Vermont Business Magazine Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday released the Chairman’s mark of the 12 senate appropriations bills. The nearly $1.7 trillion fiscal year 2023 appropriations package includes $653 billion in non-defense discretionary spending, a 10.1 percent increase over fiscal year 2022; $850 billion in defense discretionary spending, an 8.7 percent increase over fiscal year 2022 and consistent with the bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed by the House; and $118.7 billion for VA medical care, a 22 percent increase over fiscal year 2022. The package also includes $21 billion in emergency supplemental funding to provide the necessary resources to prepare for the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic and to address other emerging diseases that pose a significant threat to public health.
Leahy said: “These bills are an investment in the American people that promote affordable housing, help families put food on the table, support the education and care of our children and young people, combat climate change, improve health care access, and invest in our communities. It is my hope that by releasing these bills, and making clear what the priorities of Senate Democrats are, we can take a step closer toward reaching a bipartisan compromise after months of stalled negotiations. The stakes of inaction are too high to not complete our work. The burden of inflation would make a long-term continuing resolution untenable with grave consequences for communities and families across the country and for our national security. It is my goal to finish our work before the end of the 117th Congress to avoid these consequences. I look forward to continuing to work with my dear friend, Vice Chairman Shelby, and I encourage good faith, bipartisan negotiations on toplines to resume with the urgency that this moment requires.”
Brief highlights of the package include:
- Taking action to address the horrific and wrong Supreme Court Dobbs decision by providing resources to help women where abortion is restricted access care in states where abortion remains legal and protected, eliminates the Hyde and Weldon amendments, and provides significant increases for reproductive health care programs.
- Provides billions of dollars to address the climate crisis, including $2 billion to support FEMA efforts to incorporate climate adaptation, $1.6 billion for the Green Climate Fund, and nearly $4 billion invested in energy efficiency and renewable energy.
- Expands access to affordable housing by investing billions of dollars in constructing new homes, lowering the cost of rent, reducing heating and cooling costs, and provides the resources to help house hundreds of thousands of people experiencing homelessness in our country.
- Supports efforts to address the ongoing opioid and substance abuse crisis, which dramatically worsened during the pandemic and claimed 108,000 lives last year.
- Spurs innovation by investing in science, research and development including $10.3 billion for the National Science Foundation, and $48 billion for the National Institutes of Health.
- Invests in the education and care of our children and young people by providing $20.137 billion for Title I-A grants, $12.036 billion for Head Start, and $7.165 for Child Care Development Block Grants among other investments.
- Expands access to health care and mental health care including $10.5 billion for the Centers for Disease Control, and $1.42 billion for the Mental Health Block Grant.
- Tackles food insecurity by fully funding benefits for the 43.5 million Americans who access the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) every month.
- Provides billions of dollars to respond to natural disasters.
These investments and others advance important policy priorities and help American families with rising costs of living as a result of inflation. It helps families put food on the table, make rent and mortgage payments, and reduces the cost of childcare and higher education.
Enacting full year bills as soon as possible is imperative. A long-term continuing resolution, which continues prior fiscal year funding levels, during the record inflationary pressures the country is currently experiencing would result in devastating cuts to programs that the American people rely on and for our national security. For example, cost increases have decreased the purchasing power of LIHEAP and increased the cost burden on low-income families of heating and cooling their homes. Food price increases have strained senior nutrition programs, which were already struggling under increased demand in the wake of the pandemic. And the rise in the cost of labor and building materials reduced the purchasing power of HOME funds by an estimated 2,500 housing units. Passing a continuing resolution does nothing to address these and other critical shortfalls. The 12 bills released today meet these needs.
A topline summary of all 12 bills prepared by the office of Chairman Leahy is available HERE.
A summary of the emergency COVID supplemental is available HERE.
Below are links to the legislative text, explanatory statement, and a summary for each of the Fiscal Year 2023 appropriations bills:
Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies:
Energy and Water Development:
Financial Services and General Government:
Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies:
Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies:
Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies:
State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs:
Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies:
WASHINGTON (Thursday, July 28, 2022) – Leahy