Scott: Appropriations Package Is A Win for Working Families, Hampton Roads
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), the Chairman of the Committee on the Education and Labor, applauded the House of Representatives for passing H.R. 7617, the Defense, Commerce, Justice, Science, Energy and Water Development, Financial Services and General Government, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Act for 2021.
“Today’s appropriations package demonstrates that the House understands that increased investments are necessary to increase opportunity for families across the nation,” said Congressman Scott. “This funding package will invest in our nation’s infrastructure and public health, expand access to safe and affordable housing, support service members and military families, and take meaningful steps to address the need to reform policing in America. This package provides over $22 billion for shipbuilding to procure nine Navy ships including two Virginia Class Submarines as well as increased funding for many other important projects in Hampton Roads.”
Congressman Scott led two amendments that passed on a bipartisan vote to focus attention on the need to increase funding for Jefferson Lab’s facility expansion and to provide more funding to continue construction on widening and deepening the Norfolk Harbor. The Jefferson Lab in Newport News is home to the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility and will require $9 million to continue their renovation and expansion. The Port of Virginia has been working with the Army Corps of Engineers to widen and deepen the Norfolk Harbor to allow for the increased number and size of containers that can safely pass. The project will require increased federal funds this year to keep the projected timeline intact.
Congressman Scott has also introduced H.R. 7298, bipartisan and bicameral legislation which would extend the deadline for National Disaster Resiliency Competition (NDRC) awardees to utilize the program’s funding until 2025. Currently, Virginia would need to use all of its more than $122 million NDRC grant funds by 2022, but the COVID-19 pandemic has made it impossible to finish those projects by that time. H.R. 7298 is in included H.R. 7617.
Congressman Scott was the lead sponsor of H.R. 7298. The bipartisan bill was co-sponsored by Reps. Elaine Luria (VA-02), Donald McEachin (VA-04), Jennifer Wexton (VA-10), Kelly Armstrong (ND-AL), Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Bill Pascrell (NJ-09), Albio Sires (NJ-08), and Cedric Richmond (LA-02). A Senate companion bill was introduced by Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and John Hoeven (R-ND).
“I am very pleased to see that the extension of the deadline for the use of these funds is included in the appropriations package,” continued Congressman Scott. “The City of Norfolk is extremely vulnerable to coastal flooding. That is why the NDRC grant is so critical, but unfortunately the pandemic has complicated the original timeline of these grants. That is why I introduced this important legislation to extend the NDRC grants by three years and give localities the certainty they need to finish these critical projects.”
“As the Chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor, I was pleased to see that this funding package protects workers’ safety and strengthens workers’ rights by increasing funding for the Occupational Health and Safety Administration and allowing the National Labor Relations Board to conduct electronic union representation elections,” noted Congressman Scott. “The bill also increases investments in programs serving older adults and individuals with disabilities – who are facing particularly difficult challenges during this pandemic. As our education system continues to face an unprecedented test, this package rightly rejects the president’s proposed cut to education funding and would lift a 45 year-old ban on school districts using federal funds to support student diversity.”
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