Courtney Votes for Second District Priorities in House Minibus Appropriations Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) voted to pass H.R. 3055, a legislative package that includes five separate appropriations bills: Commerce, Justice, Science; Agriculture and Related Agencies; Interior and Environment; Military Construction and the VA; and Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The appropriations package includes a total of $383.3 billion, and contains several measures and amendments that support programs and priorities in eastern Connecticut that Congressman Courtney fought for in the bill.
“Today’s passage of our second appropriations minibus represents continued forward progress on many fronts, and it’s a clear sign that we’re continuing to get work done and produce results here in the House,” said Congressman Courtney. “Our bill provides funding to boost a number of important programs here in eastern Connecticut, including full funding for the reconstruction of Pier 32 at SUBASE New London, resources to begin conservation programming at the newly-designated Wood-Pawcatuck watershed, important plus-ups to the Community Development Block Grant program and to programs that combat the national opioid epidemic, and more. The bill also contains an amendment I offered that will provide NIST with the resources it needs to conduct important research on the crumbling foundations crisis facing many of our neighbors. I’m proud to have worked across the aisle throughout the appropriations process to push many of these initiatives across the finish line, and I’m looking forward to continuing to produce results for eastern Connecticut throughout this 116th Congress.”
Highlights of Connecticut Priorities Addressed in H.R. 3055
- $72.26 million in federal funding for the replacement of Pier 32 at Naval Submarine Base New London.
In April 2019, Congressman Courtney wrote to the House Appropriations Committee urging support for full funding of the project in FY2020. Click here to read the letter.
- $3.6 billion for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.
The federal CDBG program supports several projects throughout eastern Connecticut. In April, Congressman Courtney wrote to the Chair and Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies to request robust funding for the CDBG program.
Additionally, following Congressman Courtney’s years of advocacy on behalf of homeowners and others throughout Connecticut who have been victims of the crumbling foundations crisis, federal CDBG funds are being used in the State of Connecticut to support testing of crumbling foundations throughout a number of towns in the state. The increase in federal CDBG funding will enable even more homeowners to utilize this important resource, which may cover 100% of the costs to test a foundation for pyrrhotite, up to $5,000.
- Congressman Courtney’s amendment to provide $4 million for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to conduct research on the effects of the mineral pyrrhotite on concrete aggregate.
NIST is the leading federal expert in cement and concrete standards, and this $4 million in funding for research that pertains to the crumbling foundations crisis comes thanks to an amendment authored by Congressman Courtney. Specifically, Courtney’s amendment will ensure that NIST receives funding to develop a cost-effective and standard testing method for at-risk homes and other structures for the presence of pyrrhotite, and will require NIST to create a risk-scale rating so that homeowners, businesses, and local governments have a better understanding of what quantity of pyrrhotite poses a danger to their foundation’s structural integrity.
- An increase of $1,093,000 to the Partnership Wild & Scenic Rivers program, bringing total funding to approximately $3.37 million.
The new total funding level will be enough to provide baseline funding for the new rivers included in the program, including the Wood-Pawcatuck, and to provide additional funding for already-established rivers like the Eightmile. Rep. Courtney has worked to secure protections for the Wood-Pawcatuck watershed dating back to 2010, when he and Congressman Jim Langevin first introduced the Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Protection Act of 2010.
- $501 million for initiatives addressing the opioid epidemic.
H.R. 3055 provides a $33 million increase in funding over FY2019 levels to combat the national opioid epidemic.