United States Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, announced several critical victories and urgent investments today that she secured on behalf of Washington’s Seventh Congressional District in this year’s appropriations bills, which passed the House of Representatives. The bills include tens of millions of dollars in additional funds for homelessness services, emergency management, infrastructure and tribal programs. The appropriations bills also include other key priorities for the district, including additional oversight of the Office of Management and Budget’s decision to close the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) facility in Seattle.
These victories follow Congresswoman Jayapal’s dedicated work to secure $3,952,753 in casework savings for her constituents as she has held more than 100 town halls and responded to hundreds of thousands of constituent messages.
“I am proud to have helped secure millions of dollars in additional funds that will go directly towards improving the lives of people in our district while also delivering on several critical priorities for our state and country,” said Congresswoman Jayapal. “While I am proud to lead the fight for guaranteed health care, humane immigration laws, environmental justice and an economy that works for everyone, I am also honored to help constituents each day and to do the work necessary to deliver additional investments and urgent victories directly to our community.”
Congresswoman Jayapal offered six amendments that passed the House of Representatives and were successfully added to the appropriations legislation:
- An amendment to prohibit Secretary Betsy DeVos from diverting CARES Act funding away from public schools towards private schools.
- An amendment to highlight the need to fully fund the Army Corps section 206 program at the authorized amount of $62.5 million. This fund is one of the few financial sources available to support fish passage infrastructure projects to promote salmon restoration in Shoreline, Edmonds and Lake Forest Park. The program is currently only funded at $10 million.
- An amendment to prevent the Trump administration from implementing a rule that threatens Alaskan wildlife. This cruel rule would allow extreme trophy hunting practices like shooting hibernating bear cubs, gunning down swimming caribou from motorboats and killing wolves and coyotes during the season when mothers wean their young.
- An amendment to transfer $2 million from the Department of Justice’s general administration account to increase funding for the National Center for Restorative Justice.
- An amendment to increase funding for Global Internet Freedom by $2.5 million. This funding will help counter repressive Internet-related laws globally, support research on threats to Internet freedom and help us develop and implement technologies that enhance access to the Internet.
- An amendment to increase funding for the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) by $250 million and increase funding for WAP training and technical assistance by $3 million. WAP would help reduce household energy costs and support economic recovery through the creation of green jobs.
Congresswoman Jayapal also had numerous top-tier requests that were successfully passed in the appropriations bills to deliver on key priorities for the district. They include:
- Oversight of the OMB decision to shutter Seattle’s National Archives and Records Administration Facility: The appropriations legislation includes language that acknowledges Congress is concerned with the process that was used to develop the recommendation on closing the Seattle facility; acknowledges that Congress understands the decision will have a negative impact on state agencies, universities, researchers, scientists, tribal members, and students in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska; recommends that the Board increase transparency of the process for stakeholders and invite further input before making a final decision on a facility’s status; and recommends that the Board specifically work with stakeholders associated with the Seattle facility to establish the necessary steps to maintain access to these records. The language also puts into place Congressional accountability measures to ensure NARA reports back to Congress on their efforts to maintain access to the public and stakeholders within 90 days.
- Ensuring funds to promote homelessness intervention are evidence-based: The appropriations bills include language prohibiting the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness from using funds to promote homelessness intervention unless those interventions include support for evidence-based interventions including the Housing First model and Permanent Supportive Housing.
- Increasing funds to the Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS funds: The appropriations bills include an additional $20 million for the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS program.
- Promoting sentencing alternative programs for parents: The appropriations bills include first-time bipartisan language crafted by Rep. Jayapal recognizing that incarcerating parents creates poor outcomes for children. The language urges the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) to promote opportunities that support and strengthen parenting sentencing alternative programs, similar to Washington State’s Family and Offender Sentencing Alternative (FOSA).
- Barring Department of Defense funds from being used for immigration enforcement at the border: The appropriations bills’ language bars Department of Defense (DOD) funds from being used for active duty members of the Armed Forces to support security or immigration enforcement operations at the southern border.
- Funding State and Tribal Assistance Grants and the Innovative Water Infrastructure Workforce Development Program: The appropriation bills successfully increase funding three fold—to $3,000,000—for the State and Tribal Assistance Grants and the Innovative Water Infrastructure Workforce Development Program.
- Increased funding for the Tribal Resilience Program: The appropriations bills increase funding for the Tribal Resilience Program by $3,000,000 to a total of $17,965,000. This program provides resources to Tribes to build capacity and resilience through leadership engagement, delivery of data and tools, training and tribal capacity building.
- Funding for the Department of Labor’s Susan Harwood Training Grant Program: The appropriations bills grant $13,537,000 in funding and encourages the Department of Labor to include hazards facing domestic workers as a training topic in its announcements for Susan Harwood Training Grants. This is aligned with Congresswoman Jayapal’s Domestic Workers Bill of Rights.
- Launching a study of workplace harassment: The appropriations bills issue language directing the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study and recommend improvements to federal support programs for survivors of workplace harassment in low-wage, vulnerable, and marginalized sectors like domestic work. This is aligned with Congresswoman Jayapal’s Domestic Workers Bill of Rights.
- Funding to help rehouse homeless individuals and families: The appropriations bill increases funding to the Continuum of Care Program and the Emergency Solutions Grants. These funds are used by King County to rehouse homeless individuals and families.