09.26.18

House Passes Kilmer-backed Defense Policy in Spending Bill That Also Includes Funds to Help Communities Respond to Opioid Crisis, Increase STEM Education and Apprenticeships

Final Defense bill increases shipyard funding, includes funds to reduce fighter jet noise HHS bill includes funds to help communities address the opioid crisis Education bill includes investments in Apprenticeships, STEM education, Pell Grants, other Kilmer-backed education priorities

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, the House of Representatives passed a bill to fund the Departments of Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services and Education. The bill includes a number of priorities authored or supported by Representative Derek Kilmer (D-WA) including investments in technology to quiet the navy’s E/A-18G Growler, and funding to support the nation’s shipyards.

“Smart investments in the Navy don’t just protect our country, they also protect our region’s jobs and improve our quality of life,” Kilmer said. “This spending bill invests in our shipyards and funds important research that will hopefully reduce the noise of jets that train in our region. I’ll keep pushing for funds that create more economic opportunities for our region.”

Investing in the Shipyard

The spending bill includes a $290 million increase in funding for the Navy’s facilities sustainment, restoration and modernization account which is used for shipyard improvements and enhancement to other Navy installations.

Rep. Kilmer championed an increase in funding to this account to ensure the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Keyport have the most-up-to-date facilities and cutting-edge tools to meet the Navy's mission.  This funding increase was carried over from the House spending bill.

Reducing Jet Noise

Over the past several years, Kilmer has pushed the DOD to fund efforts to reduce the noise of the Navy’s EA-18G Growler through his work on the Appropriations Committee. This year’s bill includes a $2 million investment in technologies that can reduce jet noise.  Kilmer intends to continue working with the Navy to ensure that the Navy remains a good neighbor to residents of the Olympic Peninsula and the surrounding communities.  

Labor-HHS-Education

In addition to defense spending, the spending bill also includes investments in the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Education and $7.9 billion in supplemental funding to pay for disaster response and recovery in the wake of Hurricane Florence and wildfires across the West. 

 

“Communities across the country are dealing with wildfires, hurricanes and public health emergencies, and it is long-past time Congress stepped up to deliver some bipartisan assistance,” Kilmer said. “In addition to funding for natural disasters, this spending bill includes important investments that will help communities better address the opioid crisis, but there’s more work to do: our region needs more mental health beds and more care providers. I’m going to keep pushing for policies that help people seeking treatment for addiction and assist communities responding to the scourge of opioids.”

 

Helping Communities Respond to the Opioid Crisis

The HHS bill includes funds to help communities address the opioid crisis:

 

  • $4.4 billion for programs to respond to the opioid crisis, including prevention, treatment, surveillance, research to develop non-opioid pain medication, behavioral health workforce training, and support for children and families. 
  • $1.9 billion for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Substance Abuse Block Grant, which is the same as the FY 2018 enacted level
  • $1.5 billion for SAMHSA’s State Opioid Response Grants, an increase of $500 million more than the FY 2018 enacted level.
  • $150 million for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics, which is $50 million more than the FY 2018 enacted level
  • $150 million for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics, which is $50 million more than the FY 2018 enacted level

 

Searching for a Cure

  • The spending bill also includes $39.1 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which is $2 billion more than the FY 2018 enacted level. As co-chair of the House Cancer Caucus, Kilmer has advocated for investments in NIH cancer research.
  • It also increased funding for Alzheimer's research by $425 million. Kilmer is a co-sponsor of the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act and he’s advocated for more research into potential cures for Alzheimer’s.

 

Creating more Economic Opportunities for More People in More Places

Kilmer strongly supports programs that make college more affordable. Earlier this year, as Congress debated education funding, he traveled to colleges across the region for public town halls to hear directly from students about college affordability.  He has introduced legislation to modernize the Pell Grant and Federal Work Study programs . As Vice Chair for Policy of the New Democrat Coalition, he helps lead a caucus focused building the tools and workforce American businesses need to compete and in in the changing economy.

 

“In order for America to compete and win in the changing economy, Congress needs to invest in programs that help folks learn new skills and transition to new jobs. The nation also needs to rethink how our educational system prepares our kids for long-term success,” Kilmer said. “I’m pleased this bill includes important investments in apprenticeships, career and technical education and programs like Pell Grants and Trio, which help more folks afford college and create more economic opportunities for more people in more places.” 

 

This bill contains a number of investments that further those goals including:

  • $5.3 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, which is $50 million more than the FY 2018 enacted level
  • $3.7 billion for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which helps families struggling to make ends meet keep their lights on and heat their homes in the winter.
  • $10 billion for Head Start, which is $200 million more than the FY 2018 enacted level. Of the total increase, $50 million is provided for Early Head Start
  • $15.9 billion for Title I Grants to School Districts, which is $100 million more than the FY 2018 level. 
  • $12.4 billion for Special Education Part B State Grants (IDEA), which is $87 million more than the FY 2018 enacted level
  • $1.2 billion for 21st Century Community Learning Centers, which is $10 million more than the FY 2018 enacted level
  • $1.2 billion for Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants program, which is $70 million more than the FY 2018 enacted level
  • $130 million for Education Innovation and Research, which is $10 million more than the FY 2018 enacted level. Of the total amount, $60 million is included for a new STEM and Computer Science competition
  • $1.4 billion for Impact Aid, which is $32 million more than the FY 2018 enacted level
  • $1.3 billion for Career and Technical Education, which is $70 million more than the FY 2018 enacted level
  • $656 million for Adult Education, which is $25 million more than the FY 2018 enacted level
  • $1.1 billion for TRIO, which is $50 million more than the FY 2018 enacted level
  • $360 million for GEAR UP, which is $10 million more than the FY 2018 enacted level
  • $687 million for Aid for Institutional Development and Minority-Serving Institutions programs, which is $6.8 million more than the FY 2018 enacted level
  • $350 million for a discretionary relief fund for borrowers to receive public service loan forgiveness, which is the same as the FY 2018 enacted level
  • Sufficient funding to support an increase in the maximum Pell Grant award by $100 to $6,195
  • $125 million for the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Education, which is $8 million more than the FY 2018 enacted level
  • $160 million for Registered Apprenticeship Grants, which is $15 million more than the FY 2018 enacted level
  • $2.8 billion for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Grants to States, which is level with the FY 2018 enacted level
  • $1.7 billion for Job Corps, which is level with the FY 2018 enacted level
  • $300 million for Veterans Employment and Training, which is $5 million more than the FY 2018 enacted level

###