Biden Signs FY 2023 Appropriations Package into Law
RI to receive billions from new appropriations law, including an additional $200 Million in Reed-backed earmarks for RI and key funds for education, housing, health care, transportation, clean energy & more
WASHINGTON, DC – President Joe Biden on Thursday signed a $1.7 trillion appropriations bill that will keep the federal government operating through the federal fiscal year, which ends in September 2023. The new law provides billions of federal dollars to Rhode Island for education, economic development, energy upgrades, health care, housing, infrastructure, public safety, veterans, and more.
U.S. Senator Jack Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, and the Chairman of the Legislative Branch Subcommittee, helped author key sections of the fiscal year 2023 Omnibus Appropriations bill. Reed says the year-long $1.7 trillion spending package includes key victories for Rhode Island and working families everywhere.
“This new appropriations law invests in strengthening our economy and helping working families afford life’s necessities. From child care to education to workforce development, it invests in Rhode Island’s future. It will help keep our nation and communities safe, increase the supply of housing, protect our environment, and includes new reforms to help people increase their retirement savings,” said Senator Reed.
The bipartisan package includes roughly $800 billion in domestic priorities and boosts spending for education, child care, mental health, food assistance, veterans, and additional funds for public safety, including more U.S. Capitol Police. It also provides over $800 billion in defense spending, as well as emergency supplemental aid for disaster assistance around the U.S. and $45 billion in assistance for Ukraine and NATO allies. And it includes notable policy changes, such as overhaul of the Electoral Count Act, new workplace protections for pregnant women and new moms, and broadens access to retirement plans for more workers.
In addition to billions of dollars in federal funding Rhode Island will receive from the omnibus, Reed also successfully included $199.9 million for Rhode Island in Congressionally-directed spending projects – also known as “earmarks” -- to fund numerous projects across Rhode Island. As a result of Reed’s advocacy and leadership, over 100 projects across Rhode Island are slated to receive federal funds in 2023.
“I will continue to be an unrelenting advocate for Rhode Island’s priorities and do everything I can to direct federal funding back home,” said Senator Reed. “This appropriations package will upgrade Rhode Island’s infrastructure and invests over $450 million in enhancing our roads, bridges, airports, ports, and public transit. This bill will put people to work upgrading our infrastructure and help the state attract private investment to drive our economy forward.”
Today, Reed highlighted several key provisions of the law he helped champion, including:
Boosting LIHEAP by Another $1 Billion to Help Households Lower Energy Bills: As many families and seniors on fixed incomes struggle with high energy prices this winter, Senator Reed successfully led efforts to boost funding for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) by an additional $1 billion, raising the overall LIHEAP total for FY23 to $6.1 billion. This vital program helps millions of Americans stay safe and warm.
Strengthening RI’s Infrastructure: Senator Reed worked with his colleagues on the THUD Subcommittee to deliver $1.145 billion for bridges. As a result of funding and formulas in the omnibus, coupled with investments in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), Senator Reed estimates that Rhode Island should receive $111 million for bridge work in FY 23. Additionally, Reed helped include an $800 million pot of competitive grant funding for local infrastructure projects that Rhode Island can compete for a share of through the National Infrastructure Investments program (previously known as RAISE/TIGER/BUILD). Since 2010, Rhode Island has been awarded over $210 million in competitive RAISE/TIGER/BUILD grants.
Community Driven Investment: The bill includes $14.3 billion for Community Planning and Development, an increase of $4.3 billion above fiscal year 2022, including $3.3 billion for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG). This also includes $1.5 billion for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program which has helped preserve approximately 1.35 million affordable homes nationally.
Building More Housing & Growing Opportunity through Homeownership and Rental Assistance: The bill increases the supply of affordable housing, invests in communities’ surrounding needs, and eases burdens on very low-income households. Includes $12.6 billion in funding for new affordable housing, critical health, safety, and maintenance improvements as well as $30.3 billion for Tenant-based Rental Assistance. Reed, the author of the Family Self-Sufficiency Act, helped include $125 million for Family Self-Sufficiency programs to help more families gain skills to increase their earnings, build savings, and make progress toward self-sufficiency.
