Langevin Supports Funding Package that Prioritizes Families, Service Members, and RI Industry

WASHINGTON -- Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) voted today in favor of H.R. 1865 and H.R. 1158, the legislative package that will fund the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends September 30, 2020. The bipartisan legislation includes record funding for vital social services and schools; historic investments in federal gun violence research, election security, and opioid prevention; strong support for veterans and troops; and full funding for the 2020 decennial census.

“This bipartisan agreement will ensure that the federal government remains open to do its work ‘For the People,’ and it includes many of the top priorities for Rhode Islanders,” said Langevin. “By working across the aisle, we will deliver critical funding that will make a difference for our families and brave service members, enhance national security by directly supporting Rhode Island’s important defense industry, and bolster efforts to make local communities safer and more resilient.”  

The funding packages include a 3.1 percent pay raise for troops and federal civilian employees, $425 million for election security grants to be awarded to states, and $80 billion for Veterans Affairs medical care, including funds to provide homelessness assistance, suicide prevention and outreach, and gender-specific care for women. The legislation also supports a recently announced $22.2 billion Navy contract to produce fast-attack Virginia-class submarines and Virginia Payload Modules in Quonset Point.

“Rhode Island plays a major role in ensuring our nation’s security with fleets of world-class submarines and cutting-edge capabilities being produced by hard-working Rhode Islanders right on our shores,” said Langevin. “I’m pleased that this final funding package makes strides to ensure our warfighters are prepared and never enter a fair fight, all while supporting job creation locally. The bills also reaffirm our commitment to supporting those who have put it all on the line for our nation by prioritizing critical aid and resources for our veterans.” 

The appropriations package includes $185 billion to support job creation, affordable healthcare, and improve education, including record base funding for Title 1 schools, Head Start, and the Childcare and Developmental Block Grant. It also includes more than $61 billion for infrastructure projects such as highways, bridges, railroads, and ports, and $7.6 billion to fully fund the Census and ensure that every person is counted.

Furthermore, for the first time in more than two decades, House and Senate negotiators agreed to fund gun violence research, providing $25 million for federal research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health to try to determine the causes of and ways to stop our nation’s gun violence epidemic.

The bill also continues Congress’s commitment to addressing the opioid overdose epidemic, allocating $1.5 billion for state grants for opioid crisis prevention efforts.

“Despite a growing economy, too many Americans continue to face challenges and struggle to get by. Congress must take action to address the root causes of issues that are undermining the quality of life in our nation,” said Langevin. “We know that good paying jobs, quality education, and safe neighborhoods are essential building blocks for a strong country. With the goal of helping hard-working families get ahead, this bill strengthens this foundation and pushes to make sure that every person can realize the famed American Dream.”

With House approval, the package will be sent to the Senate, and then the President, who is expected to sign it into law.