Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg) released the following statement on House passage of the 12 appropriations bills for fiscal year 2020. The bipartisan, bicameral bills, represent a commonsense compromise and consist of two packages.
The first package, the domestic priorities and international assistance minibus, consists of the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education, Agriculture, Energy and Water Development, Interior-Environment, Legislative Branch, Military Construction-Veterans Affairs, State-Foreign Operations, and Transportation-Housing and Urban Development appropriations bills. It passed 297-120.
The second package, the national security minibus, consists of the Defense, Commerce-Justice-Science, Financial Services and General Government, and Homeland Security appropriations bills, which passed 280-138.
“Today, the People’s House completed the fiscal work of the people. Congress came together, set partisan differences aside, and passed commonsense legislation to keep government funded and operational,” said Rep. Crist. “These 12 appropriations bills reflect nearly a year’s worth of oversight, outreach, and compromise. No legislation is perfect, but I’m proud of the incredible work that went into completing this package.
“In these bills we put Pinellas first – doubling funding to $10 million to fight red tide, providing over $140 million to clean up mold in military housing, and investing in America’s Veterans by providing the largest VA budget ever. I am proud to support passage of this critical legislation and look forward to it being signed into law.”
As a member of the powerful Appropriations Committee, Congressman Crist secured a wide range of funding for critical local programs, projects, and oversight efforts impacting the greater Pinellas community and the families that call our area home:
- $10 million within NOAA for research to combat red tide and other harmful algae blooms
- $23 million to expand and support Veterans Treatment Court programs
- $140.8 million to address mold and other health hazards in military housing, including MacDill AFB
- $12.5 million to Tampa International Airport, to reimburse them for explosive detection systems put in place following 9/11
- $5 million to support new partnerships between VA hospitals and National Cancer Institute-designated facilities, like Moffitt Cancer Center, giving veterans to access cancer clinical trials
- $216 billion in funding for the Veterans Affairs, a record investment for those who fought for our freedom
- $125 million for STOP School Violence Act to harden schools against gun violence
- $200 million for Everglades restoration
- $262 million for Community Development Financial Institutions, providing credit and financial services to underserved communities
- $30 million for C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program
- $17 million for National Cord Blood Inventory
- $98 million for Ex-Offenders Reintegration Programs
- $10 billion for Head Start, providing children from low income families access to education
- $252 million for the libraries and museums
- Increased oversight of detention facilities, including requiring ICE to sever contracts with inadequate detention facilities like Homestead