Preventing & Ending Homelessness: The bill provides $3.633 billion for homeless assistance grants, a 13 percent increase that will serve more than 1 million people experiencing homelessness and includes $75 million for new permanent support housing projects.
More Money for Childcare, Early Education & K-12 Formula Grants: The bill provides $18.387 billion for Title I-A grants to K-12 schools, which will support public schools across Rhode Island. It also provides a much needed $1.85 billion boost for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, for a total of $8 billion, and increases funding for Head Start Programs to nearly $12 billion. These programs support working families and our youngest learners.
Increasing the Maximum Pell Grant Award: The bill includes a $500 increase to the maximum Pell award for a total of $7,395 for the 2023-2024 school year.
Investing in Adult Learners –The bill includes a $729.1 million for adult education programs, an increase of $25 million.
Improving Public Health, Boosting Pediatric Cancer Research & Investing in Suicide Prevention: The bill includes $47.5 billion for the National Institutes of Health, an increase of $2.5 billion. The bill includes $7.32 billion for the National Cancer Institute, including full funding for Senator Reed’s Childhood Cancer STAR Act and an increase of $150 million for competitive cancer grants. It also delivers $501.6 million for the recently launched 9-8-8 Suicide Lifeline. Senator Reed co-authored the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act (Public Law No: 116-172) to designate 988 as a national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline.
Strengthening Retirement Security: To help more Americans save and prepare for retirement, the bill includes SECURE 2.0 language to help people boost their retirement savings, ensure greater access to workplace retirement plans, and provide more workers with an opportunity to receive a secure stream of income in retirement. The bill will allow penalty-free withdrawals for some emergency expenses, let employers offer matching retirement contributions for a worker’s student loan payments, and increase how much older workers may save in employer retirement plans.
Feeding Neighbors in Need: The bill includes a $13.4 billion increase for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and $6 billion for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. It also includes $28.5 billion for Child Nutrition Programs and establishes a new, permanent nationwide Summer EBT program, starting in 2024, to provide families whose children are eligible for free or reduced-price school meal with a $40 grocery benefit per child per month, indexed to inflation.
Spurring Economic Development: The bill provides $1.12 billion for community economic development through the Economic Development Administration (EDA), a $724.5 million increase above the fiscal year 2022 enacted level. This includes $121.5 million for Public Works grants, $39.5 million for Economic Adjustment Assistance grants, and $50 million for the Regional Innovation Program.
Helping People with Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders: $1.01 billion, an increase of $150 million, for the Mental Health Block Grant and $111 million for school-based mental health grants at the Department of Education.
Combatting Opioids: $4.9 billion to combat the opioid epidemic, including a $100 million increase in block grants to states for substance abuse prevention and treatment programs. Importantly, the bill gives states flexibility to effectively use opioid response funds.
Apprenticeship Funding: The bill includes $285 million, an increase of $50 million, to support apprenticeship programs.
Protecting Workers: To ensure safer workplaces and enforcement of existing safety laws, the bill includes $632 million for OSHA, an increase of $20 million, as well as $299 million for the National Labor Relations Board, an increase of $25 million, and it’s first boost in nearly a decade.
Increased Support for Military, Veterans, & Civilian Workers Who Contribute to National Security: As Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Reed successfully led the effort to deliver a 4.6% pay raise for U.S. troops and civilian defense workers. Reed a cosponsor of the landmark PACT Act, also helped deliver a 22.4% increase in support for Veteran Administration (VA) medical care, which provides health services for 7.3 million veterans. The bill also sets aside $5 billion for the Cost of War Toxic Exposures Fund, which provides additional funding to implement the PACT Act, which expanded eligibility for health care services and benefits to veterans with conditions related to toxic exposure during their service.
