Omnibus Passed The Senate With Several Bennet-Backed Priorities To Deliver Aid To Ukraine, Support Colorado Communities & Boost U.S. Technology
Washington, D.C. –– Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet welcomed U.S. Senate passage of the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) omnibus funding bill, which includes $13.6 billion in emergency assistance for Ukraine and NATO allies and support for key Colorado priorities, such as the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Arkansas Valley Conduit, the Regional Transportation District (RTD), and the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program.
“From the COVID-19 pandemic to natural disasters fueled by climate change, Coloradans have faced challenge after challenge over the past year,” said Bennet. “The investments in this bill will help Colorado communities return to normal, build climate resilience, and cope with rising costs.”
“With this bill, we will deliver critical humanitarian, economic, and security assistance to the people of Ukraine as they continue to fight for their lives and country. We must continue to punish Putin and his enablers for this lawless war. The Ukrainian people are resilient, and we must support them in their pursuit for a sovereign and democratic nation,” Bennet continued.
Bennet, a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, secured provisions from the Intelligence Authorization Act (IAA) in the omnibus to strengthen U.S. competitiveness in key emerging technologies. More information on Bennet’s provisions is available HERE.
The legislation also re-authorizes the Violence Against Women Act, which provides critical support for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Bennet-backed Colorado priorities included in the FY22 Omnibus Bill:
- $10.05 million for the Arkansas Valley Conduit, a $2 million increase from Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21).
- $148 million for NREL’s facilities and infrastructure budget, a $18 million increase from FY21.
- $1.87 billion for farm programs, which is $44 million above FY21 levels. This funding will continue support for various farm, conservation, and emergency loan programs and help American farmers and ranchers.
- $525 million for the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) to offset lost property tax revenue to counties with significant federal lands.
- $28.9 million to return the RTD’s deposit to secure a federal loan to develop Denver’s Union Station. Along with Colorado U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper and Colorado U.S. Representative Ed Perlmutter, Bennet secured language that requires the Department of Transportation to return RTD’s deposit.
- $5.7 billion, a 5.5% increase from FY21, for the Forest Service to improve forest restoration and fire risk reduction efforts and to increase year-round staffing to carry out this work.
- $900 million to the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
- $904 million to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for Conservation Operations, an increase of $71 million from FY 21.
- $3.8 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to help Coloradans cover energy costs, a $50 million increase from FY21.
- $41.5 million for Assistance to Coal Communities through the Economic Development Administration (EDA), an increase of $8 million from FY21.
- $11 billion for Head Start programs, an increase of $289 million from FY21.
- $246 million for COPS hiring grants, which will place approximately 1,700 more police officers on the streets.
- $6.5 billion for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), including $101.6 million for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and 9-8-8 implementation. Bennet co-sponsored the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act to designate 9-8-8 as the national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline. In July 2021, he introduced bipartisan legislation to expand and enhance the capacity of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and mental health crisis centers.
- A 2.7% pay raise for all 2.1 million uniformed U.S. service members and approximately 750,000 civilian Defense Department employees.
- $97.5 billion, an 8.7% increase from FY21, for VA Medical Care, which will help provide essential health services for 9.2 million veterans.
- $1.5 billion for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program – an increase of $150 million from FY21 – to support construction of more than 10,000 affordable homebuyer and rental units and rehabilitation of more than 4,000 owner-occupied homes.
- $10 million for university constoria space technology Research and Development.
A full list of Bennet-supported Colorado priorities in the omnibus is available HERE.
Earlier today, Bennet announced that he secured nearly $121 million for 64 Colorado projects in the omnibus through the congressionally directed spending process.