e-News 7/21/17

e-News 7/21/17

  • House Appropriations Committee: All Twelve Bills Approved!
  • Next Week: Funding Our National Security
  • New Sanctions Iran
  • Salute: Sussex County’s Perona Farms!


House Appropriations Committee: All Twelve Bills Approved!

I am incredibly proud of the House Committee on Appropriations, which I chair, for meeting the challenge laid down by our colleagues and our leadership to put the House in position to debate its annual funding bills as soon as possible.  Despite receiving the President’s budget more than three months late and waiting for months for the Budget Committee to draft a budget framework, the Committee has now completed the last five of the twelve bills that fund all of the programs, agencies and offices that serve the American people and keep the government open for business.

This week brought final action on the Transportation-Housing, Homeland Security, Interior, State-Foreign Operations and Labor-Health and Human Services bills.   Contained in these bills is funding or language that we deemed important to the American people.  For example:

  • In addition to endorsing over $900 million for the Gateway Rail Tunnel project from New Jersey into New York, the T-HUD the Committee funds Transit Formula grants at $9.7 billion to ensure continued support for  dozens of New Jersey transit agencies.
  • The T-HUD legislation provides $150 million to provide new housing opportunities for “Frelinghuysen Vouchers” for disabled persons, an increase of $30 million from the FY ‘2017 enacted level.    
  • Also in the Labor-HHS bill, funding for the National Institutes of Health is increased by $1.1 billion for total of $35.2 billion, which supports research at universities and hospitals throughout New Jersey. 
  • Labor-HHS bill maintains the robust funding level for programs to address the opioid abuse crisis, felt by communities throughout New Jersey.
  • Inside the Land and Water Conservation Fund another $10 million has been authorized for open space preservation from willing sellers under my Highlands Conservation Act. Preserving the New Jersey Highlands is a major federal priority.  A major source of drinking water located in the most densely populated metropolitan area in the country, the Highlands is a critical area in need of protection.
  • Our State-Foreign Ops bill even singled out the murderer of a New Jersey State Trooper, Joanne Chesimard, as one of the individuals being sought for extradition from Cuba by the Department of Justice.
  • The Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI), which assists high-threat, high-density Urban Areas like the New Jersey-New York Metropolitan Region to build capabilities to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism, is funded at $630 million in the Homeland Security bill. 
  • A key component of UASI, the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, is increased by $25 million to a total of $50 million.  Nonprofit Security Grants provide funding support for target hardening and other physical security enhancements to nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of a terrorist attack.   Synagogues, Jewish Community Centers and schools, including several in New Jersey, were targeted in recent months in a series of bomb threats.

Of course, this brief rundown does not cover all the provisions of our bills. For more details of the 12 bills we have passed, please visit my website here.

You can read the details of the Homeland Security Appropriations bill here.

You can read the details of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations bill here.

You can read the details of Labor-Health and Human Service Appropriations bill here.

You can read the details of the State-Foreign Operations Appropriations bill here.

Next Week: Funding Our National Security

Now that each of the 12 annual Appropriations bills has been completed by the Committee, the House Leadership has decided to consider a four-bill fiscal 2018 appropriations package next week.  The package will include the fiscal 2018:

The first responsibility and the highest priority of Congress is to ensure the safety and security of our nation.  It is appropriate that this critical national security legislation is the first funding package to be debated in the full House.

But all of our Appropriations bills contain important funding for essential programs that serve the American people. I am committed to getting these security bills, as well as every single one of the remaining eight Appropriations bills, through the legislative process and to the President’s desk.

News Sanctions on Iran

The United States slapped new economic sanctions against Iran this week over its illegal ballistic missile program and said Iran’s "malign activities" in the Middle East undercut any "positive contributions" coming from the 2015 Iran nuclear accord.

The U.S. government said it was targeting 18 organizations and people for supporting "illicit Iranian actors or transnational criminal activity."

Those sanctioned had backed Iran's military or Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps by developing drones and military equipment, maintaining boats, and procuring electronic components. Others had "orchestrated the theft of U.S. and Western software programs" sold to Iran's government

Learn more about the sanctions here.

Salute: Congratulations to the Avodoglio Family as they celebrated 100th anniversary of the founding of the Sussex County landmark, Perona Farms!   Read Katie Moen’s story in the New Jersey Heraldabout "a special part of this community."  

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