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July 24, 2020

Trone Secures Funding for Broadband, Veteran Programs, Opioid Epidemic, and Continued Access to SNAP Benefits in Government Funding Bills

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Hannah Muldavin, Hannah.Muldavin@mail.house.gov 

 

Trone Secures Funding for Broadband, Veteran Programs, Opioid Epidemic, and Continued Access to SNAP Benefits in Government Funding Bills 

 

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. David Trone (MD-06) announced the House passed a government funding bill containing four important priorities for Maryland’s 6th District, including funding for broadband, mental health and homelessness resources for veterans, provisions to fight the opioid epidemic, and allowing continued access to SNAP benefits.

Trone fought to include these priorities in H.R. 7608, which totals $259.5 billion in discretionary funding and consists of four FY 2021 appropriations bills: State-Foreign Operations, Agriculture-Rural Development-FDA, Interior-Environment, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs.

“As our communities continue to grapple with the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, funding the programs that help folks the most should be our greatest priority,” said Congressman Trone. “I fought to get some of the top priorities that I heard from Marylanders in this bill, including better access to broadband, more housing and mental health services for our veterans, protecting and extending SNAP benefits for children and families, and resources to help combat the opioid epidemic that is still killing hundreds of people every week people every day.”

Trone’s provisions reflect some of the most important priorities for the 6th District of Maryland. More detail on these provisions is included below:

  • Major Increases for Broadband Funding: Trone helped secure a $345 million increase in the USDA’s ReConnect Program for rural broadband loans and grants. As a member of the Rural Broadband Task Force, Trone has been a constant advocate for increased broadband funding for rural communities in Western Maryland and across the country.
  • Veterans Mental Health and Homelessness Resources: Trone requested additional resources for veterans, including funding for programs targeting mental health and homelessness. In the bill passed today, veteran suicide prevention and outreach programs saw over a $90 million increase and included a provision to strengthen the Veteran Crisis Line, which requires the VA to ensure that individuals who call the suicide hotline receive immediate assistance from a trained professional. The bill also includes an overall increase to VA homeless assistance programs of $81 million.
  • Opioid Epidemic: Trone helped ensure funding for the Bureau of International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement’s Demand Reduction Program, which conducts activities aimed at reducing drug use globally and also helps combat drug trafficking and crime. Trone’s appointment to the Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking this year by Speaker Pelosi uniquely positions him to implement international policies to curb the flow of drugs to the United States. 
  • Blocking harmful SNAP rules: Trone fought to block three rules that would take away SNAP benefits from nearly 4 million people across the country. These rules would otherwise worsen the economic uncertainty among the country’s most vulnerable populations. They include the Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents rule (ABAWD), the Standard Utility Allowance rule (SUA), and the Broad-Based Categorical Eligibility rule (BBCE). 

In addition to the funding Trone secured, H.R. 7608 included a number of notable wins for communities across the country, including:

CORONAVIRUS

  • Gives FDA legal authority to require the recall of unsafe prescription and over-the-counter drugs
  • Restores funding for the World Health Organization, a vital U.S. partner in the fight against COVID-19, which President Trump has announced he will cut off

 FOOD SECURITY

  • Provides full funding for SNAP ($68.277 billion), child nutrition programs ($25.131 billion), and WIC ($5.75 billion)

 INFRASTRUCTURE

  • $15.17 billion in water infrastructure and other infrastructure programs, including $12.97 billion for the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds, and $546 million to get lead out of drinking water
  •  $1.45 billion for rural water and waste program loans, and more than $610 million in water and waste grants for clean and reliable drinking water systems and sanitary waste disposal systems

 ENVIRONMENT & CLIMATE CHANGE

  • $13.83 billion for the Department of the Interior (non-LWCF), $304 million above fiscal year 2020
  • $9.38 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency, $318 million above fiscal year 2020
  •  $521.6 million for EPA’s Clean Air programs and research, $37.9 million above fiscal year 2020

 VETERANS AND MILITARY FAMILIES

  • Provides $12.5 billion in emergency appropriations for VA to address sharply rising health care costs
  • Veterans Medical Care – $90.0 billion, $9.8 billion above fiscal year 2020
    • Mental Health Care – $10.3 billion
    • Homeless Assistance Programs – $1.9 billion
    • Gender-Specific Care for Women – $661 million
  • Military Construction Projects – $10.4 billion, with language ensuring these funds cannot be stolen for Trump’s wasteful border wall
    • Military Family Housing – $1.49 billion, $22 million above fiscal year 2020

 

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