Marianas funding priorities set

Apr 7, 2019

Funding for schools and veterans, water and sewer infrastructure, food stamps, and lower electricity costs are among the priorities I listed with the House Appropriations Committee this week. Each year Members make their top funding choices known to appropriators through an online system. Alone, and jointly with other Members, I registered my views on how much Congress should spend in fiscal year 2020 on 394 separate federal programs that benefit the Marianas. Highlights:

  1. $17 billion for the Title I Education Funding account, which provided $11.68 million to the Marianas in FY19;
  2. Congressional instructions to the Department of Veterans  Affairs to expand access to health care and other services to veterans in the Marianas and other underserved areas;
  3. $20 million for water infrastructure as we authorized in Public Law 115-270 last year;
  4. Continuation of the 1.5% set-aside for territories in the Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Funds, worth $73 million to the Marianas since I came into office;
  5. $21.488 million for food assistance in the Northern Marianas;
  6. $12 million for Energizing Insular Communities to cut energy costs, as required by Public Law 113-235.

I also led a letter, co-signed by 96 House colleagues, requesting continuation of $22 million in funding for the Gulf War Illness Research Program. Appropriators now compile tens of thousands of requests and begin drafting the 12 separate spending bills for FY20, which begins October 1.