WASHINGTON, DC – At about 2:00 a.m. on Saturday, Congress approved a $1.2 trillion Appropriations package to fund the federal government.  The bipartisan bundle of six fiscal year 2024 appropriations bills provides crucial funding for education, defense, health care, homeland security, small business supports, workforce development, and more.  It was approved by the U.S. Senate on a vote of 74-24 after previously passing the House of Representatives on a vote of 286-134.  The measure now goes to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law.

U.S. Senator Jack Reed, a senior member of the influential Appropriations Committee, supported final passage of the bill to fund the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends on September 30.

The appropriations package includes $31.1 million in federal earmarks for a variety of Rhode Island projects that Senator Reed successfully included.  That is in addition to the $122.7 million in Reed-backed earmarks included in the appropriations package that was signed into law earlier this month.

Rhode Island will benefit from several key provisions in the defense section of the bill that Reed – who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee and serves on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense – helped author, including more than $16 billion for submarines, which will help modernize the U.S. Navy’s submarine fleet and fuel a continued hiring boom for Rhode Island workers in good-paying manufacturing jobs.  Reed also helped include $101 million for Navy applied research on undersea warfare technologies, led by the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC), and supported by companies and university researchers in Rhode Island.

“This bipartisan appropriations package will help defend our country, improve schools, spur economic development, and invest in promising medical research and innovation and major public health programs. It will expand access to education and workforce training opportunities and help ensure working families and communities here in Rhode Island and across the United States can afford child care and home heating,” said Senator Reed, the Chairman of the Legislative Branch subcommittee.  “I’m pleased Congress came together on a bipartisan basis to put the needs of working families first and pass this bill.  It will improve schools, safety, and support continued economic progress.”

Overall, this appropriations package will fund the following six bills at levels consistent with the bipartisan budget agreement:

Defense, which provides funding for the U.S. Department of Defense;

Financial Services and General Government (FSGG), which provides funding for the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Executive Office of the President, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Small Business Administration (SBA), and other government functions;

Homeland Security, which provides funding for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA);

Labor-Health, and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHSE), which provides funding for the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Labor, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services;

State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, which provides funding for the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Peace Corps and more; and

Legislative Branch, which provides funding for Congress, the U.S. Capitol, the Library of Congress, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Joint Economic Committee and other legislative branch functions.

Senator Reed fought for and won several key victories in the final agreement.  He backed initiatives to help boost child care, medical research, education, and energy assistance through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).  Reed-backed priorities in this second minibus include a $1 billion increase in funding for child care and Head Start early education grants to help lower child care costs and support pre-K options for working parents.  Senator Reed also helped to include over $4 billion for LIHEAP, a $25 million boost over FY23, to help more Rhode Islanders afford their home energy bills.  The bill also includes a $120 million increase in funding for cancer research at the National Institutes of Health as well as a $100 million increase for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias research.

Overall, Rhode Island will receive hundreds of millions of federal funding as a result of Congress passing this appropriations package, including discretionary and mandatory funding. Reed noted Senator Sheldon Whitehouse was supportive of many key earmarks for Rhode Island that Senator Reed secured in the bill, which include:

Labor-Health, Human Services, and Education (LHHSE): $24,747,000 in earmarks, including:

•           $1.8 million for a Midwifery Unit at Women & Infants Hospital

•           $1.5 million for the Expansion of Bryant University’s School of Health and Behavioral Sciences

•           $1.32 million to Upgrade the Providence Center’s Telehealth Services

•           $1.27 million for Technology Upgrades for Rhode Island College’s Professional Studies and Continuing Education program

•           $1.2 million for the Biomedical Workforce Development Training at the University of Rhode Island

•           $1.2 million a CODAC Behavioral Health Center Renovations

•           $1.02 million for a New Financial Aid Management System at Rhode Island College

•           $1 million to Expand Comprehensive Community Action’s Warwick Dental Center

•           $1 million for Family Service of Rhode Island’s Behavioral Health Clinic Facility Renovations

•           $900,000 for College Completion and Workforce Development Services at College Unbound

•           $900,000 for Healthcare Workforce Development Programming and Technology in Westerly

•           $870,000 for AS220’s Emerging Artist Fellowship Program

•           $814,000 for CCRI’s “Community First” Education and Workforce Outreach

•           $750,000 for the RI Coalition to End Homelessness to Provide Supportive Services

•           $730,000 for Experiential Learning Opportunities through Skills for Rhode Island's Future

