U.S. Congressman Ed Case (HI-01), a member of the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations responsible for all federal discretionary spending, today voted with a majority of his colleagues to pass two appropriations measures funding $1.4 trillion in federal operations for the current fiscal year.
If approved by the Senate and signed into law by President Donald Trump as expected, the bills will avert another federal government shutdown as occurred just a year ago.
“The House has done its job to support indispensable programs for all Americans across the board including defense, health care, education, social services and natural resources,” said Case.
“Given the tragic gun violence of the last few weeks in our Hawai‘i, I am especially pleased that the bills provide significant funding for gun violence research nationwide to focus much more directly on this public health epidemic. This is the first time in twenty years that a bi-partisan funding measure will invest in the safety of our communities, providing millions to conduct much-needed federal research and support,” said Case.
Case also pointed out the increase of $245.5 million over the last fiscal year for a total of $3.28 billion in funding for grants administered by the U.S. Justice Department for state and local law enforcement.
The bill also includes a number of legislative provisions that will help Hawai‘i. For example, the bill extends funding for Brand USA, the tourism industry’s top priority to market international travel to the United States with zero cost to U.S. taxpayers. It dramatically ramps up federal assistance for programs combatting homelessness. It contains hundreds of millions in in federal military construction funding for Hawai‘i projects. And to help keep healthcare affordable for all Americans, the bill repeals the 2.3% excise tax on medical devices, the sales tax on health insurance and the excise tax on employer-provided health insurance plans.
The federal funding for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 (the year ending September 30, 2020) was split between two bills – H.R. 1865 and H.R. 1158. Details for each bill are provided below.
H.R. 1865: CONSOLIDATED DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCE APPROPRIATIONS BILL
Among the highlights of this $540.4 billion measure, which combine various areas detailed below, are the following:
- $25 million to combat gun violence in the country. Case said the money will go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health to study ways to prevent gun injuries and deaths.
- Raises the federal minimum age of sale of tobacco products from 18 to 21 years, consistent with Hawaii’s first-in-the-nation law that became effective in January 2016.
- Extends the National Flood Insurance Program’s authorization to September 30, 2020.
- Extends funding for Brand USA to continue marketing Hawai‘i to international travelers.
Military Construction & Veterans Affairs
Case is a member of the Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies. “Since Hawai‘i is a small state, the members of the Hawai‘i Congressional delegation must always do all we can to secure our fair share of federal dollars,” said Case.
In total, the Military Construction & Veterans Affairs section of the bill approves $110.4 billion in discretionary funding, $10.7 billion above the current FY 2019 level.
A total of $11.3 billion is allocated to military construction projects – an increase of $983 million above the enacted FY 2019 level. These funds will provide for the construction of facilities to enable our military to fight current and emerging threats, to support increased troop levels and to sustain services for military families. This includes operational facilities, training facilities, hospitals, family housing, National Guard readiness centers, barracks and other important resources. In total, 145 military construction projects across the country and overseas are funded.
Hawai‘i Specific Funding
- Fort Shafter Command and Control Facility (Phase 5), $60 million. Fort Shafter garrisons the headquarters for U.S. Army Pacific Command and supporting organizations. U.S. Army Pacific Command’s functional operations are located in over 10 separate WWII-era wooden buildings. Current command and control operation and supporting functions are conducted in separate structures that are inadequate and inefficient. The new Command & Control Facility includes administrative areas, secure operations building with Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, a command group building, support operations building and a parking structure. Additionally, construction of redundant power generators will provide backup power to the facility and its critical command and control systems in the event of the loss of commercial power.
- Kāne‘ohe Bay Bachelor Enlisted Quarters (BEQ), $134 million. There is insufficient unaccompanied housing capacity at Kāne‘ohe Bay to accommodate the projected personnel loading due to the increase of new squadrons and a Marine Wing Support Squadron at the base. The existing BEQ facilities, Buildings #227 and #228, were built in 1941 as open bay quarters and were renovated to three-man room quarters in the 1970s. The configuration of the facilities does not meet the current standards for military barracks. This project will construct a modern multi-story BEQ building including laundry facilities, lounges, administrative offices, multipurpose recreation rooms, housekeeping areas and public restrooms.This project will provide Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection (AT/FP) features and comply with AT/FP regulations and physical security mitigation in accordance with Department of Defense (DOD) Minimum Anti-Terrorism Standards for Buildings.
- West Loch Magazine Consolidation (Phase 1), $53.8 million. Containerized missiles cannot be stowed in many of the magazines at West Loch Annex. Magazines that were designed to store larger ordnance can accommodate less than 20 percent of the Global Requirements Based Load Plan. Magazines that lack features to adequately and safely store larger ordnance are being utilized and the ordinance is being jam stowed to maximize storage space. Due to lack of adequate storage facilities, ordnance is also stored in open holding areas which will lead to costly damage and deterioration. This project will construct four standard earth-covered Type D box magazines. This project is the first of five planned phases at West Loch Annex and is related in part to the phase-down of the current ordnance facility at Lualualei.
- Special Operations Force Undersea Operational Training Facility, $67.7 million. The project will construct an Undersea Operational Training Facility at Pearl Harbor to support the Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Group. The facility will support a variety of functions including undersea vehicle training tank, applied instruction, administrative and operational gear storage. The project is integral to the phased capital improvements plan at Pearl Harbor to implement the reorganization of the NSW Undersea Enterprise.
Other defense-related provisions in the bill include the following reporting requirements to keep other critical Hawai’i programs on track:
- Navy Pier Replacement Master Plan. The bill incorporates the following requirements: “To address concerns that the Navy has not properly synchronized or prioritized pier replacement projects the agreement directs the Secretary of the Navy to provide to the congressional defense committees a report no later than 90 days after enactment of this Act on pier replacement projects in the fiscal years defense plan for 2021-2025.”
- Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Plan (SIOP). The bill incorporates the following requirements: “The SIOP includes ongoing feasibility assessments on new concepts to improve shipyard maintenance efficiency. The Appropriations Committees expect the Navy to continue to assess these new concepts without delaying construction improvements at the public shipyards for which Congress has already appropriated funding. As such, the Committees are disappointed that the Navy cancelled for a second time a project requested and appropriated for that would construct a dry dock waterfront facility (P214) prior to providing a realistic plan to address urgent safety issues and meet Pacific Fleet maintenance requirements. The agreement directs the Secretary of the Navy to develop a cost estimate for its dry dock production facility (DDPF) concept, and to provide a report within 90 days of enactment of this Act on the feasibility of programming and constructing the lead DDPF at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard as a replacement for P214. The agreement also directs the Secretary of the Navy to include in such report the planned sustainment, restoration, and modernization measures that will be undertaken to mitigate the effect of a further delayed replacement facility.” In addition, the “Committee recognizes the strategic and critical role our public shipyards play in the national security of our Nation. However, our shipyards are in direct need of maintenance and upgrade. The National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2018 (P.L. 115–91) included language directing the Department of Defense (DOD) to create a Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Plan. This plan included recommendations and future year projects that would help to restore our public shipyards to support our fleet around the world. The committee directed the Secretary of Defense no later than 180 days after enactment of this act to submit to congressional defense committees a prioritized list of projects to be constructed under the Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Plan necessary for national security requirements over the next ten years.”
- Climate Change. The bill incorporates the following requirements: “The Committee is concerned by increasing magnitudes and frequencies of environmental shocks (e.g., hurricane-force winds, storm surge, and extreme rainfall) and long-term stresses (e.g., from sea level rise) on DOD facilities worldwide. The committee urges DOD to collaborate with existing research universities with federally designated testing facilities to accelerate investments to assess DOD installation vulnerabilities at home and abroad and to develop and test resilient infrastructure and technologies capable of withstanding 200 mph winds and high levels of storm surge and flooding. Furthermore, the Committee directs the Secretary of Defense to report to the congressional defense committees no later than 180 days after enactment of this Act detailing DOD’s plans to develop lasting and resilient military installations, and what year these projects will appear in the Future Years Defense Plan.”
- Hawai‘i Infrastructure Readiness Initiative. The bill incorporates the following requirements: “The Committee recognizes the strategic and critical role the Hawai‘i Infrastructure Readiness Initiative (HIRI) plays in DOD’s strategic plans for the Indo-Pacific region. At the direction of Congress, United States Army Pacific (USARPAC) created the HIRI to address critical priorities established in USARPAC’s military construction submissions and major restoration and maintenance (R&M) programming requests. According to the Army’s analysis, 45 percent of the infrastructure in Hawai‘i is failed or failing, putting efforts to meet operational needs at risk. To fix this crisis, HIRI allocates between $50 million and $150 million per year through FY 2030 to address major infrastructure needs, with a ten-year cost of $1.1 billion. The program addresses several major facility and infrastructure deficiencies, including aviation maintenance facilities, operations facilities, tactical equipment maintenance facilities, Pohakuloa Training Area, West Loch Ammunition Storage, and base operations. The President’s budget for FY 2019 included funds for this critical initiative. The FY 2020 budget submission includes the West Loch Ammunition Storage Facility, a vital military construction project. Continued and consistent funding is needed at a time of growing national security needs in the Pacific. Therefore, the Committee directs the Secretary of the Army to certify that the initiative’s plan for the next 10 FYs does not create gaps in funding that will result in inconsistent program implementation that could undermine the interconnected nature of HIRI’s projects.”
- Army Construction Thresholds. The bill incorporates the following requirements: “The agreement places no restriction on military construction funding levels that can be requested by the Department, whether domestic or overseas although the Secretary of the Army has issued guidance that the cost for individual military construction projects should not exceed $100,000,000. Project scopes should not be artificially capped by cost and the agreement directs the Army to reevaluate this practice and to include incorporating area cost factor into any related guidance. In accordance with standing practice, the Department is directed to request such funds for military construction as may be necessary to meet military requirements and can be responsibly executed.” Removing the $100 million cap should provide some relief for HIRI projects, most of which have been held below this cap.
- Construction Costs. The bill incorporates the following requirements: “The DOD faces increasing challenges meeting its construction requirements in remote and highly remote markets where projects are less competitive in the DOD planning, programming, and budgeting process compared to those in low costs markets, regardless of the importance of the project to the DOD mission. Therefore, no later than 270 days after enactment of this Act, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and Naval Facilities Command (NAVFAC) are directed to provide a report assessing strategies for controlling and reducing costs to military construction projects. The report shall specifically consider project costs in remote and highly remote markets, including overseas markets in the Western and Southern Pacific. The report shall also consider the costs that DOD can control through the acquisition process, including potential changes to procurement authorities that allow preference of alternative, lower-cost building materials and techniques, such as concrete curing, provided the materials and techniques meet military specific design standards.”
- Leveraging Military Construction Emergent Requirements. The bill incorporates the following requirements: “The Committees recognize that other countries are utilizing infrastructure to enhance national interest at a higher rate of investment than the Department of Defense. Military construction is vital to current and future force readiness and can be a strategic asset to deter near-peer competitors, particularly in nations that support U.S. posture in the lndo-Asia-Pacific, such as Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau. The agreement provides an additional $10,000,000 in Defense-Wide planning and design for emergent requirements in the IndoPacific Command (INDOPACOM) region that support National Defense Strategy objectives to sustain joint force military advantages and deter adversaries from aggression against our national interest. INDOPACOM is directed to provide a spend plan for these funds no later than 180 days after enactment of this Act.”
- F-22 Basing Changes. The bill incorporates the following requirements: “Hurricane Michael caused catastrophic damage to the Tyndall Air Force Base and dislocated the 43rd Fighter Squadron. It is the understanding of the Committee that the Air Force has the opportunity to restructure F–22 Raptor rebasing for long-term health and readiness. The current estimate for the relocation of F–22s is $150,000,000 for additional facilities required at existing F–22 bases to support the formal training unit and operational squadron. The committee directed the Secretary of the Air Force to provide by cost, location and FY the necessary military construction projects no later than 60 days after enactment of the act.”
