WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House and Senate Appropriations committees filed a $1.15 trillion fiscal year 2016 omnibus spending bill to fund the federal government through September 30, 2016.

U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), Ranking Member of the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittee, played a major role in crafting key pieces of the bill that will help strengthen our economy, create jobs, and make critical investments in America’s future.  The THUD section of the bill provides a total of $57.3 billion – an increase of $3.53 billion over fiscal year 2015 -- for programs that build our transportation network, support housing programs, and spur economic development. 

“I plan to support this legislation.  While imperfect, this compromise appropriations bill goes a long way toward responsibly meeting our most pressing national needs and benefits Rhode Island.  This bill will help protect the American people, improve our infrastructure, and wisely invests in education, innovation, and economic growth,” said Reed.

Speaking about the THUD title of the bill, Reed noted: “These investments yield a high rate of return for the American people.  We were able to protect critical funding for the FAA, which should help keep improvements for T.F. Green on schedule.  The bill includes federal funds to boost transportation and community development projects in Rhode Island that will help keep our economy moving forward.”

Reed also noted that he helped successfully beat back attempts to add several partisan policy riders to the bill, such as those that would have weakened Wall Street reform, eliminated protections for clean air and water, and interfered with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) ability to protect consumers.

Reed helped ensure the final the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 includes key national investments in several areas, including:

Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD): $57.3 billion 

Senator Reed is the Ranking Member of Transportation-HUD Subcommittee.

•           $42.4 billion for the Federal-Aid Highway program, honoring the funding level authorized in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST) of 2015.  This is $2.1 billion more than the funding level previously authorized.  Rhode Island is expected to receive an allocation of $229 million in highway grants.

•           $9.3 billion for transit formula grants, which is $753 million more than the previously authorized level.  These programs provide grants to State and local governments for local investments in roads, bridges, and public transit systems. Rhode Island is expected to receive an allocation of $38 million in transit grants.

•           $2.18 billion for the transit “New Starts” program, a $57 million increase over fiscal year 2015.  Senator Reed successfully restored $595 million from the Senate Committee reported bill to fully fund all transit new start and small start projects in the President’s budget request.

•           $16.3 billion for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), fully funding the budget request for air traffic control, safety oversight, and its facilities and equipment.  The funding provided will allow the FAA to invest in its effort to modernize our nation’s air traffic control system (“NextGen”) while performing needed maintenance on its facilities and equipment.

•           Report language directing the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Amtrak to assess the feasibility study of connecting intercity passenger rail services at commercial airports that are adjacent to the mainline of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor (NEC).  This will fund the feasibility study that Amtrak needs to do to expand services to T.F. Green.

•           $500 million for TIGER grants to support significant transportation projects in a wide variety of modes, including highways and bridges, public transportation, passenger and freight railroads, and port infrastructure. The TIGER program provides an important alternative resource for states and local governments on top of the traditional formula allocation programs that allow communities to make transformative investments in their surface transportation infrastructure, which creates jobs, generates economic development, and improves safety.

•           $869 million for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which will allow for the agency to improve vehicle safety defect investigations and analysis.

•           $3 billion for the Community Development Block Grant (CBDG) program.  Earlier this year, Senator Reed led the effort to restore funding CDBG, which was dramatically cut in the Senate Committee reported Appropriations bill.  His amendment would have increased funding in the Senate bill for CDBG by $100 million -- from $2.9 billion to $3 billion. As a result of the new budget agreement, Senator Reed was able to ultimately restore funding for this program.

•           $2.25 billion for Homeless Assistance Grants, including $42 million in new federal resources to improve oversight, federal collaboration, reform, and interventions for youth experiencing homelessness.

•           $1.9 billion for the Public Housing Capital Fund and $4.5 billion for the Public Housing Operating Fund, a combined $6.4 billion in resources to support the operation and capital management of the nation’s public housing stock. This funding level allows Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) to address the nation’s more than half of the estimated $3 billion of accrued capital need for 2016, and ensures PHAs can take the necessary steps to protect residents from living in unsafe, inaccessible and unsecure homes.

•           $1.4 billion for Amtrak, of which $19 million is dedicated for investments into the Northeast Corridor. 

•           $10.6 billion for Section 8 project-based rental assistance (PBRA) which will fully fund the renewal of all contracts.  The program helps more than 1.2 million low-income individuals with rental assistance, more than half of which are elderly or disabled. 

