~ On the Senate passage of legislation to fund critical parts of the government ~
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) issued the statement below after voting in favor of a legislative package that will fund the Department of Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration, Department of Transportation, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Veterans Affairs, and military construction projects for Fiscal Year 2024. This package, which passed by a vote of 82-15, comes one month after Congress narrowly averted a government shutdown by passing a stopgap funding bill to keep the government funded at Fiscal Year 2023 levels through November 17.
“While we’re disappointed that Congress has yet to get a full spending bill across the finish line, we’re pleased to see the Senate move forward on a package to fund critical components of the government. This package will help fund veterans’ benefits, nutrition programs for families, affordable housing assistance, local infrastructure projects, military construction projects, and much more. We hope that our colleagues in the House of Representatives will pass this package and help steer us away from a government shutdown and towards proper funding for Fiscal Year 2024 at levels that were agreed upon months ago by the White House, Senate leaders, and a majority of House Republicans,” said Sens. Warner and Kaine.
The Senate-passed legislative package includes:
$154.4 billion for military construction, veterans’ affairs, and related agencies.
- This funding will fully fund veterans’ medical care and benefits and fully fund VA programs. It will help deliver mental health care for veterans, strengthen VA facilities, support critical maintenance projects, upgrade shipyards, improve the resiliency of bases and military infrastructure, strengthen oversight of privatized military housing, and deliver new resources to construct new family housing.
$26 billion for agriculture, rural development, and Food and Drug Administration.
- This funding will support kids and families by fully funding nutrition assistance programs. It will also invest in agricultural research with new funding to support farmers and ranchers and protect the safety of America’s food supply.
$99 billion for transportation, housing and urban development, and related agencies.
- This funding will further strengthen our nation’s transportation infrastructure, including through $150 million to support the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), and $213 million for the Port Infrastructure Development Program, which makes grants available to improve facilities within or related to coastal or inland ports. It will also increase the supply of affordable housing nationwide, and deliver resources to help address the homelessness crisis. It also includes a Warner-led amendment to prohibit the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) from operating, procuring, or otherwise providing funding for drones produced by companies from China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, and Cuba.
As part of the Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations process, members of Congress were also able to work with the communities they represent to request funding for specific community projects in a manner that promotes transparency and accountability. Thanks to advocacy by Sens. Warner and Kaine, today’s legislation includes designated funding for a variety of projects in Virginia, which involve agriculture, nutrition, transportation, housing, and military construction. Sens. Warner and Kaine will continue to advocate for the other projects they secured funding for in the remaining draft government funding bills as they head to the Senate floor.
The projects included in today’s legislation are:
- $2,500,000 to improve the intersection of Minnieville Road and Prince William Parkway in Prince William County to relieve congestion, improve safety, enhance access and connectivity to I-95, Potomac Mills, and Dale City, and support economic development plans for the area.
- $2,031,000 for the Culpepper Garden Senior Affordable Housing Revitalization Project to renovate affordable senior housing to improve accessibility and safety in Arlington County.
- $1,280,000 to create 321 units of new affordable housing in Arlington County, in a high opportunity zone that is close to job opportunities and public transportation, making it an ideal area for economic mobility.
- $850,000 to build a roundabout connecting Stefaniga Road and Lightfoot Drive with Mountain View Road, a main thoroughfare which provides access to I-95 and Mountain View High School in Stafford County. The project will improve walkability and make it easier to travel to the area.
- $4,000,000 to design and plan the construction of a 200-member Army Reserve Center Training Building and a Storage Building on land to be acquired from the Defense Logistics Agency in Richmond.
- $2,000,000 for the Better Housing Coalition to construct 106 affordable rental units in Henrico County.
- $1,749,000 to build a new intersection connecting Harwood Street and Hopkins Road with U.S. Route 1 to improve safety and ensure pedestrian and transit riders have access to sidewalks and transit stops in Richmond.
