WASHINGTON— This week the House of Representatives passed various bills to fund the federal government for fiscal year 2022.
The House passed H.R. 4373, the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and related agencies appropriations bill that included Rep. Grijalva’s amendment to clarify responsibility for the International Outfall Interceptor (IOI). The amendment will direct $4 million within the International Border and Water Commission (IBWC) to clarify the responsibility and maintenance of the IOI in addition to, and separate from, the funds designated for long-needed repairs.
“For too long, failure to clarify responsibility for the maintenance of the IOI has facilitated neglect and disrepair that threatens the health of Santa Cruz County residents,” said Rep. Grijalva. “My amendment clarifies responsibility which means we can begin the repairs that are so desperately needed and ensure that it never falls back into its current state of disrepair again.”
Additionally, the House passed H.R. 4502, legislation that makes strong investments in working families, education, public health, veterans, and infrastructure and directs $6.8 million in funding to community funding projects in Southern Arizona.
“These bills make our communities stronger by making important investments in working families and help us rebuild and strengthen our economy as we continue fighting the pandemic,” said Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva. “These historic investments will create new jobs, reinforce our public health system, and invest in clean energy and other initiatives to fight the climate crisis. This is the type of funding we need to meet the myriad of challenges of the moment.”
The funding bills included include increased investments in:
- Health: SNAP, WIC and child nutrition, as well as programs to expand access to quality, affordable health care, including the end of restrictions on abortion funding.
- Clean Energy: Creates tens of thousands of good-paying green jobs with investments in clean energy and science.
- Education: Title I and Special Education, Pell Grants and other financial assistance, and Minority-Serving Institutions including HBCUs, Hispanic Serving Institutions and Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities.
- Public Health: Bolstering the CDC to fight future pandemics, as well as more funding to pursue scientific breakthroughs for diseases such as ALS, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and cancer, treat substance abuse, and improve mental health and maternal and child health.
- Veterans: Supporting veterans’ health – including women’s health care and mental health – as well as initiatives to combat veterans’ homelessness, create economic opportunities and rebuild military infrastructure.
- Infrastructure: Creating tens of thousands of good-paying American jobs by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, including airports, highways, transit, rail and port systems, and directing more funding toward rural development including broadband, rental and other housing initiatives.
Arizonans will benefit greatly from increased investments in healthcare, education, and job training programs. Under these bills, Arizona’s Third Congressional District will receive an additional:
- $586,000 in Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funds to support local job training initiatives.
- $59.2 million in education funds to help vulnerable students.
- $50.9 million to improve veteran’s healthcare.
The appropriations package also included $6.8 million in community funding projects for Southern Arizona. Rep. Grijalva secured funding for the following projects:
- The Tohono O’odham Nation will receive $750,000 to support the development and construction of a permanent children’s home that would encompass three group homes for boys, girls, and young children in need of housing and other support services.
- The City of Avondale will receive $1.57 million to update public infrastructure and beautify the area along Western Avenue in the city’s historic old town.
- The City of Tucson will receive $1.146 million for the Dunbar Pavilion and Dunbar School Arts and Culture Revitalization Initiative. The funding will be used to provide an outdoor meeting and performance space/amphitheater as well as universal access and rehabilitation of the Paul Laurence Dunbar School.
- Nogales Community Development will receive $750,000 for the Nogales Rural Innovation Center to provide local business owners and startups with needed space, equipment, workshops, mentoring and logistics at a dual facility owned by NCD.
- Pima Community College will receive $1 million for the purchase of needed equipment for the Flexible Industry Training (FIT) Lab, PCC’s new Center for Excellence in Applied Technology, a partnership with local businesses and industries to upskill current workers with new skills for the 21st Century economy.
- JobPath, Inc. will receive $500,000 to enroll 200 recently displaced workers in job training programs with a focus on women and parents.
- The Pascua Yaqui Tribe will receive $900,000 for their San Ignacio Health Center for major building renovations to provide readily available services in social work, health care, food and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) distribution, and additional senior care.
- Clinica Amistad will receive $185,000 for much-needed equipment updates that include exam tables, EKG and ultrasound machines, and a new vehicle that will allow them to expand at-home services.
- The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum will receive $50,000 for their Collaborative Restoration and Wildlife Management in the Tucson Mountains to restore 158 acres of buffelgrass-infested areas in Tucson Mountain Park, Tumamoc Hill, and Sentinel Peak Park. Buffelgrass allows wildfires to spread quickly and threatens the iconic saguaro cacti.
- The Desert Valley Senior Center will receive $16,800 to replace essential kitchen equipment for their meal service program and upgrade outdated and limited fitness equipment.