Kaptur negotiates for Ohio priorities in partial bipartisan government funding agreement
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), who co-led Conference Committee negotiations as a member of the Appropriations “Minibus” Conference Committee, announced Ohio priorities secured in the spending deal which covers the Department of Energy, Department of Veterans Affairs, Military Construction, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Legislative Branch.
“Though House Republicans took the long way to a bipartisan, common sense spending agreement, I am glad we finally were able to negotiate with our Senate counterparts and produce this compromise for the American people,” said Kaptur. “We worked hard to make sure this package of bills reflects the priorities of the American people, and we found bipartisan consensus to reject partisan policy riders and the Trump Administration’s proposed cuts to manufacturing and energy research – efforts needed to position our Nation to take advantage of the next wave of innovation.”
“It is my hope that the remainder of the funding bills can be negotiated with the same bipartisan approach between the Senate and the House,” Kaptur concluded.
The final vote on the agreement will take place at the end of this week. Kaptur is the senior-most Democrat on the Appropriations Committee and the Ranking Member of the Energy and Water Subcommittee which oversees spending for the Department of Energy and the Army Corps of Engineers.
Breakdown of key priorities Kaptur fought for:
- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers funding is up 2.5% to $6.9 billion to improve water infrastructure and ensure commerce can flow to Great Lakes ports.
- The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will receive $5 billion more ($86.48 billion total) than in 2018. This includes investment in VA construction and health services like $348 million for opioid treatment for veterans.
- The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy will receive a 2.5% increase to $2.3 billion. This program supports clean energy and energy efficiency programs with the goal of reducing our dependence on foreign energy and reduce pollution.
- DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office received $320 million up $15 million from last year. This office invests in path-breaking, manufacturing research that positions the U.S. to take advantage of changing technology and create jobs.
- DOE’s Advanced Research Project Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) program will receive an increase of 3% to $366 million to drive innovation for a clean energy future. You can read more about this program in an editorial Kaptur authored with experts from Case Western University in the Cleveland Plain Dealer (link).
- Kaptur fought for a $6 million increase ($257 million total) for the Weatherization Assistance Program that helps reduce energy costs for low-income households.
- Language to help move forward on shipping modernization at the Soo Locks, a key shipping terminal for steel in the Great Lakes.
- Language that pushes the Army Corps to take the next steps toward strengthening protections against Asian Carp entering the Great Lakes.
- Language to ensure interns working in Congress receive pay for their time. This move opens up this critical opportunity to more citizens who wish to gain experience in the Legislative Branch.