•           $950 million for the HOME program to create affordable housing opportunities for low-income households.  Senator Reed successfully restored $884 million to the final bill over what was included in the Senate’s original bill. 

•           $75 million for the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program to help public housing and section 8 residents achieve self-sufficiency and economic independence.  This program funds service coordinators and helps link residents to employment assistance, job training, child care, transportation and financial literacy assistance. 

•           $60 million for HUD-Veterans Affairs Supported Housing (HUD-VASH) to provide housing for 8,000 homeless veterans.

•           $175 million for NeighborWorks, including $40 million for the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling program to support communities that continue to suffer from high rates of foreclosures.

•           $110 million for the Office of Lead Hazard Reduction and Healthy Homes.

•           $125 million for the Choice Neighborhoods program that is a critical resource for community-led transformation, leveraging private investment at the local level.  It is a key tool for state and local governments to redevelop severely distressed public or HUD-assisted housing to bring comprehensive neighborhood revitalization to devastated areas.

•           $5.7 million to implement a pilot program that Senator Reed created through the HAVEN Act that would support repairs and modifications, such as the installation of wheelchair ramps, to the homes of low-income veterans or veterans with disabilities.

•           $5 million to restart the Small Shipyard Grant program, which has helped shipyards across Rhode Island recapitalize and become more competitive.  Rhode Island shipyards have received $3.6 million in grants to date helping them to improve their efficiency.  The program helps train a skilled workforce of contractors and welders for commercial shipyards that also supports our military shipbuilding industrial base.

Agriculture, Rural Development, & Food and Drug Administration (FDA): $21.75 billion

•           $6.35 billion for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) to help improve the health and nutritional intake of low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women as well as infants and children up to their fifth birthday.  The bill also provides required mandatory spending, which is outside the discretionary funding jurisdiction of the Appropriations Committee, for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

•           $2.721 billion for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help promote and protect public health by overseeing the safety, efficacy, quality and security of food, human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, and cosmetics.

•           $2.47 billion for the Agricultural Research Service

•           $1.5 billion for the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to support their local field service system.

•           $886 million for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

•           $851 million for the Natural Resources Conservation Service to help protect open spaces and farm land.

•           $222 million for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program and $54 million for the Emergency Food Assistance Program to assist low-income Americans with food provided through food banks, pantries, and soup kitchens.

•           $30 million for school meal equipment grants.  These equipment purchases are long-term investments that help schools serve healthier meals, improve food safety, and expand access to nutrition programs.

Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies: $55.7 billion

Senator Reed is a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS).

•             $29.1 billion for the U.S. Department of Justice to help fight crime and terrorism, protect communities and families, and provide critical grant funding for local law enforcement initiatives.  This includes funding for key operational grant programs that benefit Rhode Island, such as $476 million for Byrne Justice Assistance Grants; $480 million for Violence Against Women Act programs; $270 million for juvenile justice and mentoring grants; and $187 million for Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) hiring grants.

•             $7.46 billion for the National Science Foundation (NSF) to help spark innovation through NSF’s research and development facilities to support today’s scientists, engineers, and technicians, while also supporting education and training programs to build tomorrow’s innovation workforce.  The bill includes at least $160 million for the EPSCoR and provides funding continued work on the Regional Class Research Vessel.

•             $5.8 billion for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which includes funding for the National Weather Service to provide critical weather information to the public, and investments in new and existing weather satellites that are essential to maintain and improve weather forecasts.  The bill provides $80 million to begin building a new Ocean Survey Vessel for NOAA.  The bill includes $1 million to conduct a planning and design study that will evaluate the feasibility of utilizing the pier at Naval Station Newport for NOAA vessels.  Naval Station Newport is currently home the Fisheries Survey Vessel Henry Bigelow and hosts visiting NOAA vessels.

•             $75 million for Coastal Zone Management Grants (that support CRMC), $64 million for Sea Grant, $61 million for Habitat Restoration (including $10 million for Coastal Ecosystem Resiliency grants), $32 million for Ocean Exploration (which supports the Okeanos Explorer and partnerships with URI’s Inner Space Center), $29.5 million for Integrated Ocean Observing Systems, $26.6 million NOAA ocean education program, $9 million for Marine Aquaculture (under Sea Grant), and $6.3 million for NOAA aquaculture.

