Today, the House passed the first of several appropriations bills to fund the federal government through fiscal year 2020. Rep. Greg Stanton voted in favor of the package, which included several measures he pushed for on behalf of Arizona families.
"We worked hard to put together a funding bill that invests in Arizona and improves people's lives," said Stanton. "It includes critical investments that will lift our community--investments in our National Guard, local health centers, early childhood education, opioid abuse treatment and prevention, and assistance for refugees."
The appropriations package, H.R. 2740, is made up of four funding bills: Labor, Health and Human Services, Education; Defense; State and Foreign Operations; and Energy and Water. Overall, it represents a departure from the proposals in President Trump's budget, which dramatically cut or eliminated many valued programs.
Stanton advocated for several Arizona priorities to the Appropriations Committee.
In the Defense bill, he supported the procurement of new F-35 aircrafts, which are flown at Luke Air Force Base, funding for additional resources for the National Guard Black Hawk helicopters to better respond to disaster relief efforts, and much needed investment in life-saving medical research conducted by the Department of Defense. In a bipartisan effort, Stanton and Rep. Debbie Lesko also sent a joint letter to the Appropriations Committee to advocate for resources that support the National Guard's Black Hawk helicopter fleet.
In the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education bill, Stanton fought for a $150 million increase in funding from the FY2019 funding level for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program--America's primary heating and cooling assistance program. Arizona ranks last in the nation when it comes to reaching assistance-eligible populations, including the elderly, disabled, and children. The state's most vulnerable residents continue to be subjected to extreme heat and have been going without federal assistance that could provide financial resources to help cool their homes. Stanton and seven other members of Arizona's delegation wrote a letter asking that the state get its fair allocation to serve more households.
It also included funding for community health centers, as well as a $1.5 billion increase for Head Start programs to support early childhood education, both of which Stanton identified to the Committee were Arizona priorities.
In the State and Foreign Operations bill, Stanton for $3.54 billion for Migration and Refugee Assistance, a $100 million increase from the current level. The funding would support the humanitarian migration crisis response efforts and provide lifesaving help to refugees.
H.R. 2740 also includes measures to:
Increase funds for lifesaving medical research, opioid abuse treatment and prevention, women's reproductive health, student debt relief, and job training;
Fund firearm injury and mortality prevention research at the Centers for Disease Control and National Institutes of Health for the first time in more than 20 years;
Ensure servicemembers and military families have access to the resources they need and the benefits they have earned;
Fund initiatives to strengthen communities against the more frequent and extreme weather events caused by climate change;
Permanently repeal the Global Gag Rule, reinstated and expanded by President Trump in January 2017, also known as the Global HER Act, of which Stanton is a cosponsor;
Remove the prohibition on the Green Climate Fund and allow the U.S. to contribute to the fund, as well as prohibit the use of funds to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.