•           $642,000 for the Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket’s EMPower Hour program

•           $635,000 for the YMCA of Greater Providence to Expand Out-of-School Time Programming

•           $600,000 for Swim Programming at the YMCA of Greater Providence

•           $600,000 for a Mental Health Nursing Internship Program at Providence College

•           $565,000 to Support Science Programs at Rhode Island Schools

•           $500,000 for Career Technical Equipment for Rogers High School

•           $500,000 to Expand Providence Community Health Centers’ Health Center

•           $400,000 for Rhode Island Black Heritage Society Educational Programming

•           $360,000 for a Teacher Apprenticeship Program

•           $300,000 for a Veterans Workforce Training Program at The Steel Yard

•           $300,000 to Support After-School Programs at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Newport County

•           $300,000 for College Access Services in Woonsocket Public Schools

•           $271,000 for Polaris MEP to Provide Advanced Manufacturing Job Training at the Department of Corrections Men’s Facility

•           $250,000 for an Assisted Living Memory Care Facility at Saint Antoine Residence

•           $250,000 for Workforce Development and Youth Leadership Programming at WaterFire Providence

•           $200,000 for an Internship and Mentorship Program at Newport Mental Health

•           $200,000 for Providence Public Library’s Public Education and Workforce Development Programs

•           $200,000 for Agricultural Education at The African Alliance of Rhode Island

•           $180,000 for a Fishing and Farming Workforce Training Program at The African Alliance of Rhode Island

•           $150,000 for Providence Housing Authority’s Jobs Hub program

•           $146,000 for Academic After-School Programming at Project GOAL

•           $110,000 to Expand McAuley Ministries’ Afternoon Activities and Feeding Program

•           $100,000 to Upgrade the Community Libraries of Providence’s Children and Teen Library Materials

•           $100,000 for New England Institute of Technology’s High School Summer Career Exposure Program

•           $100,000 to Expand Wood River Health’s Community Health Center

•           $85,000 to Support Blackstone Valley Community Action Program’s Food Delivery for Homebound Individuals

•           $80,000 for Pediatric Hospice Mental Health Services

•           $60,000 for Rhode Island School of Design’s K-12 Education Collaborative

•           $50,000 for Agriculture and Science Education through the Eastern Rhode Island Conservation District

•           $50,000 for Mental Health and Grief Support Services for Children and Families

•           $50,000 to Expand College Access Programming at Providence Promise

•           $50,000 to Reach Out and Read Rhode Island’s Childhood Literacy Programming

•           $41,000 for Pediatric Hospice Equipment at HopeHealth

•           $20,000 for Books Are Wings’ Early Literacy Mail Program

•           $20,000 for Rhode Island Center for the Book’s Writers-in-the-Schools Program

Financial Services and General Government (FSGG): $5,585,000 in earmarks, including:

•             $2.17 million for Rhode Island Student Assistance Services to Provide Substance Use Prevention and Mental Health Services

•             $1.45 million for Hope & Main’s Food Business Incubator

•             $650,000 for the Rhode Island Black Business Association to Provide Small Business Technical Assistance

•             $550,000 for the RI Commerce Corporation to Expand International Bi-Lateral Trade

•             $400,000 for Rhode Island Commerce Corporation to Manufacturing Succession Planning

•             $360,000 to the Social Enterprise Greenhouse to Provide Entrepreneurship Assistance

Homeland Security: $784,000 in earmarks, including:

•           $639,000 for Flood Mitigation in North Providence

•           $112,000 for a Generator for The Arc of the Blackstone Valley

•           $33,000 for a Generator at North Providence Town Hall

The Legislative Branch section of the bill focuses on key investments to ensure an efficient, effective, functioning federal government that works for the American people.  Under Reed’s leadership, this section of the bill makes key investments in both resources and staffing to protect the U.S. Capitol complex. It also strengthens the capacity of important legislative branch agencies, such as the non-partisan watchdog Government Accountability Office (GAO), 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.

Earlier this month, President Biden signed into law an FY 24 ‘minibus’ appropriations package to fund the following six bills at levels consistent with the bipartisan budget agreement: Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies; Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies; Energy and Water Development; Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies; Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies; and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies.

Reed and his colleagues on the Appropriations Committee are already at work crafting bills for fiscal year 2025 and will need to pass this upcoming set of federal funding bills before the end of September in order to keep the government funded starting October 1, 2024.