Scott Statement on Passage of Government Funding Bills

December 17, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.R. 1158 – Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 and House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.R. 1865 – Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020:

“These spending bills mark a bipartisan compromise and will help us avoid a harmful government shutdown. The funding approved in this legislation will meaningfully improve the lives of students, workers, and families across Virginia as well as the nation.”

“I was very pleased to see the 400 Years of African American History Commission got a boost in this legislation. This past August, I joined with fellow Virginians and people from around the world to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first landing of enslaved Africans to the English colonies at Point Comfort, Virginia. In 2017, Congress passed a bill that I sponsored with Senator Tim Kaine to establish the national commission that has, up to this point, been unfunded. This funding package both extends the commission’s mandate until 2021 and appropriates $3.3 million to study and appropriately commemorate this chapter of our nation’s history.

“This package will also benefit the Commonwealth by increasing the Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Program funding to a record total of $85 million which will help restore the Bay. The bills also make critical investments in shipbuilding which received funding to procure multiple Navy ships and aircraft carriers. It also invests in efforts to deploy broadband services to our rural communities, as well as providing funding to ensure the Census is properly administered this coming year. It also supports the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s work in Choice Neighborhoods by providing funding to improve health, income, and educational outcomes for households in target communities.

“As the chair of the Committee on Education and Labor, I was pleased to see this spending package also reject the administration’s proposed cuts to public education, job training, and access to basic health care services. Today, we voted to provide record-level funding for Head Start and America’s public schools. We voted to invest $5.4 billion in job training, including increased funding for job training and increased funding for Job Corps, which the president proposed cutting by 40 percent. We also voted to invest in health services for low-income parents and improving support for victims of domestic violence.

“I am particularly gratified that this bill contains my proposal to protect retiree health care earned by coal miners along with bipartisan legislation to secure their hard-earned pensions.  In addition, it includes a one-year extension of the excise tax rate on coal to preserve benefits for coal miners suffering from black lung disease.

"The funding approved in this legislation represents a responsible compromise, and I look forward to the President signing it.”

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