WASHINGTON–U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, on Tuesday released the following statement after President Biden signed the fiscal year 2022 Omnibus Appropriations bill, which will support Connecticut priorities and invest in gun violence prevention, access to mental health care, support for under-resourced communities, and national security, into law. The budget also includes $13.6 billion in emergency aid to Ukraine.

“As a member of the Appropriations committee, my focus is always on securing a budget that funds Connecticut priorities. In addition to the $144 million for Congressionally Directed Spending projects in Connecticut, this bill will send billions of federal dollars to our state to upgrade the Northeast Corridor, protect Long Island Sound and our state’s natural beauty, promote economic growth, and support under-resourced communities. There’s also new funding for programs to combat gun violence, expand access to mental health care, and tackle the climate crisis. With this new bipartisan budget, we can finally turn the page on Trump-era funding levels, and I am proud that President Biden signed it into law today,” said Murphy.

Murphy continued: “The entire world has been captivated and inspired by the bravery of the Ukrainian people, and this bill also includes an important down payment on our support – $13.6 billion to send more defense equipment to the Ukrainian military, deploy American troops to secure NATO’s eastern flank, and provide humanitarian aid. This is a good start, but the United States has to do more. This means more humanitarian assistance, but also raising the refugee cap to welcome Ukrainians, and refugees from Afghanistan, Syria, Ethiopia, and Yemen who are facing similar unimaginable violence.”

Murphy, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, released a statement on the fiscal year 2022 Homeland Security bill. Murphy and Blumenthal applauded inclusion of $144 million to fund 122 Congressionally Directed Spending projects across Connecticut. Murphy also announced the inclusion of $50 million for the National Coast Guard Museum in New London.

Upgrading the Northeast Corridor: Building upon the $30 billion for the Northeast Corridor in the bipartisan infrastructure law, Murphy supported the inclusion of more funding to modernize rail in Connecticut, including:

·         $100 million in funding opportunities to help modernize the Northeast Corridor

·         $174 million increase in grants to help Amtrak operate trains between Boston and New York 

Protecting Long Island Sound: The Long Island Sound is a multi-trillion dollar asset to Connecticut, and Murphy secured the inclusion of federal funding to protect and support the health of the Sound, including:

·         $31.4 million to improve water quality, restore coastal habitats, and protect shoreline in Long Island Sound

·         $5.88 billion for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an increase of $447 million above last year, which includes key Connecticut priorities such as first-time funding to help start the newly approved National Estuarine Research Reserve in Southeastern Connecticut

·         $18 million for aquaculture research and additional $500,000 for renovations federal aquaculture labs, which will both go towards support Milford Lab in Connecticut as well as other aquaculture labs across the country

·         $75 million, a $2 million increase, for the National Sea Grant College Program and $13.5 million for Sea Grant Aquaculture Research

Conserving Open Space in Connecticut: Murphy supported the inclusion of federal funding to conserve Connecticut’s natural beauty, including:

·         An extension in authorization for Connecticut’s National Heritage Areas to ensure those programs stay operational

·         $10 million for Highland Conservation Act, $16.7 million for Silvio Conte Wildlife Refuge, and $2.5 million for Great Thicket National Wildlife Refuge from the Land and Water Conservation Fund

Combating Gun Violence: Murphy successfully fought for the inclusion of funding for gun violence prevention efforts, including:

·         $50 million for a new Community-based Violence Intervention and Prevention Grant Program at the Department of Justice

·         $25 million for gun violence research

·         $169 million for the FBI’s operation of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System

·         $95 million for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System and National Criminal History Improvement Program grants, a $10 million increase from last year

Investing in Mental Health: Murphy, a leader in the Senate on expanding access to mental health care, supported the inclusion of:

·         $185 million for the Employee Benefits Security Administration, an increase of $4.5 million from FY 2021, to strengthen oversight over mental health parity laws

·         $6.5 billion for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an increase of $530 million above the FY 2021 enacted level, to expand access to mental health services

Supporting Under-Resourced Communities: Murphy supported the inclusion of federal funding to support historically under-resourced communities and address education, economic, and health disparities, including:

·         $17.5 billion for Title I Grants school districts, an increase of $1 billion over last year, to help school districts that serve a significant number of students living in poverty