The legislation includes a total of $216.5 billion in both discretionary and mandatory funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), an increase of $19.4 billion above the FY 2019 level. These additional funds will provide resources for important priorities within the VA, such as healthcare access for women veterans, suicide prevention, claims processing, homeless prevention and care, opioid addiction, rural health and medical research. Key areas include:
- VA Medical Care – The bill funds VA medical care at $80.2 billion – providing for approximately seven million patients to be treated in FY 2020. Within this total, the bill includes: $9.4 billion in mental healthcare services; $222 million in suicide prevention outreach activities; $585 million for gender-specific care for women; $1.8 billion for homeless assistance programs; $402 million for opioid abuse prevention; and $300 million in rural health initiatives.
- VA Electronic Health Record – The bill contains $1.5 billion to continue implementation of the VA electronic health record system. This will ensure the implementation of the contract creating an electronic record system for VA that will be interoperable with the system being developed for DOD. These two identical systems will ensure our Veterans get proper care, with timely and accurate medical data transferred between VA, DOD and the private sector.
- Disability Claims Processing Backlog – The bill provides $125 million above the budget request for the Veterans Benefits Administration for hiring additional claims and appellate staff, and overtime pay in order to continue reducing the disability claims backlog. Within this amount funding is included to hire additional staff to process incoming Blue Water Navy Claims as a result of the Blue Water Veterans Act of 2019 (P.L. 116-23). In addition, the bill continues rigorous reporting requirements to track each regional office’s performance on claims processing and appeals backlogs. The bill will help speed up this process and get Veterans the decisions they are awaiting by providing $25 million above the request for the Veterans Benefits Administration for hiring additional claims and appellate staff, digital scanning of health records and overtime pay.
- Native American Veteran Housing Loan Program. The final bill included $1.2 million for the Native American Veteran Housing Loan Program, a 2% increase rather than the flatline funding proposed by the Administration. Native Hawaiians, along with Alaska Natives and other indigenous peoples, enroll in the military at higher rates than non-indigenous peoples. Indeed, according to the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Native Hawaiians specifically are over-represented in the U.S. Army by as much as 249 percent, and as many as 25,000 Native Hawaiians are military veterans. These veterans are in desperate need for housing assistance, especially as many reside in extremely high cost of housing areas like Hawai‘i. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Native Hawaiians in Hawai‘i are more likely to live in poverty and in overcrowded conditions. Further, the State of Hawai‘i has reported seeing an overrepresentation of Native Hawaiian in the state’s growing homeless population.
- Native Hawaiian Contracting. The VA provides preferential contracting to Native Hawaiian Organizations and other indigenous peoples with respect to federal contracting with the Veterans Health Administration, Veterans Benefits Administration and National Cemetery Administration. The administration request to delete this provision was not adopted. The agreement also directs the Department to submit a report to the Committees on Appropriations of both Houses of Congress no later than 180 days after enactment of this Act detailing the VA's use of this authority to date and its plan for using it in the future
- Filipino Equity Compensation Fund. This fund provides one-time, lump-sum payments to eligible World War II Philippine Veterans. These payments are to be made through the VA from a $198 million appropriation established for this purpose. The bill includes section 239 which prohibits funds from being used to transfer funding from the Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation Fund to any other VA account. The Committee rejected the Administration’s request to transfer these funds elsewhere.
- National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. Currently, the Pacific Region of the National Cemetery Administration performs more annual interments than any other region, but it has the fewest number of national cemeteries. In order to provide appropriate burial space to veterans in the Pacific. The conference agreement directs the VA to conduct a feasibility review for the creation of a new national cemetery in the Pacific region and to report the findings to the Committees on Appropriations of both Houses of Congress no later than 180 days after enactment of this act.
- VA Telehealth. The bill provided $80 million for teleprimary “hubs and spokes” care.
The VA has made great strides in finding new ways to reach and serve veterans in rural populations, which the committee will expand. Cutting-edge telehealth technologies have increased productivity, treatment options and access to healthcare for countless veterans across the nation, especially across the Hawaiian Islands.
Labor, Health and Human Services and Education
In total, the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education (LHHS) bill includes $184.9 billion in base discretionary funding, an increase of $4.9 billion over the 2019 enacted level and $43 billion over the President’s budget. The LHHS bill supports critical programs that impact Hawai‘i from federal financial aid to health research. The bill includes a total of $94.9 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), an increase of $4.4 billion above the 2019 enacted level and $16.8 billion above the President’s budget. Specifically:
- The bill provides a total of $41.7 for National Institutes of Health (NIH), an increase of $2.6 billion above the 2019 enacted level and $7.5 billion above the President’s budget.
- The bill includes a total of $8 billion for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, $636 million above the 2019 enacted level and $1.4 billion above the President’s budget.
- For the first time in more than 20 years, the bill includes funding, $12.5 million, to specifically support firearm injury and mortality prevention research.
- This bill also includes funding for early childhood programs which will receive an increase of $1.1 billion. This includes $5.8 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, an increase of $550 million, and $10.6 billion for Head Start, an increase of $550 million.
The bill provides a total of $72.8 billion in discretionary appropriations for the Department of Education – $1.5 billion above the 2019 enacted level and $8.7 billion above the President’s budget.
- The bill includes, $16.3 billion for Title I Grants to Local Educational Agencies, an increase of $450 million above the 2019 enacted level and the President’s budget request, and $13.9 billion for Special Education, an increase of $417 million above the 2019 enacted level and the President’s budget.
- The bill also provides $24.5 billion for federal student aid programs, $75 million above the 2019 enacted level and $1.5 billion above the President’s budget. Within this amount, the bill provides $6,345 for the maximum Pell Grant, an increase of $150 over the 2019 enacted level. The increase will help the maximum award keep pace with inflation.