•             $964 million for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which helps provide technical resources to promote the global competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers and aspiring start-ups.  NIST’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) and Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia (AMTech) will help manufacturers accelerate development and adoption of cutting-edge manufacturing technologies for making new, globally competitive products.  The bill provides $25 million for the new National Network of Manufacturing Institutes, which was authorized in the fiscal year 2015 omnibus appropriations bill and it also includes $31.5 million for the expanded National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCOE).

•             $261million for Economic Development Assistance programs.

•             $1.1 billion to help reduce gun violence and help keep our homes, schools, and neighborhoods safe.  The bill provides $114 million to the FBI to run instant background checks.  It will give ATF $840 million for criminal enforcement, investigations, and inspections tools to enforce gun laws, trace firearms found at crime scenes, and keep illegal guns away from traffickers and criminals.

•             $60 million for the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) program to support research and innovation in STEM fields.

•             $70 million for programs to improve police-community relations, including the purchase of body-worn cameras for police.

•            $7 million to fund anti-heroin task forces.  Competitive grants will be awarded for drug enforcement, including investigations and activities related to the distribution of heroin or unlawful diversion and distribution of prescription opioids. The bill also provides funding for Justice Department grant programs available to state and local governments for residential drug treatment ($12 million), prescription drug monitoring ($13 million), and drug courts ($42 million).

Defense: $572.8 Billion

Senator Reed is a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, and the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee

•           $5.32 billion for the Virginia-Class submarine program, including advanced procurement for the two ships planned in 2017.

•           $167.72 million for the Virginia Payload Module.

•           $1.45 billion for the Ohio-Class Submarine replacement program.

•           1.3% across-the-board pay raise for service members.

•           An additional $34 million for financial literacy training for service members to avoid scams that target military personnel.

•           $138.2 million for Moored Training Ship.

•           $232.75 million for the air and missile defense radar program.

•           $536.6 million for the DDG-1000 destroyer program.

•           $67.45 for the LCS Mine Countermeasure Mission Modules, including the AQS-20 sonar.

•           An additional $18 million to procure submarine towed arrays, a priority for the Navy.

•           An additional $20 million for Navy alternative energy research.

•           An additional $7.5 million for countermine systems and explosives detection technology.

•           An additional $9.5 million to accelerate submarine combat and weapons system modernization.

•           An additional $10.5 million for the Civil Air Patrol.

•           An additional $125 million for peer-reviewed traumatic brain injury and psychological health research.

•           An additional $11.67 million for the Procurement Technical Assistance Program.

•           $250 million for the Rapid Innovation Fund.

•           $5 million for Impact Aid for schools with military dependent children with severe disabilities.

•           An additional $25 million to continue and expand the Special Victims’ Counsel Program to provide services to victims of sexual assault.

Energy and Water Development: $37.2 billion

•             $29.7 billion for the Department of Energy to develop clean energy technologies that combat climate change and create U.S. jobs, modernize the nuclear deterrent, secure dangerous nuclear and radiological materials around the world, and clean up the country’s Cold War environmental legacy.

•            $5.99 billion, for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, including funding for operation and maintenance of water resources projects in Rhode Island, such as Fox Point Barrier ($2,636,000); Woonsocket Flood Control Project ($499,000); Block Island Harbor of Refuge ($350,000); and Great Salt Pond, Block Island ($350,000).

•            $2.07 billion for Energy and Efficiency and Renewable Energy programs.  This includes $215 million for the Weatherization Assistance Program and $50 million for the State Energy Program.

•            $1.375 billion for Naval Reactors, including funding for the Ohio-class replacement submarine.

Financial Services and General Government: $23.23 billion

•             $871 million for the Small Business Administration (SBA).  The bill also provides $231 million for entrepreneurial development grants that provide technical assistance, training, and business planning guidance for starting and growing small businesses.  The agreement includes $18 million for the State Trade and Export Promotion program and $25 million for microloan technical assistance.  It also includes $187 million for business loans and allows the SBA to guarantee up to $26.5 billion in 7(a) loans to expand access to capital for small business owners.  The agreement includes $187 million to support disaster lending to businesses of all sizes, homeowners, and renters recovering after major natural disasters.

•             $1.6 billion for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and $250 million for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).  The bill maintains the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of Financial Research as independent funded agencies.

•             $307 million for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to detect and eliminate illegal collusion, combat consumer fraud, prevent anti-competitive mergers, fight identity theft, and promote consumer privacy.

