 50 years, Job Corps has successfully educated and trained millions of young adults for jobs in high demand industries and trades.
$1 billion for TRIO: The bill provides $1 billion for TRIO programs, $200 million more than what the President requested. These programs serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students and individuals with disabilities as they progress from middle school to college.
Creating Opportunities for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs
$190 million for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI): Despite an attempt by the Administration to eliminate funding for this program, this bill provides $190 million for the CDFI program, which has helped small businesses get off the ground.
$31 million for SBA Microloans: This funding level is the same as FY 2017, and will help small businesses and certain non-profits start up and expand.
Increasing Access to Affordable Housing for Rural Americans
Rural Housing Loans and Rental Assistance: The bill provides a total of $24 billion in loan authority for the Single Family Housing guaranteed loan program, the same as FY17. In addition, the bill includes $900 million in direct loans that provide low-income rural families with home loan assistance. $1.345 billion is also provided for rental assistance for affordable rental housing for low-income families and the elderly in rural communities for renewal of all existing rental assistance contracts.
$890 million to support for rural housing programs: $850 million is included for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program to help state and local governments provide affordable housing options to low-income people. The bill provides $30 million for Section 4 capacity building and $10 million for the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program.
Steps to Reinvigorate the Coal Industry
This legislation stems the tides of Obama’s war on coal, and invests in efforts to revitalize this critical industry.
$7.5 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency: This constitutes a reduction of $528 million below the FY 2017 enacted level.
The legislation supports the President’s proposal to reshape the agency’s workforce by providing resources requested to offer buyouts and voluntary separation agreements to employees.
This bill also reflects the Administration’s goal to rein in outdated, unnecessary and potentially harmful regulations at the EPA. For example, it includes language authorizing the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Secretary of the Army to withdraw the Waters of the United States rule.
MSHA Reallocation of Resources in Response to Coal Mine Decline: The bill reduces funding for MSHA Coal Enforcement to reflect a reduction in the number of operational mines nationwide, and included the following language:
“The Committee notes significant worker dislocations and mine closures as a result of economic conditions throughout the mining industry, and in coal mining in particular. The Committee reiterates its support for the ongoing effort to bring MSHA enforcement into proportion by redistributing resources and activities to the areas where mine production is currently occurring.”
Builds on Progress in Border Security and Emergency Preparedness
The legislation seeks to ensure that our homeland is safe, our borders are secure, and we are prepared for man-made and natural disasters.
$13.8 billion for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) : The bill contains $13.8 billion in discretionary appropriations for CBP – an increase of $1.6 billion above the FY 2017 enacted level. These resources ensure our borders are protected by putting boots on the ground, improving infrastructure and technology, and helping to stem the flow of illegal goods both into and out of the country. Within this total, the legislation includes:
$1.6 billion for physical barrier construction along the Southern border – including bollards and levee improvements – meeting the full White House request;
$100 million to hire 500 new Border Patrol agents;
$131 million for new border technology;
$106 million for new aircraft and sensors; and
$109 million for new, non-intrusive inspection equipment.
$7 billion for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE): The bill provides $7 billion for ICE –$619.7 million above the FY 2017 enacted level. Within this total, the legislation includes:
$185.6 million to hire 1,000 additional law enforcement officers and 606 support staff;
$2 billion – an increase of $30 million above the requested level – for domestic and international investigations programs, including efforts to drug smuggling, combat human trafficking, child exploitation, cybercrime, and visa screening.
$8 million for the Federal Emergency Management’s Education, Training, and Exercises Continuing Training funding: $3 million of this funding is specifically designated for FEMA-certified rural and tribal training, which has benefitted the Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium (RDPC) that operates out of the Center for Rural Development in Somerset, Ky.
$690 million for Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighter Grants: This program provides grants enhance the safety of the public and firefighters with respect to fire-related hazards by providing direct financial assistance to eligible fire departments, nonaffiliated Emergency Medical Services organizations, and State Fire Training Academies. This funding is for critically needed resources to equip and train emergency personnel to recognized standards, enhance operations efficiencies, foster interoperability, and support community resilience.
This is equal to the FY 2017 enacted level and $2 million more than the President’s request. 2016 program recipients from Kentucky’s Fifth Congressional District include the McCreary Ambulance Service in Whitley City, the the Wolfcoal Volunteer Fire Department in Breathitt County, Louisa Fire Department in Lawrence County, Jenkins Fire Department in Letcher County, Freetown Fire Department in Perry County, and the East Bernstadt Fire Department in Laurel County.
Other Bill Highlights
This legislation includes several other of Fifth District priorities, including efforts to preserve the sanctity of life, sustain our amazing national parks, and ensure that every American has access to clean and safe drinking water.
$95 million for Bureau of Prisons construction : This is $45 million more than the enacted FY17 level, and will allow for continued progress related to the federal prison in Letcher County.
$275 million for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) : The bill provides $275 million for LWCF programs – $211 million above the President’s request. State and local recreation and battlefield preservation programs are prioritized, while strategic investments in federal land acquisition are recommended.
$2.9 billion for the National Park Service (NPS) : The legislation contains $2.9 billion for the NPS, a decrease of $64 million below the FY 2017 level. Within the total, the bill retains $55 million targeted to park operations and maintenance to help reduce the deferred maintenance backlog.
$2 billion for the EPA’s Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds: The bill includes a total of $2 billion for these funds, including $1.1 billion for the Drinking Water fund and $863 million for the Clean Water fund. These funds support local drinking water and sewer construction projects, and the bill also provides funding to improve water quality and ensure the safety of drinking water in rural communities through technical assistance grants.
$300 million for the Legal Services Corporation : Despite the President’s attempt to eliminate this program, this bill provides $300 million for the Legal Services Corporation. These funds have been recently utilized by many across southern and eastern Kentucky to help victims of the Eric C. Conn incidents.
Protects the Sanctity of Life : expands a policy prohibiting U.S. assistance to foreign nongovernmental organizations that promote or perform abortions, called “the Mexico City Policy,” to all global health programs.
THE BILL MUST STILL BE APPROVED BY THE U.S. SENATE