- The bill also includes $865 million for the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program, an increase of $125 million above the 2019 enacted level, and $1.2 billion for Federal Work Study, an increase of $50 million above the 2019 enacted level and $680 million above the President’s budget.
Hawai‘i Specific Funding
- Native Hawaiian Education. $36.9 million for Native Hawaiian Education, a $500,000 increase over the 2019 enacted level.
- Native Hawaiian Higher Education. $18.3 million for the Strengthening Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions Program, a $2.4 million increase over the 2019 enacted level.
- Native Hawaiian Health Care $19 million for the Native Hawaiian Health Care Program to ensure that the federal government promotes education and health care for Native Hawaiians, an increase of $1.5 million over the 2019 enacted level.
- Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Higher Education Support. $4.4 million for the Strengthening Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions Program, an increase of $580,000 more than the 2019 enacted level.
- Indigenous People Caregivers Support. $10 million for the Native American Caregivers program, a $250,000 thousand increase over 2019 enacted levels. These grants assist American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian families caring for older relatives with chronic illness or disabilities, and grandparents caring for grandchildren.
- Impact Aid. $1.3 billion for the Impact Aid Program, a $39 million increase over FY 2019. The Impact Aid program is a critical part of financing public education in areas impacted by a federal presence including Hawai‘i which has one of the highest per capita military presences in the country.
Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration & Related Agencies
The Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies section includes $23.5 billion in discretionary funding – $183 million above the FY 2019 enacted level. The bill funds essential agricultural and nutrition assistance program and services, including food and medical product safety, agricultural research, animal and plant health programs, rural housing and development, conservation programs, farm services, agricultural trade and both domestic and international food aid programs.
The bill includes support for various agriculture-related programs:
Rural Development and Infrastructure. Almost $3.8 billion for rural housing, broadband and critical infrastructure programs.
- Food and Nutrition Programs. Full funding for the special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, $23.6 billion in required mandatory funding for child nutrition programs $474 million above the FY 2019 enacted level and $67.9 billion in required mandatory spending for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
- Food Safety and Inspection Service. $1.1 billion for food safety and inspection programs.
- Marketing Programs. $187 million, $28 million above 2019 and $72 million above the President’s request, to facilitate the movement of agriculture products and open market opportunities.
- Farm Programs. $1.8 billion for farm programs, which is $37 million above the FY 2019 level.
- Animal and Plant Health. $1.1 billion – $31.6 million above the FY 2019 enacted level – for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
- Conservation Programs. $1.0 million to help farmers, ranchers, and other private landowners conserve and protect their land.
- Agricultural Research. $3.2 billion – $171 million above the budget request – for agriculture research programs, including the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).
Hawai‘i Specific Funding
- Microgrants for Food Security. $5 million for the Microgrants for Food Security program. This new program looks to increase the quantity and quality of locally grown food through small-scale gardening, herding and livestock operations in food insecure communities in areas of the country, including Hawai‘i.
- Native Hawaiian Education Grants. $3.2 million for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Alaska Native-Serving and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions Education Competitive Grants Program. This rejects the administration’s request to eliminate the program.
- Macadamia Tree Health Initiative. $1 million for the newly authorized Macadamia Tree Health Initiative that provides competitive research and extension grants for macadamia nuts.
- Coffee Plant Health Initiative. The committee recognized the importance and supported the research goals of the Coffee Plant Health Initiative.
- Agricultural Quarantine Inspection. $32.3 million for the Agricultural Quarantine Inspections function, including pre-departure and interline inspections. The Committee recognized that the prevention of infestations of pests and diseases is a federal responsibility and is much more cost effective than subsequent control or eradication. The Committee also rejected the administration’s proposal to move to a user fee system.
- Tropical and Subtropical Research. The Committee encouraged the ARS to explore research aimed at supporting tropical and subtropical crops and how this research would fit into ongoing activities.
- Specialty Crop Research Initiative. The Committee recognized the importance of the Specialty Crop Research Initiative in addressing the needs of the specialty crop industry through research and extension activities.
- Wildlife Damage Management. $109.8 million which help with the mitigation and prevention of brown tree snake.
- Pacific Ants. The Committee encouraged the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, ARS and the Forest Service to lead the revision of the Pacific Ants Prevention Plan, in collaboration with U.S. and international partners.
The plan is to include (1) research; (2) the development of technologies and methodologies for prevention, eradication and control of invasive ants; and (3) the collaborative implementation of projects to prevent, monitor and control invasive ants in affected Pacific islands.
Interior & Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
The Interior, Environment and Related Agencies bill include funding for programs within the Department of the Interior (DOI), the EPA and other related agencies, including the Indian Health Service.
In total, the FY 2020 bill includes $36.0 billion, an increase of $437 million over the 2019 enacted level and $5.8 billion over the administration’s FY 2020 request. There is also an additional $2.3 billion of funding provided under the fire suppression cap adjustment.
The bill provides a total of $13.5 billion in discretionary appropriations for DOI – $545 million above the 2019 enacted level and $2.1 billion above the Administration’s budget.
The bill provides a total of $9.1 billion for EPA – $208 million above the 2019 enacted level and $2.8 billion above the Administration’s budget.
The bill provides $3.13 billion for the Forest Service, a programmatic increase of $50 million above the 2019 enacted level and $346 million above the Administration’s budget.
Under the bill, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) would each receive $162.3 million, which is $7.3 million more than the 2019 enacted levels and rejects the Administration’s budget request proposal to eliminate the agencies.
Hawai‘i Specific Funding
- Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) – The bill includes $6 million for NPS land acquisition for the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail.
- National Park Service Japanese American Confinement Site (JACS) Program – The bill includes $3.2 million for the JACS Program, which supports non-profit groups efforts to preserve Japanese-American internment sites, such as Honouliuli National Historic Site. This is $205,000 more than FY 2019 and rejects the Administration’s request to eliminate the program.
- National Park Service (NPS) – The NPS is funded at $3.4 billion, $155 million more than FY 2019 and $636 million more than the Administration’s request. Hawai‘i has eight NPS units including Pearl Harbor National Memorial, Honouliuli National Historic Site and Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.
- U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Volcano Hazards Program – The USGS Volcano Hazards program is funded at $30.3 million, $2 million more than the Administration’s request. This program funds the Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory on Hawai‘i Island.
- EPA Grant Programs – The bill includes $4.3 billion for State and Tribal Assistance Grants, a $115 million increase above the 2019 enacted level and $1.5 billion above the Administration’s budget request. This includes $2.8 billion for Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds, which fund states work to ensure clean and safe water for Americans.
Transportation, Housing & Urban Development (T-HUD)
The Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies bill funds the Department of Transportation, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and other related agencies, including the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness.
In total, the FY 2020 legislation provides $135.6 billion in budgetary resources, an increase of $1.2 billion above the 2019 enacted level and $15.8 billion above the Administration’s budget request. The bill includes $74.3 billion in discretionary funding, an increase of $3.2 billion over the 2019 enacted level and $15.8 billion over the administration’s 2020 budget.
Department of Transportation (DOT) — The bill provides a total of $86.2 billion in total budgetary resources for DOT, $3.3 billion above the Administration’s budget request.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) — The bill provides a total of $49.1 billion for HUD, $4.9 billion above the 2019 enacted level and $12.4 billion above the Administration’s budget request.
Hawai‘i Specific Funding
- HUD Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant – The bill includes $2 million for the Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant. This rejects the administration’s proposal to eliminate funding for the program.
- DOT Federal Highways and Transit Funding – Hawai‘i would receive $14.2 million in addition to its annual funding under DOT Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration formula grant programs.
- HUD Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships Program – Hawai‘i would receive $866,247 in addition to its annual funding from HUD CDBG and HOME formula grant programs.
- HUD Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers – The bill includes $23.9 billion, sufficient for all renewals, $1.3 billion over the FY 2019 enacted level and $1.6 billion above the Administration’s request. This amount includes $40 million in new funding for the HUD/Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing for Homeless Veterans program.
- DOT Essential Air Service (EAS) Program – The bill includes $162 million for the EAS program, $37 million more than the Administration’s request. Hawai‘i has ten EAS-eligible communities, including Hāna, Kamuela and Kalaupapa.
Energy and Water
The Energy and Water Development (E&W) bill includes $48.3 billion in base discretionary funding, an increase of $3.7 billion over the 2019 enacted level for the Department of Energy, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and related agencies. The E&W bill supports programs that will mitigate and adapt to climate change and improve the water infrastructure in Hawai‘i.
The bill includes a total of $38.5 billion for the Department of Energy (DOE), an increase of $2.9 billion above the 2019 enacted level and $7 billion above the President’s Request.
Specifically, the bill provides a total of $642 million for Renewable Energy, an increase of $114 above the 2019 enacted level. The bill also includes $425 million for the Advanced Research Project Agency (ARPA-E), which the President’s budget proposed eliminating. This is an increase of $59 million above FY 2019.
The bill provides a total of $7.6 billion in discretionary appropriations for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, $651.5 million above the 2019 enacted level. Of this amount, the bill includes six new construction projects and six new feasibility studies.
The bill also includes tighter limits on reprogramming Corps funds than under the 2019 spending law. It would bar any repurposing of funds that affects amounts for any activity by more than $2 million or 10%, whichever is less. This measure would bar the current administration from reorganizing the Corps to transfer its civil works functions out of the Defense Department.
The bill includes a total of $1.6 billion for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, an increase of $115 million above the 2019 enacted level and $580 million above the President’s budget for water resource management and other water resources projects, including projects authorized in the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act.
Hawai‘i Specific Funding
- $3.7 billion for the Operation and Maintenance account, a $50.5 million increase over the 2019 enacted level. This will include funding going towards:
- Barbers Point Harbor ($297,000),
- Hilo Harbor ($582,000),
- Honolulu Harbor ($175,000),
- Inspection of Completed Works ($613,000), and
- Project Condition Surveys ($581,000).
- $3 billion for the Remaining Items Programs account. This will allocate strategy guidance for programs in the Investigations, Construction, Operations and Maintenance and Mississippi River and Tributaries appropriations accounts subject to line items with allocations. This will include funding going towards:
- Flood Plain Management Services
- National Shoreline Management Study
- Planning Assistance to States
- Coastal and Deep-Draft
These programs will provide support for improvement projects throughout the nation, including Wailupe Stream in Hawai‘i where there are significant recent flooding and a resulting declaration of emergency.
State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs
Overall, the State and Foreign Operations bill provides $54.7 billion for the Department of State, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and related agencies and programs.
This total amount is $467 million above the FY 2019 enacted level and $11.3 billion above the President’s budget.
The bill maintains our commitment to international development and multilateral institutions. Overall, the bill provides almost $8 billion for humanitarian assistance abroad through migration and refugee assistance and international disaster assistance.
The bill also provides $875 million for International Basic Education programs. The bill further provides $2.4 billion for democracy programs and $300 million for the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), thus sustaining the United States’ longtime commitment to promoting democracy and civil society abroad.
The bill also restores the U.S. commitment to international multilateral institutions, including the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and more. The bill provides $1.5 billion in Contributions to International Organizations and $1.5 billion for Contributions for International Peacekeeping Activities, including arrears from previous FYs.
The bill provides robust funding for global environmental protection and conservation programs, including $315 million for biodiversity programs, $100 million for wildlife anti-trafficking, and nearly $140 million for the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
The bill supports global health programs, including $5.9 billion for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and $1.5 billion for the Global Fund.
The bill supports women’s reproductive rights by providing $575 million for family planning programs and $32.5 million for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
The bill also supports gender equality by providing $50 million for women’s leadership programs, $165 million to prevent gender-based violence, and $15 million to address women at risk of violent extremism.
In the Middle East, the bill maintains $3.3 billion in security assistance for Israel per the ten-year memorandum of understanding agreed to in 2016.
The bill also reaffirms the importance of a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and provides $75 million to support urgent humanitarian and development assistance in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The bill also prevents the use of funds from supporting the sale of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia
The bill sets a floor of $1.5 billion to be spent on the Administration’s Indo-Pacific Strategy. These funds will be used to enhance security cooperation and economic and social development with key partners and allies in the Indo-Pacific region, sending a strong message to those countries and potential adversaries of our continued commitment to mutual security, trade and prosperity and human rights and democracy in the region.
The bill provides robust support for key international exchange and service programs, including $410 million for the Peace Corps and $730 million for Educational and Cultural Exchange programs. These international exchange programs have allowed dozens of Hawai‘i residents each year to go abroad and develop vital experiences and skills for our twenty-first-century economy.
This bill sustains our international security assistance commitments to key allies and partners by providing a total of $9 billion in such assistance. The bill provides $457 million for peacekeeping operations, including ongoing operations in Kosovo, where Hawai‘i Army National Guard (HIARNG) units were stationed. The bill also maintains international narcotics control and law enforcement activities, anti-terrorism programs, nonproliferation programs and more.
Hawai‘i Specific Funding
- $16.7 million for the East-West Center. For years, the Center’s funding was zeroed out in the House appropriations bills, but the renewed funding in the House reflects Case’s efforts on behalf of the Center and the importance of the Center’s work in the Indo-Pacific, a region of crucial interest to the United States. Since 1960, the East-West Center has fostered better relations and understanding between the U.S. and the Indo-Pacific region through education, research and professional development for students, scholars, and officials of all countries across the region.
H.R. 1158: NATIONAL SECURITY APPROPRIATIONS BILL
Among the highlights in this $860.3 billion measure are the following:
- $3.28 billion, an increase of $245.5 million, in grants to state and local law enforcement
- $7.6 billion to fund a fair and accurate 2020 census
- $425 million in grants to states to ensure election security
The legislation provides $693.3 billion in discretionary spending to defend our nation against evolving threats, prepare for future challenges and meet the needs of service members and military families. This is an increase of $18.9 billion above the FY 2019 enacted level, though $4.6 billion below the Administration’s request.
The bill will support effort to strengthen the Navy. The measure would provide $24 billion to buy 14 Navy ships, including three guided missile destroyers, two attack submarines, one frigate, one Ford-class aircraft carrier, two fleet oilers, and two towing ships, one landing helicopter assault replacement, one expeditionary fast transport, and one landing platform dock ship. The bill also includes advance funding for additional Virginia and Columbia class submarines.
The bill also provides robust support for aircraft for all the services, including:
- 98 F-35 aircraft ($9.3 billion),
- Eight F-15EX aircraft ($1.1 billion),
- 74 UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters ($1.4 billion),
- 14 V-22 aircraft ($1.2 billion),
- Nine P-8A Poseidon aircraft ($1.7 billion), and
- 20 C/MC/KC-130J aircraft ($1.8 billion).
The bill provides $154.8 billion for active, reserve and National Guard military personnel. This funding will result in an active duty end strength of 1,339,500, and it will provide the funds needed for a 3.1 percent pay raise to our troops.
Hawai‘i-Specific Defense Funding
- Formerly Used Defense Sites. $275.0 million for Environmental Restoration/Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS), which is $58.5 million above the President’s budget.
Since World War II, large areas both onshore and offshore in Hawai‘i have been used for military training involving live ammunition. Most of these sites are no longer controlled by the U.S. military. According to some estimates, it could take nearly 100 years to remediate the hundreds of identified FUDS sites in Hawai‘i at the funding levels appropriated over the last few years.
- High-Performance Computing Program (HPCMP). $224.8 million for the HPCMP, a $10 million increase above the President’s budget. The HPCMP was initiated in 1992 in response to the congressional direction to modernize the Department of Defense (DOD) laboratories’ high-performance computing capabilities. The increase in FY 2020 will help the Maui High-Performance Computing Center in Hawai‘i, which specializes in image and signal processing of data from telescopes, satellites, radar and other sensors as well as modeling and simulation of environmental and battlefield scenarios that are critical to developing operational plans.
- Defense Security Cooperation Agency’s (DSCA) Regional Centers. $70.3 million for DSCA Regional Centers, $5 million more than the prior year and $3.8 million above the President’s budget.
The Regional Centers support defense strategy objectives and policy priorities through: (1) offering executive-development strategic-security studies, research and outreach in rigorous outreach programs that foster long-term collaborative relationships; (2) developing and sustaining relationships and communities of interest among security practitioners and national security establishments, especially in defense, throughout the region; and (3) enhancing enduring partnerships among the nations of the region.
Among these five centers is the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (DKI-APCSS) in Waikīkī. It addresses regional and global security issues, inviting military and civilian representatives of the United States and Asia-Pacific nations to its comprehensive program of executive education and workshops throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Increased funding for DSCA’s Regional Centers will result in increased resources for the DKI-APCSS as it works to help execute our nation’s national security agenda in the Indo-Pacific region.
- Home Defense Radar – Hawai‘i (HDR-H). $188.5 million for HDR-H. The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act requires the Missile Defense Agency to develop a plan to procure and field a “discrimination radar” to improve the defense of Hawai‘i. The HDR-H will provide this much-needed persistent capability to mitigate the effects of evolving threats to the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS), optimize discrimination capability in the Indo-Pacific architecture and increase capability of ground-based interceptors in the defense of Hawai‘i.
- Sea-Based X-Band (SBX) Radar. $128.2 million for the SBX Radar (the “golf ball”). The SBX radar provides precision midcourse tracking, debris mitigation and discrimination capabilities.
The SBX is an integral component in flight tests to demonstrate discrimination and debris mitigation. Specifically, the SBX would log approximately 305 days at sea and 60 days for in-port maintenance in FY 2020. The budget request also continues the x86 X-Band Radar (XBR) superdome replacement to address obsolete equipment and increase the XBR processing capabilities.
- Impact Aid for Children with Severe Disabilities Program. $20 million for the specialized Impact Aid program for children with severe disabilities. This program reimburses Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) for money previously spent on military dependent children with severe disabilities.
