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Sens. Mark Warner, Tim Kaine Applaud Congressional Passage of Second Bill Needed to Fully Fund Government

Now, "Congress must immediately set its sights on delivering a national security supplemental that provides critically needed assistance to Ukraine in its fight against Russian authoritarianism."

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From Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine:

WARNER & KAINE APPLAUD CONGRESSIONAL PASSAGE OF SECOND BILL NEEDED TO FULLY FUND GOVERNMENT

~ After five months of delays, Congress passes second bill, fully funding the government for fiscal year 2024 ~

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) applauded congressional passage of legislation to fund key parts of the government and avert a government shutdown. Today’s legislation funds major priorities across several federal departments, including the Departments of Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security, among others. This $1.2 trillion legislation, in conjunction with the partial funding bill that passed on March 8, will fully fund the government for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024.

“It took six months of delays, but today Congress managed to fully fund the government for Fiscal Year 2024,” said Sen. Warner. “I’m glad to finally see this legislation through the finish line and I look forward to seeing these federal dollars advance community projects all around Virginia. With our most basic duty now fulfilled, Congress must immediately set its sights on delivering a national security supplemental that provides critically needed assistance to Ukraine in its fight against Russian authoritarianism. Failing to do so would be a grave mistake with decades-long ramifications.”

“It’s frustrating that it took us this long to get here, but I’m glad Congress finally came together in a bipartisan way to fund the government and avoid a painful shutdown,” said Sen. Kaine. “I’m proud that this legislation includes many of the critical Virginian priorities I fought for—from supporting access to affordable child care and securing a pay raise for our servicemembers, to protecting our communities from fentanyl and fostering economic growth. I’m also looking forward to seeing how the funding in this bill for 40 community projects across Virginia will enhance public safety, health care services, and educational opportunities in the Commonwealth.”

As part of the Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations process, members of Congress were able to work with the communities they represent to request funding for local community projects, otherwise known as congressionally directed spending, in a manner that promotes transparency and accountability. This process allows Congress to dedicate federal funding for specific projects in Virginia.

Through strong advocacy, the Senators secured funding in the spending bills for the following projects in Virginia:

  • For projects in Northern Virginia, click here.
  • For projects in Central Virginia, click here.
  • For projects in Southwest Virginia and Southside, click here.
  • For projects in the Shenandoah Valley, click here.
  • For projects in Hampton Roads, click here.
  • For projects that impact communities in multiple regions across the Commonwealth, click here.

The Senators also secured funding in the previous FY24 partial government funding package for an additional 105 CDS projects that will improve transportation, upgrade water infrastructure, support health care, and more. In total, through the FY24 appropriations process, the Senators secured over $178 million dollars that will directly benefit 145 CDS projects across the Commonwealth.

In addition, the budget bills include funding for the following Warner and Kaine priorities:

Providing for Servicemembers: The bill provides a military pay raise of 5.2 percent – the largest military pay raise in two decades. It also boosts the Basic Allowance for Housing by 5.4 percent and the Basic Needs Allowance by 1.7 percent to ensure that servicemembers and their families can put food on the table and afford quality housing.

Addressing the Child Care Crisis: Following vocal advocacy by Kaine, the bill includes $8.75 billion for the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG), which is an increase of $725 million from FY23 and $12.27 billion for Head Start, which is an increase of $275 million from FY23.

Strengthening Virginia’s Shipbuilding and Repair Industries: Provides more than $33 billion for the procurement of eight Navy ships, including two Virginia-class fast attack submarines and one Columbia-class ballistic submarine. It also provides $155 million for multi-use and parking facilities at shipyards to improve quality of life for sailors, $350 million in surface shipyard workforce and infrastructure improvements, and $13.7 billion for ongoing ship depot maintenance.

Investing in the Wellbeing of Sailors: Provides an additional $20 million for the Navy’s suicide prevention and response efforts.

Delivering for Miners: Provides $12.2 million for Black Lung clinics, which serve coal miners with job-related coal mine dust lung disease. The legislation also directs the U.S. Department of Labor to report on their efforts to improve the speed and quality of processing Black Lung Benefits claims. Sens. Warner and Kaine have called for improvements to the Black Lung Benefits program.

