Sarbanes Secures Significant Federal Funding for Maryland Priorities in First Round of Annual Appropriations Bills

The Four Appropriations Bills Passed Today Will Aid COVID-19 Response Efforts, Make Robust Investments in Infrastructure, Provide Record-Level Funding for the Chesapeake Bay, Promote a Clean and Healthy Environment, Boost Nutrition and Food Security Programs for Children and Families, Fulfill Our Commitments to America’s Veterans and Support American Leadership Around the World
July 24, 2020
CONTACT: Natalie Young | |
(202) 225-4016  

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today voted to pass four annual appropriations bills to fund critical Maryland priorities, including supporting the COVID-19 response, modernizing American infrastructure, protecting the health of the Chesapeake Bay, ensuring clean drinking water in communities across the country, strengthening food security and nutrition programs for American families, enhancing health care services for veterans, improving housing for military families and advancing America’s global leadership.

The four funding bills comprise Interior-Environment Appropriations, Agriculture-Rural Development-FDA Appropriations, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations and State-Foreign Operations Appropriations.

“These federal funding efforts prioritize the health, safety and well-being of Marylanders, protect our environmental treasures – like the Chesapeake Bay – support our veterans and military families and help propel America’s leadership in world affairs,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “I will continue working tirelessly to deliver beneficial federal resources for hardworking Maryland families and support efforts to make life better for all Americans.”

See below for key highlights from the four appropriations bills.

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COVID-19 Response and Relief Efforts

  • Delivers $12.5 billion in emergency funding for veterans’ health care.
  • Appropriates $10 billion for a global response to COVID-19.

Clean Water and Clean Air

  • Provides record-level funding for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Chesapeake Bay Program – an effort led by Congressman Sarbanes – to support Bay restoration efforts in Maryland and across the watershed.
  • Invests $13 billion – including $10.2 billion in emergency funding – for urgent infrastructure improvements.
  • Directs $189 million to clean up drinking water contaminants – including lead, nitrates and other health hazards.
  • Extends $12.9 million to help remove toxic forever chemicals – per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) – from America’s drinking water.
  • Allocates $950 million in emergency funding to replace toxic lead pipes, stop sewer overflows and improve water management system in underserved communities.
  • Delivers $521.6 million for EPA’s Clean Air programs.
  • Distributes $15 million for environmental justice initiatives.
  • Secures $1.2 billion to clean up Superfund sites in communities across the country.

Conservation and Public Lands

  • Provides full funding for the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Program, an effort led by Congressman Sarbanes.
  • Assigns $3.2 billion for the National Park Service, including $136 million for State and Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, civil rights site preservation grants and America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Food and Nutrition

  • Provides more than $68 billion in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program funding to help feed American families.
  • Directs $5.75 billion in funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children.
  • Extends $25.1 billion for child nutrition programs, including free or reduced-price school lunches and snacks.
  • Allocates $552 million for the Summer Food Service Program to ensure low-income children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session.

Veterans and Service Members

  • Appropriates $90 billion for VA medical care, including:
    • $10.3 billion for mental health care;
    • $1.9 billion for veteran homelessness assistance;
    • $661 million for gender-specific care services for women;
    • $504 million for opioid abuse recovery and prevention; and
    • $313 million for suicide prevention outreach.
  • Distributes $1.49 billion for military family housing, including dedicated funding for remediating mold, vermin and other issues that military families face in privatized housing.
  • Secures $3.2 billion to address the backlog in disability benefit claims appeals.
  • Delivers $2.6 billion for electronic health record modernization at the VHA.
  • Prohibits construction on military installations named for Confederate officers until the name has been replaced or until a process has been initiated to do so.

Foreign Affairs

  • Prevents the transfer of F-35s to Turkey unless Turkey gives up the Russian-made S-400 missile system.
  • Directs $1 billion to combat climate change and support renewable energy initiatives.
  • Provides $3.3 billion in security assistance for Israel and includes the Middle East Partnership for Peace Act, which supports economic collaboration between Israelis and Palestinians.
  • Appropriates $10 billion in health aid, including funding for the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, family planning, maternal health and child nutrition.

See below for more information about each of the funding bills: