Rep. Case Votes to Avert 2nd Shutdown of Federal Government
Congressman Ed Case voted with a majority of his House colleagues on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, to advance a measure that would avoid a second federal government shutdown by fully funding agencies critical to the operation of the federal government while shoring up the security of the country’s Southern border.
The measure was earlier approved by the Senate and now goes to President Trump for his consideration.
“This deal among House and Senate Democrats and Republicans to reach mutual agreement on homeland security funding and avert another disastrous government shutdown is good news all around,” said Case. “It certainly shows we can overcome extreme divisiveness and partisanship and get to agreement—if the President commits to this measure.”
“This reasonable compromise was there to be had all along. It recognizes and funds responsible border security including a physical barrier where clearly needed along with surveillance technology improvements both on the border and at ports of entry, while administering our immigration laws including asylum in a far more humane manner, especially for families and children,” added Case. “It is just a tragedy that we could not have gotten here back in December without a highly disruptive 35-day shutdown.”
Hawai‘i benefits from continued funding of the federal government
In addition to the bipartisan compromise on Homeland Security, the agreement also includes funding for the rest of the current fiscal year for several government agencies whose programs and services are vital to the country and Hawai’i. Case, a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, summarized a few as follows:
U.S. Department of Commerce
$581,567,000 for NOAA National Ocean Service, which includes
o Coral Reef Program,
o National Sanctuaries and the Monument (includes He‘eia and the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale Marine Sanctuary),
o Coastal Zone Management activities,
o the Marine Debris Program, and the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (includes He‘ei National Estuarine Research Reserve).
$908,832,000 for NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, which
includes funds for:
o Protected Resources Science and Management (including Hawaiian Monk Seals and other marine mammals, and Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles)
o Fisheries Science and Management
o Habitat Conservation and Restoration
$159,000,000 for NOAA Climate Research
$1,020,719,000 for the NOAA National Weather Service (NWS), includes the Hawai‘i-based centers:
o Pacific Tsunami Warning Center
o Central Pacific Hurricane Center
o Honolulu NWS Forecast Office
$295,740,000 for the National Science Foundation Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction – includes $16,130,000 for the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) on Haleakalā
U.S Department of State
$16.7 million in funding for the East-West Center (EWC), despite President Trump’s proposed elimination.
$55 million above the FY18 enacted level for Education and Cultural Exchanges, which supports American students studying abroad and brings international students to the United States, including Hawai‘i.
U.S. Department of Justice
$2,915,800,000 for Department of Justice Grants to State and Local Law Enforcement, which includes:
o Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) grants
o Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants (JAG)
o Community Oriented Police Services (COPS) program
U.S. Department of the Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency
$435,000,000 for Land and Water Conservation Fund
$1.58 billion for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
$3.22 billion for National Park Service (Hawai‘i has nine parks/monuments/sites managed by NPS – Honouliuli and Pearl Harbor in First District – full list.
$1.16 billion for US Geological Survey (USGS) – includes Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO). The bill specifically includes $4.8 million for interim office and laboratory space, equipment, and other needs due to the destruction of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and the continuing volcanic activity at Kīlauea.
o $1.7 billion for Clean Water State Revolving Fund
o $1.2 billion for Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund
o $68 million for Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act
U.S. Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development
$500 million – Airport improvement program funds
$900 million for TIGER and BUILD grants for national infrastructure investment
$22.6 billion – Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers funding
$1.25 billion – Home Investment Partnership Program (HOME)
$2.636 billion – Homeless Assistance Grants
$11.76 million for Hawai‘i from Highways Infrastructure Programs
$2.27 million for Hawai‘i from Transit Infrastructure Grants
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Increases funding for Coast Guard operations and support, including $15 million for 250 additional military personnel, almost $13 million for the 2019 pay raise, and $2 million to increase child care benefits.
Supports new investments in the Coast Guard’s fleet and facilities, including a new Polar Security Cutter, the first in over 40 years.
Increases funding by $4.2 billion above the FY18 enacted levels for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), including disaster relief and grants for training and education of first responders and emergency managers.
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Provides $73.5 billion for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP provides crucial food and nutritional support to qualifying low-income and needy households, and those making the
transition from welfare to self-sufficiency. Nearly 170,000 Hawai‘i residents receive food stamps.
Provides $6.1 billion for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Last fiscal year, this program helped roughly 26,000 beneficiaries in Hawai‘i.
Provides $3.16 billion for Agricultural Research, which offers grants opportunities to help transition Hawai‘i’s agricultural sector.
Provides $1.0 billion for Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, which helps protect Hawai‘i from invasive species.
Financial Services and General Government
Federal employees would get a 1.9 percent pay raise. This would override the salary rate freeze that President Trump imposed on federal employees.
$250 million for the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI). Within this amount, not less $16 million is for technical assistance and other purposes for Native American, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native communities.
$247.7 million for Entrepreneurial Development Programs (EDPs), which is $55 million more than the President’s budget request. EDP covers a wide range of programs critical to Hawai‘i’s small businesses such as the Hawai‘i Small Business Development Centers, SCORE Hawai‘i, and the Patsy T. Mink Center for Business & Leadership.
“We still have to get over the finish line, and I certainly hope President Trump values this compromise and agrees with his own party leaders in the House and Senate that this will stabilize the current situation and buy us all time to turn to the comprehensive immigration reform debate which is long overdue,” said Case. “It would be still another tragedy if he allows himself to be provoked into objecting to it by the Hundred Percenters on both ends of the political spectrum who would sabotage it because it does not meet 100% of their agendas.”