WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA-03) supported passage of H.R. 7617, a major funding package that included a number of important victories for Massachusetts families. The package contained proposals Trahan successfully advocated for to support the communities of the Merrimack Valley affected by the gas explosions, to protect COVID relief funds for public schools, and to pressure the Trump Administration to allow schools to resume in-person instruction only when it is safe.
“This package is good for the working families I’m proud to represent. Not only does it include my proposal to deliver much needed relief to Merrimack Valley communities harmed by the gas explosions, but it also contains my amendments to protect public school students and teachers from the President’s and Secretary DeVos’s harmful policies. I’m grateful to my colleagues who supported adding these important provisions,” Congresswoman Trahan said. “The Senate should take up this legislation so we can fund the government now and get back to work on delivering additional relief to folks still struggling to make ends meet.”
Trahan successfully included the following provisions in H.R. 7617 that prioritize residents of the Third Congressional District:
Delivering Relief to Merrimack Valley Gas Explosions Victims: Presses the U.S. Department of Justice to use its authority to direct Columbia Gas’s federal settlement funds to these communities rather than be dispersed nationwide.
Preserving Public School Relief: Sends the message to Secretary DeVos that the intent of emergency aid provided under the CARES Act is intended exclusively for public elementary and secondary schools as well as disadvantaged students who are already eligible for aid.
This provision is supported by: AFSCME, AFT, NEA, Center for American Progress, Alliance For Excellent Education, American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children, Learning Policy Institute, Organizations Concerned about Rural Education, School Superintendents Association, National Urban League, Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents, The Arc, and The Education Trust.
Ensuring Student and Teacher Safety: Makes clear to President Trump and Secretary DeVos that federal education funding should not be used to coerce schools into resuming in-person instruction as they consider options to safely begin the school year.
This provision is supported by: AFSCME, AFT, NEA, Center for American Progress, Alliance For Excellent Education, American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children, Learning Policy Institute, Organizations Concerned about Rural Education, School Superintendents Association, Committee for Children, National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Urban League, Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents, The Arc, and The Education Trust.
Studying the Use of Rubber Bullets on Peaceful Protestors: Supported by The American Academy of Ophthalmologists, this amendment directs the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to engage the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Mathematics to study the health effects and injury impacts caused by the use of kinetic impact projectiles.
H.R. 7617 totals $1.3 trillion in discretionary funding and consists of six Fiscal Year 2021 appropriations bills: Defense, Commerce-Justice-Science, Energy and Water Development, Financial Service and General Government, Labor-HHS-Education, and Transportation-Housing and Urban Development. Trahan proudly cast her vote for the legislation, which included a number of wins that will help Massachusetts residents, including:
$107.2 billion in total budgetary resources for the Department of Transportation, $19.4 billion above President Trump’s request
$7.6 billion for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, including studies, construction, and operation & maintenance
$1.64 billion for U.S. Bureau of Reclamation water resources projects, including WIIN Act-authorized projects
$75 billion in emergency funding to rebuild America’s transportation and housing infrastructure
$61 billion in emergency funding to expand the availability of broadband to unserved and underserved areas
$43.5 billion in emergency spending modernize water and energy infrastructure
$24.425 billion in emergency spending to support state and local public health agencies and global health activities
Education and Job Training:
$73.5 billion for the Department of Education, $6.9 billion above the President’s request
$10.2 billion for the Employment and Training Administration, $1.5 billion above the Administration’s request
Urges the Department of Labor to suspend plans to eliminate job training programs at the Shriver Job Corps Center
Servicemembers and Military Families:
Provides full funding necessary to support the 3 percent military pay raise
More than $33.3 billion for Defense Health Programs, including $512.5 million for cancer research and $20 million for Multiple Sclerosis research to prevent, detect, diagnose, and treat MS
Provides a $5 million increase above the President’s budget request for sexual assault prevention and response programs at the Department of Defense and at the Service levels to combat this pervasive problem
$47 billion for the National Institutes of Health, an increase of $5.5 billion above FY20
$50 million, an increase of $25 million above FY20, for firearm injury and mortality prevention research at CDC and NIH
$50.6 billion for Housing and Urban Development, $13.3 billion above President Trump’s request
Blocks the Trump Administration’s rules targeting undocumented immigrants and LGBTQ people
$3.5 billion for Community Development Block Grants, rejecting the President’s proposal to eliminate the program
$356 million for the Economic Development Administration, helping boost struggling communities
$273.5 million for Community Development Financial Institutions, rejecting the Administration’s proposal to eliminate the program
$12 billion across Department of Energy programs to support clean, affordable, and secure energy
$5.45 billion for NOAA, helping address important priorities such as climate research