- $1,000,000 to construct a community center to serve youth in Northumberland County.
- $988,000 for the Virginia Department of Transportation to construct 1.78 miles of a 9.5-mile trail that will connect three rural towns in Lancaster County.
- $650,000 for the Piedmont Housing Alliance to build a permanent location for the Charlottesville Financial Opportunity Center + Housing Hub (CFOC+HH) in Charlottesville, where area residents can go to get financial coaching and support, find help navigating housing options and resources, or get 1-on-1 assistance to prevent evictions.
- $30,000 for the Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity to conduct emergency home renovations and accessibility modifications and assist households with small payments necessary to allow for additional repairs.
Hampton Roads & Eastern Shore
- $3,000,000 for the Norfolk Airport Authority Federal Inspections Services Facility to build a modern customs inspection facility. The new facility will enhance customer experience by expanding capacity for efficient international screening and processing by Customs and Border Protection and acceptance of scheduled international air service.
- $3,000,000 for the Williamsburg Area Transit Authority to construct a transfer facility in York County that will serve as a connection for four bus routes, with planned parking, a customer service area, and real time transit information displays.
- $500,000 for Virginia Supportive Housing to preserve and rehabilitate 60 units of affordable housing and build 40 new units of affordable housing with supportive services, such as transportation assistance, job and financial counseling, and medical care referral services, for those who previously experienced homelessness and very low-income adults from the Norfolk region.
Southwest & Southside
- $7,000,000 for the Virginia Department of Transportation to add additional lanes—an expansion from a two-lane highway to a four-lane highway—to the 2.74-mile Poplar Creek Phase A section and the 2.07-mile Poplar Creek Phase B section of the U.S.121/460 within Corridor Q and the Coalfields Expressway in Buchanan County.
- $3,500,000 for the Virginia Department of Transportation to replace the aging Apperson Drive Bridge and add a 12-foot multi-use pedestrian trail connecting the downstream side of the bridge to the greenway trail on either side of the bridge in Salem City.
- $2,150,000 for the Virginia Department of Transportation to construct two additional lanes and improve drainage on a section of Beaver Creek Drive to service the Patriot Centre Industrial Park in Henry County.
- $1,500,000 for the Appalachia Service Project to reconstruct homes that were destroyed in the recent floods in Buchanan County.
- $1,500,000 for Helping Overcome Poverty’s Existence, Inc. (HOPE) to construct at least 30 units of new, energy-efficient, affordable housing units in HOPE’s Monroe-North development in downtown Wytheville.
- $1,250,000 for the Community Housing Partners Corporation to construct a new 56-unit multifamily affordable housing complex in Blacksburg for low- and moderate-income individuals and families.
- $1,000,000 for the Southside Community Development & Housing Corporation to construct 52 units of affordable housing in Emporia.
- $522,000 for the Ballad Health Foundation to expand access to dental care through the Appalachian Highlands Community Dental Center in the Town of Abingdon.
- $366,000 to complete the Blue Ridge Discovery Center Visitor Center in Smyth County. The visitor center will feature exhibits, interactive displays, and educational materials that highlight the unique natural features of Southwest Virginia.
- $354,000 to improve community safety by expanding and renovating the Emergency Management Service (EMS) building in the Town of Tazewell.
- $90,000 to purchase a new dump truck that will be used to help complete maintenance of the drinking water and wastewater systems in the Town of Cedar Bluff.
- $1,000,000 for the Harrisonburg Rockingham Child Day Care Center to expand capacity for affordable child care in the community.
- $812,000 for the Blue Grass Resource center to restore an 18-room historic inn on the National Register of Historic Places that was built in 1904 in Highland County.
- $575,000 for the Millennium Group to open a child care center and support the Community Health Workers Training Program in Nelson County.
- $94,000 for the Masonic Theatre Preservation Foundation to replace all entrance and emergency exit doors for the Historic Masonic Theatre in Clifton Forge.
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