Castor: Funding Deal Has Perks for Working Families, Tampa Bay
The U.S. Congress passed a bipartisan funding deal Thursday night and averted another government shutdown. U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor released a statement shortly before the vote explaining some of the items in the deal.
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Congress on Thursday (Feb. 14) approved a final bipartisan budget agreement to keep the government open and fund critical investments for Florida and the country.
The U.S. Senate passed the bill by an 83-16 margin. The House of Representatives approved the measure in a 300-128 vote. President Donald Trump has said he will sign the bill.
U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, issued a statement shortly before the House voted that urged Trump to sign it. The statement also laid out some of the items in the budget.
Castor said the bipartisan bill contains $17 billion dedicated to new infrastructure investments and rejects Trump’s “wasteful and ineffective border wall and deep cuts to environmental protection.” It also delivers a 1.9 percent raise for federal public servants, overriding Trump’s decision to deny them an increase.
” We appreciate the sacrifices they and their families make every day including during the 35 days of the Trump Shutdown,” Castor said.
Castor added, “The bipartisan bill includes priorities and investments that will benefit the Tampa Bay area, including $293 million for port infrastructure and $884 million for the Transportation Security Administration. It also includes over $12 billion total funding for the U.S. Coast Guard, $578 million above the President’s request, further enabling the Coast Guard to carry out their all-important job of ensuring our safety – especially in Florida. And, rather than a government shutdown, this budget agreement shuts down President Trump’s attempt deny a pay raise to federal public servants – they will instead receive a 1.9 pay boost. There are more than 13,000 federal public servants in Florida and they deserve a pay raise. What is good for them is good for their families and is good for our entire community.”
Highlights of the bipartisan agreement include:
- $17 billion in funding for new infrastructure investments and robust investments in housing, including:
- $2.6 billion for Federal Transit Administration New Starts
- $22.6 billion for Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers
- $3.4 billion for Community Development Block Grants, rejecting proposed elimination
- $8.8 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency, rejecting $2.7 billion in proposed cuts
- $5.7 billion to combat HIV/AIDS and provide relief
- More than $3 billion to help state and local law enforcement keep communities safe, including:
o $648 million for grant programs to address the opioid crisis and related impacts
o $178 million to address sexual assault kit and other DNA evidence backlogs
o $153 million for COPS hiring grants to help communities hire more police officers
- Billions of dollars for programs that help small businesses thrive and grow
- $435 million for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, rejecting proposed elimination
- $310 million for National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities, rejecting elimination
- $3.8 billion to ensure a fair and accurate count in the 2020 Census, an increase of $1 billion.
“This bipartisan funding agreement is important to the health, safety and stability of our nation, and includes important investments for working families, the Tampa Bay community and our nation – all while reflecting the priorities of the American people,” Castor said.
Castor represents Florida’s 14th Congressional District, which includes Tampa.
For information about Castor, go to castor.house.gov.
Kathy Castor | Budget | Politics | Tampabay News
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