Sarbanes Votes to Fund Additional Maryland Priorities in Annual Appropriations Bills

Federal Funding Would Protect the Chesapeake Bay, Provide Robust Support for Climate Action, Clean Energy and Environmental Restoration, Modernize America’s Electric Grid, Improve the Delivery of Health Care, Enhance Preparedness for Public Health Emergencies Like COVID-19, Spur Police Reform in Departments Across the Country, Invest in America’s Infrastructure, Boost Housing and Public Education, Support Service Members and Military Families, Promote Economic Growth and Strengthen Election Security
July 31, 2020
CONTACT: Daniel Jacobs
(202) 225-4016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today voted to pass another round of federal funding to support a whole host of Maryland priorities, including investments in public health, housing, education, infrastructure, the Chesapeake Bay, environmental protection, climate action, economic development, police reform, military families and election security, along with many other critical programs and initiatives.

The six funding bills comprise the Defense, Commerce, Justice, Science, Energy and Water Development, Financial Services and General Government, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Act of 2021 (H.R. 7617).

“This latest round of federal funding will invest millions of dollars in Maryland families, businesses, schools, housing, health care systems, infrastructure and our environment – including efforts to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “I will continue working closely with my colleagues to ensure that federal dollars help lift up communities across our state and drive future growth and prosperity for every Marylander.”

See below for key highlights from the funding bill.

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Energy, Environment and the Chesapeake Bay

  • Allocates $5 million for oyster restoration – including oyster projects in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed – an effort championed by Congressman Sarbanes.
  • Creates a dedicated funding stream, through the Army Corps of Engineers, to support projects identified in the Chesapeake Bay Comprehensive Plan – a funding priority requested by Congressman Sarbanes.
  • Provides $355 million to modernize the nation’s electric grid and defend the U.S. energy sector against cyberattacks, an effort led by Congressman Sarbanes.
  • Delivers $2.85 billion in funding to boost access to affordable clean energy.
  • Rejects the Trump Administration’s proposed elimination of the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E) – which supports breakthrough clean energy innovations – and instead, increases ARPA-E’s funding to $435 million.
  • Extends $20 billion in emergency funding for science and energy infrastructure investments to prepare for a clean energy future.

Climate Action

  • Provides $190 million for climate research at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
  • Dedicates $36 million to NOAA’s Title IX National Oceans and Coastal Security Fund, along with $78 million for NOAA’s Coastal Zone Management grants, to help protect coastal areas – including Baltimore and Annapolis – from rising seas and other harmful impacts of climate change.
  • Enhances the National Weather Service’s ability to accurately forecast extreme weather events.

Public Health

  • Provides critical funding to America’s public health agencies, including $47 billion for the National Institutes of Health – based in Maryland – and $8 billion for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention.
  • Delivers $9 billion in emergency funding to the CDC to improve the nation’s preparedness for public health emergencies, like COVID-19.
  • Allocates $67 million to address America’s racial and ethnic health disparities.
  • Authorizes $56 million to bolster the nation’s public health workforce.
  • Extends $10 million to School-Based Health Centers, an effort long championed by Congressman Sarbanes.
  • Secures $3 million for the National Health Care Workforce Commission, an effort led by Congressman Sarbanes.

Addiction and Drug Abuse

  • Allocates $412 million to help address the opioid epidemic – which has worsened amid COVID-19 – by supporting treatment services, prescription drug monitoring and overdose-reversal drugs.
  • Provides $240 million to fight tobacco use and e-cigarettes.
  • Delivers $6 billion to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – including more than $4 billion to combat substance abuse and addiction.

Police Reform, Civil Rights and Justice

  • Appropriates $400 million for police reform initiatives.
  • Authorizes $25 million to investigate and address police misconduct and encourage systemic change in police departments across the country.
  • Implements the provision of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act that limits the transfer of surplus military-grade equipment to state and local law enforcement agencies.
  • Directs $465 million to the Legal Services Corporation to help increase the availability of legal assistance in underserved communities.

Election Security

  • Provides $500 million for Election Security Grants to help states improve election security and integrity, an effort ledtime and again – by Congressman Sarbanes.


  • Invests $1 billion in Highway Infrastructure Programs, including millions of dollars to improve Maryland highways.
  • Appropriates $1 billion for National Infrastructure Investments, including grants to state and local governments, transit agencies, port authorities and other entities to bolster the nation’s transportation infrastructure.
  • Allocates $1.5 billion for aviation safety, along with $500 million in Airport Improvement Grants for airports across the country – including Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.
  • Directs $500 million for rail safety and infrastructure improvements.
  • Delivers $300 million for the Port Infrastructure Development Program and increases funding for the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund, which will help enhance the Port of Baltimore.
  • Provides $20 billion in emergency funding to accelerate water infrastructure projects, as well as an additional $26 billion to improve the resiliency of our nation’s aging infrastructure.


  • Appropriates $25.7 billion for tenant-based rental assistance.
  • Delivers $3.5 billion in Community Development Block Grants to boost housing and expand economic opportunities in low- and moderate-income communities.


  • Includes language requested by Congressman Sarbanes that directs the Department of Education to improve its administration of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program – a program created the Congressman – and to protect student borrowers from predatory and unscrupulous loan servicers. It also provides $50 million for Temporary Expansion Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
  • Appropriates $1.2 billion for the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants program, which supports environmental education and literacy activities – an effort spearheaded by Congressman Sarbanes.
  • Extends $16.6 billion for Title I Grants to improve education and raise student achievement in underserved schools – an increase of $254 million and a rejection of President Trump’s proposal to eliminate the program.
  • Increases funding for early childhood education programs, including $5.9 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant and $10.8 billion for Head Start.
  • Allocates $14.1 billion for Special Education.
  • Provides more than $300 million for Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
  • Increases the Pell Grant maximum to $6,495.

Science and Innovation

  • Directs more than $22 billion to support earth and space research at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and to help inspire and train the next generation of America’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) innovators.
  • Extends $8.6 billion to the National Science Foundation to foster innovation and economic competitiveness by funding research on advanced manufacturing, physics, mathematics, cybersecurity, neuroscience and STEM education and by investing in scientific infrastructure.

Service Members and Military Families

  • Includes a 3 percent military pay raise.
  • Provides $270 million for repairs and new construction at schools on military installations, along with $116 million to upgrade childcare facilities on military installations.
  • Delivers more than $33 billion for Defense Health Programs, including $512.5 million for cancer research.
  • Appropriates $323 million for Sexual Assault Prevention and Response programs.
  • Fully funds the Defense Commissary Agency to ensure that service members and their families continue to save money on food and other household essentials.
  • Prohibits the Trump Administration from continuing to misuse funding intended for American troops and military installations for the President’s haphazard “border wall.”

American Workers and Small Businesses

  • Extends $2.6 billion for Unemployment Insurance programs, along with $925 million in emergency funding to help states address spikes in unemployment claims amid COVID-19.
  • Provides $1.7 billion for worker protection programs.
  • Allocates $52 million for the Minority Business Development Agency to spur job creation and expand growth opportunities for minority-owned businesses.
  • Delivers $273.5 million for Community Development Financial Institutions to revitalize and promote growth in distressed communities across the country.
  • Appropriates $277 million for Small Business Administration Entrepreneurial Development Programs to provide American small business owners with high-quality management and business counseling services.

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