Congressman Casten’s Priorities Featured In First Appropriations Package
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Sean Casten (IL-06) voted to pass H.R. 2740, a package of bills that would fund the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Defense, State, and Energy throughout the next year.
The bill includes several provisions championed by Congressman Casten aimed at protecting our environment, addressing climate change, ensuring access to quality health care, and promoting education for all citizens. Congressman Casten released the following statement upon the passage of the bill:
Casten said, “Last November, citizens demanded that their government do more to ensure that American families have access to affordable health care, brighter economic opportunities, and a plan to address the looming climate change crisis. I’m proud that, with this appropriations package, we have taken big strides toward advancing all of these critical goals. This bill is a culmination of months of effort to increase funding for medical research, environmental protection, education from birth through adulthood, prevention of gun violence, and much more. I’ll continue to work on these worthy goals every day in Congress.”
Some of Congressman Casten’s priorities included in the bill are:
- A $2 billion increase in funding for medical research at the National Institutes of Health, as well as increases in funding for research into breast and ovarian cancers and the impact of climate change on human health.
- A $175 million increase in funding for family planning services, as well as a prohibition on implementation of the Trump Administration “gag rules” that block health care providers from counseling patients on their abortion options, both domestically and abroad.
- A prohibition on the Trump Administration’s announced withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement.
- An increase of $273 million for the Department of Energy’s office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) which the Trump Administration had proposed to cut dramatically. EERE plays an essential role in helping new, clean energy technologies make their way from ideas on a drawing board to commercial technologies deployed on the grid, lowering electricity costs, creating jobs, reducing U.S. reliance on fossil fuels, and decarbonizing our economy as a result.
- An increase of $59 million for the Advanced Research projects – Energy (ARPA-E) program at DOE that supports research into rapidly developing energy technologies that are too risky to attract sufficient private-sector investment, but whose development could be transformational and maintain U.S. leadership in the energy sector globally.
- Language urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to expedite consideration of the Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP), a vital program for the economy of communities across the Upper Mississippi Region.
- A $20 million increase for to support Argonne National Lab’s upgrade of the Advanced Photon Source (APS) which will provide industrial and university researchers with cutting- edge tools for use in research on topics as diverse as identifying the causes of diseases and brain imaging, to advanced materials and next-generation electronics. This investment will help maintain the United States as the global leader in x-ray science, out-competing advancements from Europe, Japan, and China.
- A $20 billion increase – the largest ever – in funding for early childhood education programs like Head Start, as well as a $500 million increase to help students finance their college educations.
- $50 million to fund new gun violence research – research which has previously been barred by federal law.
The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.