Washington, DC- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) released the following statement on the continuing resolution omnibus passage:
“This bill is not perfect but it contains a number of important provisions that I fought to include to create and protect jobs in our Commonwealth. While I don’t like the way it came together, strongly disagree with parts of it, and believe we have to do better – I also have an obligation to look at the package as a whole. Taken in totality, this bill will help create and protect jobs in Pennsylvania and will prevent another government shutdown.”
Casey urged congressional appropriators to invest in priorities critical to Pennsylvania and the nation, including these below:
- Investments in child nutrition programs will increase by $2.1 billion above FY 2014 enacted.
- Delaware Deepening Project: $35 million, which is what Casey requested for FY 2015.
- Water Resources Operation and Maintenance: The bill provides $2.9 billion for operation and maintenance of water resources projects. That is $48 million more than the fiscal year 2014 enacted amount and $309 million more than the fiscal year 2015 request. Over $50 million of this funding would go to locks and dams in Pennsylvania.
- National Institutes of Health: $30.3 billion, an increase of $150 million
- Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS): Received $180 million
- LIHEAP: $3.390 billion
- Head Start: $8.6 billion, a $1 billion increase from FY 2013.
- Peer-Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP): $247,500,000 included for the PRMRP. Also included in the final bill:
- amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) - 7.5 million;
- autism – 6 million
- prostate cancer – 80 million
- ovarian cancer research – 20 million
- breast cancer research – 120 million
- multiple sclerosis – 5 million
- gulf war illness – 20 million
- New Initiative to Improve the Safety of Crude Oil Shipments:
- Funds to hire 15 new rail and hazardous materials inspectors and retain 45 rail safety positions created in 2014
- $3 million to expand the use of automated track inspections to ensure proper track maintenance on crude oil routes
- Support for the establishment of a Short Line Safety Institute to preform safety compliance assessments and safety training for short line railroads that transport crude oil.
- Proper classification ensures that emergency responders understand the hazards of the products being shipped and the correct way to respond in the case of an accident.
- Requires PHMSA to finalize the tank car rule no later than January 15, 2015
- Community Development Block Grants: Received $3 billion for the CDBG program which is level with last year. CDBG allow forty-seven communities across Pennsylvania to obtain direct funding to address local needs. Countless other communities across Pennsylvania have received Community Development Block Grant funds made available to the Commonwealth. Last year Pennsylvania communities received over $171 million in CDBG funding last year and will continue to under this bill.