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House Passes Four-Bill Appropriations Minibus

WASHINGTON — The House today passed, on a 224 to 189 vote, a package of fiscal year 2021 appropriations bills. The package consists of four bills that fund federal departments including State, Agriculture, Interior, and Veterans Affairs from October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021.

“This appropriations package addresses urgent national priorities, making our country stronger at home and respected again in the world,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey. “The State-Foreign Operations division rejects the President’s ‘go-it-alone’ approach to foreign policy, and instead makes strong investments to confront today’s global challenges and advance American priorities and leadership. Domestically, I am pleased that we have provided strong funding and protections to address rising food insecurity, increase broadband access, build resilience to climate change, and address sharply rising veterans’ health care costs. I am also proud that the package includes strong emergency appropriations to confront coronavirus and support economic recovery. With this bill, we will make the world better, safer, and healthier and give every person a better chance at a better life.”

“Our section of the minibus truly touches the life of every American by robustly funding food and medical device safety, rural and farm production programs, agriculture and medical research initiatives, plus national and international food assistance—among other programs that benefit the America people,” said House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Chairman Sanford Bishop, Jr. “We also included an important amendment to give the FDA the ability to recall unsafe drugs from the market, which are preying on Americans’ fear during this once in a lifetime pandemic.”

“The $36.8 billion FY 21 Interior-Environment funding bill represents the largest investment in our environment and our communities since 2010,” said House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Chair Betty McCollum. “This bill moves us forward – by investing our resources in ways that keep our communities safe and healthy, investing in the protection and preservation of our landscapes and biodiversity, and investing in the arts and humanities. It also moves us in the right direction to meet the federal government’s trust and treaty responsibilities to our Native American brothers and sisters, increasing funding for Indian Health, education, and more. Finally, this bill takes steps to confront our nation’s legacy of racial injustice by removing hateful Confederate symbols from our national parks, because our public spaces must be open and inviting to all. With this bill, we are committed to investing in helping our nation combat the concurrent crises of climate change, tribal health disparities, and environmental justice. I’m proud that this bill reflects the priorities of the American people.”

“This year’s Military Construction and Veterans Affairs funding bill makes critical and serious investments in veterans and military families and reinforces our national security infrastructure,” said House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. “It blocks President Trump from stealing appropriated funds from servicemembers to build an ineffective, nativist wall or to backfill funding for projects he already canceled to do so. It also begins a process to remove Confederate names from bases so that no soldier has to live or train at installations bearing the names of traitors to America’s pursuit of a more perfect union. Amid a global pandemic, we also made unprecedented VA medical system investments to ensure that every veteran has access to the top-notch health care that they deserve, including historic spending for women veterans, mental health, suicide prevention, research, and homeless prevention. This bill also provides robust funding to improve servicemembers’ and their families’ quality of life and continues the fight against Russian aggression and emerging threats in the Middle East and North Africa. In short, this bill ensures our veterans and military families are protected, respected, supported and get the highest quality healthcare they deserve.”

The $259.5 billion package, H.R. 7608, consists of the FY 2021 State-Foreign Operations, Agriculture-Rural Development-FDA, Interior-Environment, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bills.

The legislation rejects the proposed slashing and outright elimination of critical programs in President Trump’s budget, and instead strengthens food security, prioritizes public health and safety, invests in infrastructure, supports service members, veterans, and military families, protects the environment, and combats climate change.

The legislation includes strong emergency funding to help support economic recovery, with investments in critical infrastructure and coronavirus preparedness, response, and relief globally. It also specifically restores funding for the World Health Organization, which President Trump has threatened to cut off.

Additionally, the legislation provides a necessary check on the Trump administration, including by blocking President Trump from stealing appropriated funds from servicemembers to pay for the border wall or to backfill projects already canceled for that purpose and by blocking SNAP rules by the administration designed to restrict program eligibility.

A division-by-division summary of H.R. 7608 is available as a PDF here.
 

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