Sen. Chris Coons secured funding for important Delaware programs in the appropriations bills for Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies; Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies; and, Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration.
All bills passed out of the Senate on Aug. 1 with bipartisan support.
“Serving on the Appropriations Committee gives me an important opportunity to fight for programs and funding that are important to Delaware,” said Coons. “Delaware plays a critical role in feeding America’s families, and finding ways to support our farmers is one of my top priorities. I’m pleased that Republicans and Democrats worked together to ensure that funding for programs that support farmers continues to have bipartisan support. We also secured funding for conservation efforts in the Delaware River Basin and Chesapeake Bay, which is vital to the health of our region. Further, I’m proud that we secured strong funding for Amtrak and increased funding for affordable housing programs that our communities rely on. These appropriations bills reflect how Washington should work, and I look forward to continue engaging my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to deliver for Delawareans and all Americans.”
Coons fought for $1.94 billion in funding for Amtrak, helping to keep passenger rail operating safely and efficiently throughout the Northeast Corridor, as well as throughout the country. Coons also fought for $1 billion for the BUILD — Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development — grant program, formerly known as TIGER grants. Delaware has received BUILD grants that have been used to design and build the Newark rail station, improve the Port of Wilmington and build the new Claymont station. Coons also secured the inclusion of an amendment to extend funding for the Newark rail station and Port of Wilmington projects. The most recent BUILD grant awarded to Delaware will be used to improve the intersection of U.S. 9, Airport Road and Sand Hill Road in Georgetown.
Coons secured $1.362 billion for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program. The HOME program serves as the only federal block grant program for state and local governments designed exclusively to produce affordable housing for low-income families. The Delaware State Housing Authority leveraged HOME funding to repair and save affordable rental properties in Millsboro and Dover. Wilmington city and New Castle County governments came together with HOME funding to build a new affordable senior housing at Sacred Heart Village II, and New Castle County put HOME funding to work to preserve affordable housing for seniors in Newark.
Coons fought for $3.365 billion for the Community Development Block Grant program. CDBG funding supports homeownership, housing rehabilitation, public improvements and economic development projects while encouraging additional local investment. In Delaware, CDBG funding helped residents in Pinetown and Georgetown address long-standing housing rehabilitation and infrastructure development issues, made home ownership possible for New Castle County residents through the Housing Choice Voucher Program and helped homeowners in need tackle essential repairs that allowed them to stay in their homes.
Coons secured $62.84 million for Avian Health Programs, which support partnerships with state departments of agriculture, universities and the poultry industry to monitor poultry flocks and prevent and control the spread of diseases, including avian influenza.
Coons fought for $3.8 billion for Rural Development, including an additional $825 million in funding for infrastructure investments in Rural America. Coons also supported $1.25 billion for rural water and waste program loans, $425 for the rural broadband loan and grant pilot program, and $24 billion in loan authority for the Single Family Housing guaranteed loan program.
Coons also fought for $879.1 million for conservation operations to help farmers, ranchers and private forest landowners conserve and protect their land.
Coons fought to secure strong federal funding for important programs at the Department of the Interior that help conserve and protect our nation’s rivers, wetlands and other valuable natural resources. This includes $4 million for the Delaware River Basin Restoration Program and $43 million for the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund.
Coons also fought for funding for several Environmental Protection Agency programs that provide states with the tools they need to protect and restore clean water, land and air on the local level; including the Chesapeake Bay Program; the National Estuary Program; and grants to protect water from nonpoint source water pollution, ensure clean and safe beaches, and support clean water and drinking water infrastructure. As in past years, Delawareans will directly benefit from the many local programs these grants help support.