•             $233.5 million for the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI) to leverage private sector investment in community development projects like affordable housing, retail development, and lending to small businesses, filling some of the gap left by private sector investment after the financial crisis.

•             $95 million for the Drug-Free Communities program, an increase of $1.5 million.

•             $18 million for State Trade and Export Program (STEP) to promote U.S. exports and help organizations like the Chafee Center for International Business at Bryant University which provide assistance to local companies seeking to boost exports.

Homeland Security: $41 billion

•             $10.9 billion for the U.S. Coast Guard to improve readiness, modernize vessels and aircraft, and improve the quality of life for our service members.

•             $4.9 billion for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The bill includes report language secured by Reed instructing TSA to validate claims for reimbursement from T.F. Green and other airports that made security improvements at the their own expense but have never received payment from the federal government.

•             $1.5 billion to equip and train first responders and state, tribal and local officials for homeland security protection and response. 

•             $690 million for firefighter grants for equipment and staffing; $350 million for the Emergency Management Performance Grants; $100 million for the Predisaster Mitigation Program, quadrupling these funds from $25 million in fiscal year 2015; and $190 million for flood hazard mapping and risk analysis, almost doubling the program from $100 million last year.  Mitigation investments save four dollars in disaster recovery spending for every one dollar spent.

•             $819 million for cybersecurity operations in the National Programs and Protection Directorate.

•             $50 million in new funding for the Secretary of Homeland Security to distribute as needed to state and local governments and organizations to prepare for emergent threats from violent extremism and complex, coordinated terrorist attacks.  The bill also provides $3.1 million for the new Office of Community Partnerships, which will focus on countering violent extremism.

•            $39.7 million for DHS University Programs, including the Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence that URI participates in.

The bill also includes $6.7 billion in DHS disaster relief funds.

Interior, Environment and Related Agencies: $32.16 billion

Senator Reed is a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies and a former Chairman of the panel.

•           $12 billion for the U.S. Department of the Interior.  Included in this funding are expenses for the National Park Service ($2.9 billion), the Fish and Wildlife Service ($1.5 billion), and the Bureau of Land Management ($1.2 billion).  The Forest Service is funded at $5.66 billion.

•           $927,000 to continue funding the newly created Blackstone River Valley National Historic Park.

•           $8.1 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  Included in the funding for EPA is $1.394 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and $863 million for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, which help create jobs and provide clean water to communities throughout the country by supporting water infrastructure modernization projects. 

•           $428 million for EPA Geographic Programs, including a total of $5 million for Southern New England estuaries. 

•           $4.2 billion for firefighting and hazardous fuels reduction activities on federal lands.

•           $840.2 million for Smithsonian Institution programs and facilities construction.

•           $148 million each for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to support arts and humanities programs.

•           $450 million from LWCF, with more than 50 percent directed to state and local recreation and conservation. These funds will help ensure that public land is protected and available for recreation.

•           $482 million for the operations of national wildlife refuges. 

•           $9.549 million for the Beaches Protection grants program. 

Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee (Labor-H): $162.1 billion

Senator Reed is a member of the Senate Labor-H Subcommittee.

•             $32 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  It includes specific increases for Alzheimer’s disease research, brain research, antibiotic research, and the Precision Medicine Initiative.  Plus, it provides a general increase to all NIH Institutes and Centers to continue basic bio-medical research and translational research

•             $22.475 billion for Pell Grants to maintain the maximum discretionary award level at $4,860 for the 2016-2017 school year.  Combined with mandatory funding, the total maximum award is estimated to increase by $140 to $5,915.  There will be approximately 8.4 million Pell Grant recipients during the 2016-2017 school year, an increase of more than 100,000 students compared to the current school year.  This funding level represents a $300 million increase from previous bills. 

•             $3.39 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), to allow states to provide home energy assistance to low-income households this winter and coming summer.

•             $14.9 billion for Title I funding (a $500 million increase) to help schools meet high academic achievement standards.  Roughly 90 percent of the nation’s school districts receive title I funding. 

•             $11.9 billion for IDEA/Special Education Part B grants to states, an increase of $415 million.

•             $9.2 billion for Head Start (a $570 million increase).  This includes a $135 million increase to expand Early Head Start, which provides high-quality early childhood services for children and families from before birth to age three, including through Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships and an increase of $294 million for a “down payment” on expansion of Head Start to full-day/full-year services. 

•             $2.76 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), a $326 million increase.

