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House-Passed Bill Package to Fund County's Mobile Addiction Service Unit, Veterans Healthcare and Suicide Prevention - TAPinto.net

By TAPINTO BORDENTOWN STAFF

Published August 1, 2021 at 11:00 AM

Last Updated August 1, 2021 at 11:01 AM

WASHINGTON, DC – The House of Representatives this week passed three bills to provide funding for most federal departments and agencies, including provisions advocated by Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03) for New Jersey families.

“New Jersey families pay more than their fair share to the federal government and I am proud to bring critical resources back to our communities in these annual funding bills,” said Congressman Kim. “This funding for veterans, our servicemembers and their children, and individuals struggling with addiction will make a real impact in Burlington and Ocean Counties. I look forward to working with my Democratic and Republican colleagues to ensure that these bipartisan local priorities are included in the final spending package later this year.”

The fiscal year 2022 appropriations bills include the following provisions secured by Congressman Kim:

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  • $599 million for veteran suicide prevention and outreach programs, nearly double the amount provided in fiscal year 2021.  Congressman Kim  led a bipartisan letter  signed by 113 Members of Congress to secure this historic funding increase;
  • Language based on Congressman Kim’s Security After Sandy Act providing authority to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to permanently waive the requirement for New Jersey homeowners to pay back federal disaster relief they received after Superstorm Sandy (known as “clawbacks”).  Last year, the New Jersey delegation secured a one-year reprieve in those recoupment efforts for debt owed to the federal government;
  • An amendment with Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14) in support of military child development center facility projects and enlisted barracks modernization, which are both top priorities for Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.  Congressman Kim  helped secure  $213 million for child development centers and $550 million to put the military on track to modernize all substandard barracks within 10 years;
  • An amendment with Congressman Jim McGovern (MA-02) to provide funding to convene a White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, Hunger and Health for the first time since 1969.  Congressman Kim has been highlighting hunger in Burlington and Ocean Counties and  helped secure  additional protections for families in need of food assistance by providing “such sums” appropriations to ensure the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) does not run out of money;
  • $300,000 in Community Project Funding for Burlington County to expand its successful Hope One initiative, which uses a mobile access unit to connect individuals in our community struggling with substance use disorder (SUD) with treatment and recovery support services;
  • An estimated $239,000 in new funding for job training in NJ-03 through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act;
  • An estimated $21.1 million in new funding for veterans’ healthcare in NJ-03 through the Veterans Health Administration to improve women’s health, mental health and opioid treatment, as well as more community-based services and vital medical research;
  • An amendment to increase State Department funding for the Institute of International Education’s Scholar Rescue Fund (IIE-SRF) by $8 million to protect Afghan teachers and researchers whose lives are threatened by the Taliban as the United States completes the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan; and
  • Language requiring the State Department to assess whether its policies unfairly restrict diplomats’ assignments based on their ethnicity, especially for Asian Americans, and to take steps to eliminate any undue bias.

Each fiscal year, which runs from October through September, Congress must pass legislation to fund the federal government and all of the vital programs it administers.  The minibus package (H.R. 4502) that passed on Thursday will fund the following areas of the federal government: Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies; Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies; Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies; Financial Services and General Government; Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies; Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies; and Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies. Separate bills passed on Wednesday (H.R. 4346 and H.R. 4373) will fund the Legislative Branch and Department of State, Foreign Operations, related programs.

These bills will now go to the Senate for consideration.