Improving Rural Health Care: The legislation urges Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to extend its temporary Low Wage Index Hospital Policy. Sen. Warner has been a longtime advocate for extending this policy, which allows hospitals in rural areas to compete for, and retain, high-quality staff by increasing reimbursements to hospitals in rural areas with lower overall wages.

Supporting Community Health Centers: Provides $1.86 billion for Community Health Centers that provide critical health care to our most vulnerable communities.

Helping Find a Cure for Pediatric Cancers: Provides $12.6 million to fund childhood cancer research through the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act, named after a child from Loudoun County who died from brain cancer in 2013.

Addressing Long COVID: Provides $13.5 million to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to conduct research to address patient-centered care for people living with Long COVID. This funding stems from Kaine’s bipartisan bill, the Long COVID Support Act.

Rural Health: Provides $5 million to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Office of Rural Health to address health care and rural health needs. Kaine cosponsored the Rural Health Equity Act to establish the office in 2021.

Modernizing Public Health Infrastructure: Provides $175 million to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to modernize America’s public health data systems.

Supporting domestic production of personal protective equipment: Includes $10 million to the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response to advance development and production of medical countermeasures.

Assisting Virginians in Crisis: Provides $519.6 million for the 988 Suicide Prevention Lifeline, an $18 million increase from FY23.

Supporting HBCUs and MSIs: Provides $908 million, an increase of $8 million over FY23 funding, to support Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs).

Securing the Southern Border: Includes $1.6 billion for border management needs, including Border Patrol processing facilities, transportation requirements, migrant medical needs, and other related support costs, as well as $495 million for additional Border Patrol agents.

Addressing the Opioid and Fentanyl Crisis: Includes $457 million for the Office of National Drug Control Policy, including $299 million for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program (HIDTA), which provides assistance to federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be critical drug-trafficking regions of the United States.

Safeguarding our Nation’s Capitol: Provides $792 million to hire up to 2,204 sworn officers and 636 civilian members of the Capitol Police.

Relief for Vulnerable Borrowers: Includes language directing the Department of Education to provide a briefing on implementation of the Joint Consolidation Loan Separation Act within 60 days of enactment. The legislation, authored and championed by Sen. Warner, provides much-needed relief for individuals who previously consolidated their student loan debt with a spouse and have no way of severing it, even in the event of domestic violence, economic abuse, or an unresponsive partner.

Expanding Economic Opportunity in Vulnerable Communities: Includes $324 million for the CDFI Fund, which serves mission-driven financial institutions that take a market-based approach to supporting economically disadvantaged communities. Sen. Warner, a former entrepreneur and co-chair of the Senate CDFI Caucus, has been a longtime champion in Congress for expanding access to capital. To combat the loss of economic opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic, Sen. Warner authored legislation to make a record $12 billion investment in CDFIs and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) andsuccessfully fought to include it in the December 2021 COVID-19 relief package.

Restoring American Semiconductor Manufacturing: Includes $100 million, as specified in Sen. Warner’s CHIPS for America Act, for the Department of State’s International Technology Security and Innovation Fund to support the responsible and secure development of semiconductors, telecommunications, and other emerging technologies and their supply chains. Also includes $400 million for the America Defense Fund, as specified within the CHIPS for America Act, to advance defense priorities related to semiconductor manufacturing.

Staying on the Forefront of AI: Includes more than $1.9 billion to advance the Department of Defense’s adoption of artificial intelligence, including $10 million to accelerate the Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Officer’s investments in autonomy.

Keeping our Commitment to our Afghan Allies: Supports an additional 12,000 Special Immigrant Visas for Afghans who risked their lives to support the U.S. during the war in Afghanistan.

Bolstering Global Deterrence: Doubles security cooperation funding for Taiwan up to $108 million, provides $300 million for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), and provides $228 million in support of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania through the Baltic Security Initiative.

Humanitarian Assistance: Includes $8.7 billion in humanitarian assistance to address historic levels of global displacement and broader impacts from Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Building a More Resilient Cyber Infrastructure: Includes $2.9 billion for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) for operations and support; procurement, construction, and improvements; and research and development.

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