•             $1.552 billion, an increase of $155 million more than last year, for the Student Aid Administration, to support high-quality loan servicing and administration of student aid programs.

•             $250 million to continue support for Preschool Development Grants.  At this level of funding, Rhode Island is slated to receive about $6 million to support and expand pre-K programs in Rhode Island. 

•             $7.2 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  This includes $70 million to increase efforts to combat prescription drug overdose abuse with evidence based activities.

•             $3.8 billion for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).  This includes $47 million directed to addressing the burgeoning epidemic of prescription drug and heroin overdose.

•             $1.5 billion for Community Health Centers (CHCs) to provide comprehensive, quality health care services to medically underserved communities and vulnerable populations.

•             $2.71 billion, an increase of $86 million, for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Grants to states to provide job training skills and assistance to low-skilled adults, dislocated workers and low-income youth with barriers to employment.  Restores the governor’s set aside under WIOA to 15 percent.

•             $1.689 billion for Job Corps to help young Americans receive education, job training, and employment assistance.

•             $1.1 billion for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) to help more than 5 million Americans improve the lives of their fellow citizens through its core programs to strengthen communities and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering. 

•             $1.22 billion to help low-income and first generation college students plan, prepare for, and succeed in college through the TRIO ($900 million) and GEAR UP ($322.75 million) programs.

•             $582 million for Adult Education State Grants, an increase of $13 million. Thirty-six million adults lack basic literacy and numeracy skills and are not well-positioned to compete for living wage jobs in the 21st century economy.

•             $271.1 million for Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS).

•             $90 million for a new Apprenticeship Grant program, which will support competitive grants to states to increase their capacity to register and oversee apprenticeship programs

•             $85 million for YouthBuild, which helps young people get a second chance at earning their high school diploma while learning valuable occupational and life management skills. 

•             $43.1 million for the Teacher Quality Partnership Grant program to continue this partnership program between colleges of education and high need school districts.

•             $27 million for Innovative Approaches to Literacy, Senator Reed’s initiative to support school libraries and literacy programs that ensure that children have access to books in the home. 

•             $295 million for Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education (CHGME).

•             $17 million for the Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

•            $1.1 billion for the Corporation for National and Community Service, a $40 million increase.  This includes additional funding to increase by 6,000 the number of AmeriCorps members, who will help meet pressing needs across the country.

•            $230 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services including $182.94 million for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).

•            $77.35 million for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, which supports the Superfund research program at Brown University.

Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies (MilCon-VA): $79.9 billion

Senator Reed is a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies.

In addition to $79.9 billion in discretionary funding, the bill also provides $91.3 billion in mandatory funding for the VA and provides $63.3 billion in fiscal year 2017 advance funding for veterans health care and $103 billion for fiscal year 2017 advance funding for the VA’s compensation and pensions mandatory accounts.

•           $50 billion for VA medical services, an increase of $4.7 billion, to provide care and treatment for approximately 7 million veterans nationwide.

•           $7.5 billion for mental health services for veterans, including $381 million for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, $612 million for substance abuse treatment, and $144 million for suicide prevention outreach. 

•           $2.7 billion to help the VA end its disability compensation claims backlog, $173 million more than last year’s level. 

•           $1.4 billion targeted to eliminate homelessness among veterans.

•           $4.1 billion is appropriated to continue our ongoing efforts to modernize and sustain the VA’s information technology systems.  This includes $233 million to modernize the VA’s electronic health record system, and $19.1 million for the claims appeals modernization effort.

•           $4.7 billion in healthcare for female veterans.

•           $50 million for the Caregivers program.

•           $258 million for readjustment counseling at Vet Centers

•           $1.2 billion for VA construction projects, including building new clinics and repairing existing infrastructure.

•           $631 million for medical and prosthetic research. 

•           $8.2 billion for military construction and family housing.  The bill funds a range of projects to ensure military readiness and quality of life on military bases within the United States and around the globe.  Projects funded in the bill include operational, maintenance, and supply facilities; hospitals and clinics; schools; and barracks and family housing.

•           $551 million for construction or alteration of National Guard and Reserve facilities.

•           $120 million to support grants to renovate and construct state extended care facilities.

In addition to the appropriations measures, the omnibus bill also contains other matters such as tax-relief provisions, cybersecurity, and intelligence-related measures, as well as the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act.  The bill is scheduled to be voted on by both the full U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate later this week.  If passed by Congress it will be sent to President Obama to be signed into law.