  • $13.3 billion for IDEA Part B State Grants, representing an increase of $406 billion over last year, to help schools provide services to students with disabilities
  • $17.5 billion for early childhood education programs, representing an increase of $558 million over last year, which includes $11 billion for Head Start (increase of $289 million), $6.2 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (increase of $254 million), and $290 million for Preschool Development Grants (increase of $15 million) 
  • Raising the maximum Pell Grant award by $400 to $6,895, which represents the largest increase in more than a decade to help low-income students afford postsecondary education
  • $124 million for the Magnet School Assistance Program, a $15 million increase, to support the creation of diverse and high-quality magnet schools
  • $8 million to the CDC to address health disparities and inequities around the Social Determinants of Health, a $5 million increase from last year
  • $10.059 million for SAMHSA’s Minority Fellowship Program to help expand the number of racial and ethnic minorities in the behavioral health workforce
  • $360 million for Juvenile Justice program at Department of Justice, an increase of $14 million above FY 2021 levels 
  • $489 million for the Legal Service Corporation, a $24 million increase over last year
  • $8.45 billion for Public Housing, $645.5 million above fiscal year 2021, including $3.2 billion to meet the full annual capital accrual need in order to improve the quality and safety of public housing
  • $27.4 billion for Tenant-based Rental Assistance to continue to serve more than very low- and extremely low-income households nationwide and $13.9 billion for Project-based Rental Assistance, an increase of $475 million above fiscal year 2021
  • $1.5 billion for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, an increase of $150 million above fiscal year 2021
  • $3.2 billion for Homeless Assistance Grants, an increase of $213 million above fiscal year 2021

Partnering with Connecticut’s Defense Manufacturers: Murphy supported increases to federal funding to support Connecticut’s defense and manufacturing industries, including:  

·         $8.5 billion for 85 F-35 aircraft

·         $4.23 billion for two Virginia-class attack submarines

·         $3 billion for the Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine program

·         $120 million above the request for the F-135 Enhanced Engine Program

·         $12 million above the request for the Aircraft Component Improvement Program

·         $211.5 million above the request to fund a total of 33 Blackhawk helicopters, including 9 additional aircraft for National Guard

·         $1.8 billion for 16 additional C-130J aircraft for the Air National Guard

·         $1.5 billion for 11 CH-53K helicopters, two more than the request

·         $483 million for the design of a new attack submarine

·         $130 million for Columbia-class submarine supplier development

·         $20 million for Submarine Workforce Development

·         $25 million for Undersea Warfare Applied Research

·         $17 million for the Connecticut National Guard ANGB Composite ASE Vehicle Maintenance Facility (Bradley Airport)

Sending Aid to Ukraine: Murphy, a member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, supported the inclusion of $13.6 billion in aid to Ukraine. The bill includes:

·         $6.5 billion in military aid to continue sending defense equipment to Ukraine and deploy personnel to NATO’s eastern flank

·         More than $4 billion in humanitarian assistance, including $265 million for emergency food assistance, health care, and other urgent support and $1.4 billion to support refugees fleeing Ukraine

·         $1.8 billion in economic assistance

·         $300 million for the Department of Defense Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative

·         $25 million to combat Russian disinformation 

Supporting the People of Puerto Rico: The funding package included $2.6 billion in funding for the people of Puerto Rico, including:

·         Extends the increased Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) for the U.S. territories including Puerto Rico through the end of 2022 at 76% and increases increase Puerto Rico’s federal allotment by $200 million

·         $2.5 billion in annual regular funds for the Puerto Rico Nutrition Assistance Program during fiscal year 2022, benefiting nearly 1.5 million people in Puerto Rico

Promoting Progressive Foreign Policy and National Security: Murphy also supported the inclusion of funding to support global health and climate change efforts, invest in the Development Finance Corporation, and provide increased assistance to important allies and strategic priorities. The bill includes:

·         $698 million for the Development Finance Corporation to invest in development overseas, an increase of $129 million above the fiscal year 2021 enacted level

·         $1.5 billion to address the climate crisis and other environmental issues

·         $9.83 billion to invest in global health and the prevention of future pandemics, an increase of $634 million from FY 2021. This includes $700 million for global health security, a $510 million increase from FY 2021

·         $1.3 billion for International Security Cooperation Programs, including:

o   $300 million to shore up the defenses of U.S. allies and partners facing of Russian aggression, including $180 million for Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania through the Baltic Security Initiative; $30 million for Poland; $30 million for Romania; $20 million for Bulgaria; and $40 million for Georgia

·         $300 million for the Israeli cooperative research and development programs, including David’s Sling and Arrow-3

·         $1 billion for the Iron Dome defense system to counter short-range rocket threats and to replace missile interceptors from the May 2021 conflict

·         Increased assistance for Ukraine, Lebanon, and the West Bank and Gaza