10.31.19

Gardner Provisions Included in Senate-Approved Appropriations Bill

Washington, D.C. – The United States Senate today passed H.R. 3055, a domestic spending package to fund the Departments of Agriculture, Interior, Commerce, Justice, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and the Environment Protection Agency (EPA). Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) successfully included a number of Colorado priorities in the appropriations bill.

“I’m proud to have secured funding for a number of Colorado priorities in the appropriations package,” said Senator Gardner. “This appropriations bill is important for rural Colorado, with full funding of the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program and an increase of funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund that will help ensure our beautiful public lands are preserved for future generations to enjoy. It also includes my amendment to provide additional funding to combat the scourge of methamphetamines in our communities.” 

Background – Colorado Priorities Sen. Gardner Helped Secure in the Appropriations Package: 

Commerce, Justice, Science, (CJS) and Related Agencies

  • $53 million funding increase for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for a total of $1.04 billion to that agency—a 5% increase over last fiscal year
  • Included in the NIST increase is a $5.5 million increase for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program, which Gardner has championed and has a Colorado presence through Manufacturer’s Edge
  • $242 million funding increase for the National Science Foundation (NSF) for a total of $8.317 billion to that agency—a 3% increase over last fiscal year
  • $2.7 billion for state and local law enforcement and crime prevention grant programs, including:
    • $545 million for Byrne JAG
    • $214 million for initiatives to address sexual assault kit and other DNA evidence backlogs
    • $378 million for Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act programs, such as support for drug courts, mental health courts, and veterans treatment courts, and programs to reduce recidivism
    • $35 million for COPS Office Anti-Heroin Task Force grants
    • $13 million for COPS Office Anti-Methamphetamine Task Force grants
  • Fully funded STOP School Violence Act grants at $100 million
  • Requires the Department of Commerce to release the findings of their Section 232 investigation into automobile imports 

Agriculture:

  • Funds resilient dryland farming research at current enacted levels
  • Prohibits closure of any Agricultural Research Service station
  • Provides funding and direction to ensure hemp regulations are published in time for the 2020 crop year
  • Provides funding for USDA bureaus that do important work in Colorado, including Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Rural Development
  • Provides $8 million to the Farm and Rancher Stress Assistance Network 

Interior:

  • Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is funded at $465 million, an additional $30 million over current enacted levels
  • Provides $2.25 billion in budget cap adjustment funding to mitigate need for fire borrowing
  • Fully funds PILT at $500 million
  • Superfund program is funded at $1.16 billion, an additional $8 million over current enacted levels
  • Provides funding for EPA to continue to pursue publishing a maximum contaminant level for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances   

Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development:

  • Includes $1 billion for Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grants
  • Includes language previously supported by Gardner aimed at continuing service on Amtrak’s Southwest Chief route

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Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.