Press Releases

Rep. Houlahan Lauds Passage Of Government Funding Bills That Include Key Pennsylvania Priorities

WASHINGTON – Today, Rep. Chrissy Houlahan voted to pass two bipartisan legislative packages that together comprise all 12 fiscal year 2020 funding bills. These bills both passed the House.

“We were successful today in working across party lines to fund the government and elevate key issues that affect our community, commonwealth, and country,” said Houlahan. “These bills, among other things, fund research on our country’s gun violence epidemic, invest heavily in infrastructure, increase accessibility to affordable health care, combat climate change, and support our military and veterans. I am proud of our efforts to increase funding for programs that promote literacy, increase infrastructure funding for Pennsylvania, protect our planet, ensure women veterans get the care they need, and invest in women and girls around the world".  

This sweeping legislation includes funding to— 

Promote safety and security:  

o $12.5 million to fund research into gun violence and prevention, for the first time in decades. 

o $3.28 billion in grants to State and Local Law Enforcement, an increase of $245.5 million above last year. This includes increased funding for programs like Byrne JAG and Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Program, addressing sexual assault kit and other DNA evidence backlogs; grant programs to address the opioid crisis; funding for Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) programs; and grants to improve the NICS firearms background check system.  

o $2 billion for the DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and $156 million for emergency response and cyber security at the Department of Energy. Rep. Houlahan signed a bipartisan letter advocating for additional funding to protect our nation’s critical infrastructure from cyber threats. 

o $425 million in new grants to improve the security and integrity of Federal elections. As a member of the bipartisan Task Force Sentry, Rep. Houlahan is a strong advocate for securing our election infrastructure.  

Improve access to affordable, quality healthcare:  

o More than $5.8 billion to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which conducts critical research  to combat the spread of infectious diseases. Rep. Houlahan led a letter advocating for full funding for NIAID, and it received a more than $1 billion increase over the President’s Budget.  

o $195 million for the Cancer Moonshot research initiative.  

o Substantial funding for mental health and suicide prevention programs. 

o Repeals the 40% excise tax on high-cost employer-sponsored healthcare plans, also known as the “Cadillac Tax.” Rep. Houlahan was a cosponsor of the Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act. 

o Repeals the tax on medical devices, which will promote innovative research and development into new medical devices that can improve quality of life for millions of Americans.  

Keep our economy growing and develop the workforce for the future:  

o $217 million to help states improve literacy among students. Rep. Houlahan sponsored an amendment advocating for increased funding to this program because she believes literacy is the foundation on which educational and professional success is built.  

o $333 million for the Economic Development Administration (EDA), an increase of $29 million above FY 2019. This includes $2 million is provided for a new pilot project for STEM Apprenticeships to help align the skills of workers and the needs of employers, which Rep. Houlahan championed. The President had proposed completely eliminating EDA. 

o More than $72 million increase in funding for highways and transit improvements in Pennsylvania and a $9.7 million increase for Community Development Block Grants 

o $640 million for the expansion of rural broadband access. Rep. Houlahan signed a bipartisan letter calling for more funding for this program, which is important for our rural economy. 

o $300 million for Community Development Financial Institutions to provide credit, capital, jobs, and revitalizing neighborhoods. Community nonprofits have received  

o $796 million for the Community Services Block Grant, which enables local communities to address poverty and economic insecurity in innovative ways. 

Deliver on our promises to our warfighters and Veterans: 

o $585 million for gender-specific healthcare at the VA. Rep. Houlahan led a bipartisan letter advocating for increased funding to this program. 

o $221 million for suicide prevention outreach at the VA. Rep. Houlahan is the Democratic lead on the bipartisan IMPROVE Act, which bolsters the VA’s suicide prevention programming.  

o $360 million for peer-reviewed medical research at the Department of Defense, including: 

          - $15 million for autism research; 

          - $150 million for breast cancer research; 

          - $6 million for pancreatic cancer research;  

          -  $7.5 million for rare cancer research; and 

          - $165 million for traumatic brain injury research 

o Full funding of programs important to the defense industrial base in Pennsylvania, including the Chinook helicopter, Virginia and Columbia class submarines, and ground vehicles.  

Combat climate change and protect our environment:  

o    $85 million to support continued environmental restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. Pennsylvania’s 6th district is part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  

o    $9.7 million for implementation of the Delaware River Basin Restoration Program. Rep. Houlahan joined bipartisan members from the region in advocating for full funding of this program.  

o    $2.79 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy research funding. 

o    $396 million for the Vehicle Technologies Office, with $40 million for the Clean Cities program, which fosters the development and adoption of clean vehicles.  

o    $139.5 million for the Global Environmental Facility, which supports international efforts to advance low-emissions development strategies and work with major economies on emissions reduction and land use. 

o    Full funding of the Wild and Scenic Rivers program, which supports conservation in our community’s White Clay Creek.  

Empower women and girls abroad:  

o    $32 million for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Rep. Houlahan has introduced separate legislation that would authorize annual funding for UNFPA.  

o    $575 million for international family planning and reproductive health programs. 

o    $851 million for international maternal and child health programs. 

o    $50 million for international programs to increase leadership opportunities for women in countries where women and girls suffer discrimination. 

o    $18 million for Global Women’s Issues at the State Department. 

o    $8.6 million for the Women in Science Girls STEAM Camp, which empowers adolescent girls to pursue further education in the science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM) fields. 

 

Houlahan is an Air Force veteran, an engineer, a serial entrepreneur, an educator, and a nonprofit leader. She’s in her first term representing Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional District, which encompasses Chester County and southern Berks County. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and the House Small Business Committee. 

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