The program is available to LEAs that have at least two military dependent children with severe disabilities that meet certain special education cost criteria.
- Local Control Bill for Navy. The Appropriations Committee again blocked efforts to change the command and control structure of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. There had been efforts within the department to streamline control of forces under one command structure, which would limit the ability of Naval forces in Hawai‘i to respond quickly to changing threats in the Indo-Pacific region.
- Native Hawaiian Contracting. The committee maintained and strengthened the DOD contracting preference language for Native American tribes and Native Hawaiian Organizations.
- Asia Pacific Regional Initiative (APRI): $14 million for APRI, a $4.8 million increase from the President’s budget. This program enables the military to execute Theater Security Cooperation activities such as humanitarian assistance and paying incremental personnel costs of training and exercising with foreign security forces. The initiative is a critical tool for the military to enable security cooperation activities in the Indo-Pacific region.
Commerce, Justice & Science
Case is a member of the Appropriations Committee and its Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS).
The FY 2020 bill contains $73.2 billion in discretionary funding, an increase of $9 billion above the FY 2019 level.
The CJS bill includes a wide array of vital programs for Hawai‘i, such as ocean conservation, scientific research, economic development, law enforcement, and civil rights protection. The bill includes $15.2 billion for the Commerce Department, an increase of $3.8 billion above the 2019 enacted level and $2.7 billion above the Administration’s request. This includes funding for the following agencies.
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – The legislation contains $5.4 billion for NOAA, which is $895 million above the Administration’s request. Funding will help address important priorities such as climate research, improvements in weather forecasting, the reduction of harmful algal blooms and fisheries management.
- Economic Development Administration (EDA) – The legislation includes $333 million for the EDA, an increase of $29 million above the FY 2019 level. These funds will help improve our nation’s infrastructure, boost economically recovering communities and launch innovative community development efforts.
- Census Bureau – The bill provides $7.6 billion for the Census Bureau, including a strong increase to enable the Bureau to conduct a thorough and accurate 2020 Decennial Census that counts all persons, as required by the Constitution. This funding enables the Bureau to conduct its largest and most technologically advanced decennial census in its 230-year history.
The bill funds the Department of Justice (DOJ) at $32.6 billion, an increase of $1.67 billion above the FY 2019 enacted level. These investments will give federal law enforcement more tools to thwart violent crime, fight drug and human traffickers, bring criminals to justice and protect civil rights.
The legislation also strongly supports key agencies dealing with science and technology. NASA is funded at $22.6 billion, $1.1 billion above the FY 2019 enacted level. The legislation funds NSF at $8.28 billion – $203.3 million above the FY 2019 enacted level. Research and related activities are funded at $6.7 billion, $217.2 million above the current level.
These funds will foster innovation and U.S. economic competitiveness, including funding for research on advanced manufacturing, physics, mathematics, cybersecurity, neuroscience and STEM education. The bill also invests in important scientific infrastructures such as modernization of Antarctica facilities along with telescopes and research vessels.
Hawai‘i Specific Funding
- NOAA National Ocean Service (NOS) – NOAA’s NOS is funded at $606.5 million in the bill. This is an increase of $21 million above the FY 2019 level. The NOS includes the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, the He‘eia National Estuarine Research Reserve, the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System, the Marine Debris Program, the Coral Reef Conservation Program and other ocean and coastal programs supporting Hawai‘i.
- NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) – The NWS operations are funded at $1.07 billion in the bill. The NWS includes the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center and the Honolulu NWS Forecast Office.
- NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO) – The bill includes $342.4 million for the OMAO, a $16.6 million increase from FY 2019. The bill includes $3.1 million to ensure that NOAA’s missions do not suffer because of the decommissioning of the NOAA ship Hi‘ialakai. Additionally, the bill includes $75 million to fund new vessel construction.
- DOJ Grant Programs – The bill includes a total of $3.28 billion for various state and local law enforcement assistance grant programs, from which Hawai‘i receives funding, including:
- $502.5 million for Violence Against Women Act programs,
- $547.2 million for Byrne Justice Assistance Grants,
- $340 million for Community Oriented Policing Services,
- $132 million for DNA Initiative Grants,
- $48 million for Reduce Sexual Assault Kits Backlog grants,
- $320 million for Juvenile Justice Programs, and
- $378 million for Anti-Opioid and Substance Abuse Initiative.
- NASA Planetary Defense – The bill includes $160 million for NASA’s Planetary Defense programs. This includes the Near-Earth Object Observations program, which supports the University of Hawaii’s Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) which monitors space for objects that may come into proximity to the Earth.
- NSF Research and Related Activities – This bill includes $6.7 billion for NSF research activities. Continued operations for NSF’s Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) are funded through this program.
Department of Homeland Security
Overall, the bill provides $67.8 billion for the Department of Homeland Security and related agencies and programs. This total amount includes $48.1 billion for non-defense programs; $2.4 billion for defense-related programs; and $17.4 billion for major disaster response and recovery activities. When excluding major disaster funding, the total provided in the bill is $50.5 billion, which is $1.2 billion below the budget request and $1.1 billion above the FY 2019 enacted level, including an increase of $325 million for cybersecurity and infrastructure security activities.
The bill provides $14.9 billion for Customs and Border Patrol, $43.7 million below the FY 2019 enacted level and $3.3 billion below the President’s budget request.
This includes $173 million for humanitarian care of individuals in CBP custody; and $30 million for critical life and safety repairs and maintenance at existing Border Patrol Facilities and for improvements to closed caption video systems.
It also authorizes the establishment of an Immigration Detention Ombudsman, reporting directly to the Secretary of Homeland Security, with responsibility for receiving, investigating, and resolving complaints regarding misconduct by DHS personnel and violations of the rights of individuals in DHS custody, including through unannounced inspections of detention facilities. The bill offers $1.4 billion for barriers along the southwest border, which is $3.6 billion below the President’s request.
