Evans: Budget Deal Has Wins for Philly, Would Avoid Shutdown
PHILADELPHIA (Dec. 17, 2019) – Congressman Dwight Evans (D-PA-3rd) said the bipartisan budget deal the House passed today would make real progress in several areas and avoid a new government shutdown if President Trump signs it into law.
Evans said, “For the first time in over 20 years, Democrats have secured federal funding for gun violence research - $25 million to help us direct efforts and funding to fight gun violence in more effective ways. This budget deal is not perfect but it also makes progress on clean energy, environmental protection and lowering the cost of prescription drugs, among many other areas. The new Democratic majority in the House is continuing to investigate AND legislate.”
“Specific wins for Philadelphia include $225 million for the Port Infrastructure Development Program, which the Trump-Pence Administration proposed eliminating; increases or level funding for several housing and homeless assistance programs instead of the more than $1 billion in proposed Trump cuts to those programs; $5 million for high-performance polymers research at Drexel University for the Defense Department; and protecting funding for community health centers, the Minority Business Development Administration and historically black colleges and universities, HBCUs, such as Cheyney and Lincoln.”
Evans said additional wins and specifics for Philadelphia in the deal include:
- HOME Investment Partnership Program, $1.35 billion
- Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI), $262 million
- Homeless Assistance Grants, $2.8 billion, including:
- $80 million for homeless youth
- $50 million for survivors of domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking
- Public Housing Capital Fund, $2.9 billion - Trump proposed eliminating it
- Public Housing Operating Fund, $4.5 billion
- Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, $175 million
- Tenant-based Rental Assistance, $23.9 billion, including:
- $40 million for Supportive Housing for Homeless Veterans (HUD-VASH)
- Project-based Rental Assistance, $12.6 billion
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), $3.7 billion
- Minority Business Development Administration, $42 million
Evans said other highlights of the deal include:
For the good health of families:
- Permanently repealing health care taxes including the so-called “Cadillac Tax”;
- Blocking Trump’s options for sabotaging the Affordable Care Act, by preventing him from ending auto re-enrollment and “silver loading” that helps some patients and insurers;
- Securing record funding for life-saving medical research at the NIH;
- Ensuring strong support for initiatives to lower the price of prescription drugs by increasing competition for generics. The House also recently passed a bill (H.R. 3) that would lower the cost of prescription drugs for most Americans by giving Medicare the power to negotiate directly with the drug companies and making those lower drug prices available to Americans with private insurance, not just Medicare beneficiaries.
- Continuing the historic $1.5 billion for state grants to combat the opioid epidemic;
- Extending and increased Medicaid funding to Americans in Puerto Rico and U.S. territories for two years.
For Americans’ economic and financial security:
- Giving federal civilian employees a 3.1 percent pay raise;
- Reauthorizing the jobs-creating Export-Import Bank;
- Investing billions in smart job training initiatives;
- Extending key tax provisions through 2020: encouraging investments in clean energy priorities like wind and energy efficiency, providing relief for families recovering from recent disasters, supporting investments in low-income communities, and protecting families facing high medical costs or the loss of a home to foreclosure.
For our national security & safety at home:
- Securing $25 million for gun violence research at the CDC and NIH, the first federal funding for this type of research in more than 20 years;
- Securing $425 million for election security grants to protect our elections from foreign attack, which Republicans refused to fund last year.
For our children:
- Strengthening the Families First Prevention Services Act;
- Achieving record funding levels for Head Start, Child Care and Development Block Grants, and Title I schools.
For our values:
- Securing billions to fund a fair, accurate 2020 Census to ensure all Americans are counted and have a voice, which is important for Philadelphia and other communities at higher risk of an undercount that would cut federal funding and their political power;
- Securing strong funding for environmental protection – including the highest funding level for the Land and Water Conservation Fund in 15 years.