Full Speed Ahead on Submarine Production: Rhode Island will benefit from several key provisions in the defense section of the bill that Reed helped author, including $14.7 billion for submarines, which will help modernize the Navy’s submarine fleet and fuel a hiring boom for Rhode Island workers in good-paying manufacturing jobs. Reed also helped include $104.1 million for Navy applied research on undersea warfare technologies, led by the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC).
Reforming Electoral Vote Counting Law: In response to the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, the bill updates the 1887 Electoral Count Act to make it much harder for a sitting President, Vice President, or their allies in Congress to manipulate the system for counting and certifying electoral votes to cling to power.
Protecting the Great Outdoors: Senator Reed helped build on the progress of the 2020 passage of the Great American Outdoors Act by including $900 million for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The bill also provides an additional $3.5 billion for the National Park Service.
Clean Water Infrastructure & Environmental Cleanup: Senator Reed led efforts to include over $2.7 billion for Clean Water and Drinking Water state revolving funds; $1.3 billion for the Superfund program; and $100 million for brownfields cleanups.
Clean Air & Pollution Prevention: The bill bolsters foundational federal programs that protect communities from harmful pollution, providing an increase of $72 million for EPA enforcement and compliance efforts. The bill also adds $32 million increase for other EPA clean air efforts; and an increase of $20 million for EPA’s toxic chemical program. The bill also includes $108 million for EPA’s environmental justice program.
Preparing for a Clean Energy Future: As America charges ahead toward a cleaner energy future, the bill includes Senator Reed’s Electric Vehicle Grid Readiness, Improvement, and Development (EV GRID) Act directing the U.S. Department of Energy to study and develop a plan to prepare the nation’s power grid for the influx of electricity demand related to EV adoption.
Assisting Local Firefighters: To help local fire departments protect the public, Senator Reed helped include $720 million for firefighter grant programs, of which $360 million is for firefighter equipment grants (AFG) and $360 million is for firefighter hiring and retention (SAFER) grants.
Preventing Domestic Violence: Includes a record $700 million investment under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) to help combat domestic violence.
Supporting Public Libraries & Local Museums, Arts and Humanities: The Senate’s leading champion of public libraries, Senator Reed delivered a 10% increase for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), including $180 million for library grants to states and $4 million for the information literacy task force. Senator Reed also leads the effort to fund the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, with each receiving a boost of $27 million for a total of $207 million to each agency.
Lead Poisoning Prevention: In an effort to reduce childhood exposure to lead, Senator Reed helped deliver $410 million for the Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes.
Supporting the United States Coast Guard & NOAA: The bill includes $11.6 billion for USCG operations and assets. It also delivers $6.2 billion, for NOAA, including $1.09 billion for the National Marine Fisheries Service, and $24 million set aside for climate research.
Championing Democracy: Senator Reed championed the inclusion of an additional $300 million for democracy programs, bringing the total to $2.9 billion. These programs are a critical national security tool to help stabilize emerging or fragile democracies and build institutional resilience against foreign malign influence and rising authoritarianism.
Combatting Polio: Senator Reed successfully fought for the inclusion of an additional $12 million in funding for polio eradication efforts at the CDC and USAID, bringing the total US government commitment to $265 million in FY23. While global polio incidence has been reduced by more than 99 percent, new cases have been reported in the United States, UK, Israel, Mozambique, and Malawi. This increased investment will allow the US to strengthen its global leadership role in efforts to eradicate polio and prevent its widespread return to the U.S.
Funding the Legislative Branch & Securing the U.S. Capitol: Under Reed’s leadership of the Legislative Branch Subcommittee, the bill makes key investments to ensure an efficient, effective, functioning government that works for the American people. It makes key investments in both resources and staffing to protect the Capitol complex, workers, and keep visitors safe. It also continues upgrades to Congress’ physical security and cyber defenses while strengthening the capacity of important legislative branch agencies, such as the non-partisan watchdog Government Accountability Office, which helps enhance transparency and accountability throughout the federal government to save taxpayers money. It also makes needed investments to modernize the Library of Congress operations and technology and make its collection more accessible to the American people.
Biden signed the bill Thursday in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where he is vacationing with members of his family.