The bill also provides $190.2 million for the Office of Inspector General, an increase of $22.2 million above the FY 2019 enacted level and an increase of $20 million above the budget request for increased oversight of detention and immigration enforcement activities
The bill supports the U.S. Coast Guard with $12 billion in funding. This figure is $846.7 million above the President’s budget request, $1.77 billion for significant new investments in the Coast Guard’s air and marine fleet, and facilities, including continued support for the Polar Security Cutter, Fast Response Cutters, MH60 helicopters and C-130 J aircraft. It also continues FY 2019 investments for additional military personnel and a child care subsidy and includes new investments in workforce readiness and recruiting.
The continues provides the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) $22.3 billion, which is $5.7 billion above the FY 2019 enacted level and $4 billion above the President’s budget request. These funds include $17.8 billion for disaster response and recovery efforts and $2.9 billion for state and local grant programs.
This bill also rejects the President’s proposal to eliminate the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium (NDPC) which is primary training partner and established training arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The bill provides $100 million for Port Security Grants, which is $63 million above the President’s budget request. These grants are used to protect critical port infrastructure from criminal and terrorist attacks, whether they are physical or cyber in nature.
Hawai‘i Specific Funding
- $101 million for the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium, which includes the National Domestic Preparedness Training Center at the University of Hawai‘i. This year, the President proposed a complete elimination of the NDPC but the renewed funding reflects Case’s efforts on behalf of the Center and the importance of the Center’s work to develop and deliver training courses focused on natural hazards, coastal communities and the special needs and opportunities of islands, territories and remote, isolated communities.
Financial Services and General Government
The bill includes $23.8 billion in discretionary funding – $673.3 million above the FY 2019 enacted level. The bill supports a broad range of functions and services in both the executive and judicial branches that are essential to the operation of the federal government.
- Department of the Treasury – The bill provides a total of $13.06 billion in discretionary appropriations for the Department, including $400 million for IRS program integrity. This includes:
- $262 million for Community Development Financial Institutions, an increase of $12 million above the 2019 enacted level and a rejection of the proposal in the Administration’s budget to eliminate the program entirely.
- $11.5 billion for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), an increase of $207.5 million above the 2019 enacted level and $38 million above the Administration’s request. The bill also eliminates a longstanding provision that restricts the IRS from creating a pre-populated return.
- Executive Office of the President – The bill includes a total of $726.9 million for the Office of the President, $ 396.5 million above the Administration’s budget request. This includes:
- $285 million for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program, an increase of $5 million above 2019; and
- $101.3 million for the Drug-Free Communities Program, an increase of $1.3 million above the 2019 enacted level.
- The bill rejects the Administration’s proposed transfer or elimination of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) grant programs.
- The Judiciary – The bill includes a total of $7.5 billion in discretionary appropriations, an increase of $234 million above the 2019 enacted level. This includes $1.2 billion for Defender Services, an increase of $84 million above the 2019 enacted level.
- Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) – The bill funds the CPSC at $132.5 million, which is $5.5 million above the 2019 enacted level and the Administration’s budget request.
- Election Assistance Commission (EAC) – The bill provides $425 million for Election Security Grants to augment state efforts to improve the security and integrity of elections for federal office.
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC) – The bill includes $331 million for the FTC, which is $20 million above the 2019 enacted level, to bolster antitrust and consumer protection work.
- Office of Personnel Management (OPM) – The bill includes $330 million, an increase of $34.1 million, for OPM. The bill provides a 3.1 percent pay raise for federal civilian employees for calendar year 2020.
- Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) – The bill includes $1.8 billion, an increase of $140 million, for SEC salaries and expenses. Language is included to direct the additional funds specifically to augment SEC’s enforcement, compliance, market oversight and investor education and advocacy activities.
- Small Business Administration (SBA) – The bill provides a total of $847.6 million for SBA. Of this amount, the bill includes $261 million, an increase of $13.3 million, for Entrepreneurial Development Programs, including:
- $135 million (a $4 million increase) for Small Business Development Centers,
- $34.5 million (a $3.5 million increase) for Microloan Technical Assistance,
- $19 million (a $1 million increase) for the State Trade Expansion Program, and
- $22.5 million (a $4 million increase) for Women’s Business Centers.
- Postal – The bill maintains the current requirement for 6-day delivery and rural delivery of mail.
- Native American Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). $16 million for Native CDFIs is to help provide access to non-traditional funding streams for indigenous communities, which have historically struggled to access traditional funding and capital. As of 2015, Hawai‘i had 13 registered Native Hawaiian CDFIs.
- Native American Outreach Program. $2 million to enable the Office of Native American Affairs to focus on creating entrepreneurial opportunities and empowerment in indigenous communities, to include Native Hawaiians.
- Hawaii’s Temporary Judgeship. Hawaii’s long-standing fourth temporary federal judgeship was extended again.
- 8(a) Business Development Program. The importance of this program was recognized, and the SBA was encouraged to assess the potential benefits of expanding the qualification criteria for the 8(a) Business Development Program. The SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program was created to help small disadvantaged businesses win federal contracts.
- State Trade Expansion Program. $19 million for the State Trade Expansion Program, which has helped many Hawai‘i businesses export by making matching-fund grants for states available to assist small businesses in entering and succeeding in the international marketplace.
- Historically Underutilized Business Zones Program (HUBZone). $3 million for the HUBZone program which helps maintain small business and jobs in at-risk communities, especially on the Neighbor Islands. There are 71 HUBZone small businesses in Hawai‘i.
- Community Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA). $25 million for the VITA program, which offers free tax help to people who generally make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly and limited-English taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. This program provides needed assistance for many Limited English Proficient Asian American, Pacific Islander and other families in Hawai‘i.
“I am very pleased that many of my requests for both national and Hawai‘i-specific programs and services made the final cut,” said Case. “This took the collective efforts of the Hawai‘i Congressional delegation working closely together, along with invaluable input from our partners in state and local government and our community, and I am grateful for this truly collaborative effort on behalf of Hawai’i.”