Following the recent passage of the majority of fiscal year 2020 “appropriations” bills in the House of Representatives, first-term Congressman Josh Harder (CA-10) released a report outlining successful efforts in securing funding for critical programs which support water projects, job training, and healthcare in the Central Valley. The administration called for massive cuts to most programs, but the House resisted those efforts and instead passed legislation with responsible levels of funding for important programs, noted the congressman.
“The Bay Area and Los Angeles get huge investments from the federal government every year – and we’re left with peanuts – that has to change,” said Harder. “I worked to make sure the House funding bills included the resources we need in the Central Valley to grow our water supply, create jobs, and protect our health care.”
Here a few of the appropriations bill highlights.
Under the funding bills, the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), which is responsible for water projects, is funded at $1.6 billion – the largest investment in a decade. Four projects included in Harder’s SAVE Water Resources Act are now slated to receive $14 million to increase water storage in the Central Valley by nearly two million acre-feet.
The administration budget called for the complete elimination of the Economic Development Administration (EDA), which is responsible for helping communities like the Central Valley grow jobs and stimulate the economy. Harder and colleagues fought to secure funding and instead the agency will now see an increase of $236 million from its 2019 level. Also hoped for is an additional $2 million in funding through the EDA’s Adjustment Assistance program for Opportunity Stanislaus so they can expand capacity for its Building a Brighter Tomorrow (BBT) program.
Although the administration budget called for $845 billion in cuts to Medicare and $200 billion in cuts to Medicaid over the next decade, Harder was among those in the House that supported full funding. He also worked to help ensure that the Health Workforce program, which provides loans, loan repayment, grants, and training programs to bring more doctors to communities like the Central Valley, was fully funded.