Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) is pleased to highlight some of the legislative victories she secured in Congress’ Fiscal Year 2020 spending agreement, including first-time federal funding for KidneyX, a full repeal of the Medical Device Tax, and inclusion of DelBene’s Save Community Newspaper Act, among other important victories for Washington state residents.
KidneyX received $5 million in funding in this year’s agreement. KidneyX is a new public-private partnership aimed at accelerating the development and adoption of novel therapies and technologies to improve the diagnosis and treatment of kidney diseases. As co-chair of the Congressional Kidney Caucus, DelBene has helped lead the bipartisan effort to fund KidneyX to support improving the prognoses for kidney patients.
Today's compromise also includes the full repeal of the Medical Device Tax. The tax deters investment in medical research and development. DelBene has been a leader in the House Democratic Caucus in advocating for the repeal of this tax. There are over 300 medical device or equipment companies in Washington state. The Cadillac tax was also repealed, which will make it easier for employers to offer robust quality health care plans for their employees.
DelBene’s Save Community Newspaper Act (H.R. 1916) provides pension relief to local newspapers across the country. This legislation changes certain pension rules for community newspapers and helps prevent their pension plans from failing, helping several newspapers in Washington state. H.R. 1916 originally passed the House in May.
“No large spending bill is ever perfect, but the inclusion of these priorities demonstrates that honest bipartisan policy efforts still have a place in our nation’s capital,” said DelBene. “I appreciate the support of my colleagues for causes that my constituents care about deeply. I look forward to continuing my work for our district in the new year.”
Other allocations in the spending agreement that were supported or led by DelBene include:
- $40 million for HUD/VA Supportive Housing for Homeless Veterans, equal to the 2019 enacted level. The President’s budget request proposed eliminating this program.
- $41.7 billion for the 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 request
- $1.5 billion in State Opioid Response Grants, continuing the historic investment in FY18
- $222 million in suicide prevention outreach activities at the Veterans Administration
- $25 million to the CDC and NIH for gun violence research and firearm injury and mortality prevention for the first time in more than 20 years
- $22.63 billion for National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), an increase of $1.13 billion above the FY 2019 enacted level
- $35.5 million is provided to address the recommendations outlined in the Pacific Salmon Commission’s plan to implement the Pacific Salmon Treaty
- $22 million is provided for Mitchell Act hatchery activities, which enable federal agencies to work with Oregon, Washington, and Idaho to establish and operate a series of hatcheries and fish passage facilities to improve declining salmon runs in the Columbia River System
- $70 million for Indian Community Development Block Grants, $5 million above the 2019 enacted level. The President’s budget request proposed eliminating this program.
- $3.4 billion for Community Development Block Grants, $100 million above the 2019 enacted level. The President’s budget request proposed eliminating this program.
- $10.6 billion for Head Start, an increase of $550 million
- $1.2 billion for 21st Century Community Learning Centers, an increase of $28 million above the 2019 enacted level. The President’s budget proposed to eliminate this program.
- Census Bureau – the bill provides $7.56 billion in new discretionary funding, an increase of more than $3.7 billion above FY 2019 and $1.4 billion above the President’s budget request, to enable the Bureau to effectively prepare for and conduct a thorough and accurate 2020 Decennial Census
- $6 billion in discretionary funding for WIC, which fully funds participation this year. The bill increases the breastfeeding peer counselor program to $90 million.
- $3.2 billion – $171 million above the fiscal year 2019 level – for agriculture research programs, including the Agricultural Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.