Donovan, House Pass Year-End Funding Package
Washington, DC—December 18, 2015....Congressman Dan Donovan (NY-11) today joined the House of Representatives in passing the “omnibus” appropriations package by a margin of 316-113. It funds government operations through September 30, 2016 in line with the spending caps set in the October budget agreement. Provisions include a permanent extension of the Zadroga Act, funding to fight ISIS, and resources to combat prescription drug abuse and violence against women.
Congressman Donovan said, “The biggest win is a permanent World Trade Center Health Program, something I fought for since taking office in May. The rest of the bill isn’t perfect, but it allocates the resources necessary to fight against ISIS and protect the homeland. Importantly, it keeps the government open and funded responsibly.”
The package allocates resources to a range of programs and agencies. In particular, it provides $53 billion – $3.4 billion more than last fiscal year – to fund overseas military operations, including the battle against ISIS and other terrorist networks. The bill also provides $2.5 billion in grants to first responders and emergency management personnel to, among other things, prepare for disasters and help undermine potential terrorist activities developing in the homeland. $22 million is specifically appropriated to the Securing the Cities Program, which funds equipment and training exercises to detect radiological weapons entering New York City and other major urban areas. Earlier this year, the House passed a bill authored by Donovan to make the program permanent.
Further, the package allocates an additional $70 million to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to combat prescription drug abuse. Earlier this week, after advocacy from Donovan’s office, New York State agreed to join the Interconnect data-sharing network, which allows pharmacists in participating states to make sure prescriptions weren’t already filled in other states.
The legislation also provides $480 million to a U.S. Department of Justice grant program to combat violence against women – $50 million more than last fiscal year and $8 million more than the President requested. The program funds sexual assault forensic examination units and specialized prosecution teams to prevent and prosecute violent crimes against women. In addition, the grant program supports services for domestic violence and sexual assault victims. Earlier this year, Staten Island’s Family Justice Center opened, a long-term project and priority for Donovan when he served as District Attorney.
Donovan concluded, “I’m pleased that the funding included in this package – for 9/11 first responders, to fight ISIS, to guard against terrorist attacks, to combat prescription drug abuse, to combat violence against women – are right in line with this district’s priorities. It’s not perfect and I don’t agree with everything in there, but it includes wins on key issues I’ve focused on since taking office, and that’s good news for the people of Staten Island and South Brooklyn. This bill shows that Republicans and Democrats can work together for the good of the country.”