Luján Applauds Passage Of Omnibus Appropriations Package
Washington D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) applauded final passage of the Fiscal Year 2022 Omnibus Appropriations Package, which funds the federal government for the coming year, and includes over 70 congressionally directed spending requestssecured by Senator Luján that total more than $130 million. For New Mexico, this funding will modernize roads and bridges, lower the cost of child care, and increase funding for Head Start. This investment will also work to mitigate the growing threat of climate change with historic levels of funding for forest restoration and fire mitigation. To address the mental health crisis, this funding supports mental health access for Americans and also works to strengthen New Mexico’s system of crisis care. Critically, this appropriations package also provides support for Tribal and Pueblo communities with an increase of $500 million for Tribal Health Services and a 25 percent increase in funding to address the atrocity of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.
Luján Legislative victories secured in Omnibus Appropriations Package:
- The Protecting Indian Tribes from Scams Act, to direct the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to work with Tribal authorities to study scams targeting Tribes and Tribal members.
- The Native Youth and Tribal Officer Protection Act, to strengthen Tribal protections for children and Tribal law enforcement by expanding Tribal authority to prosecute non-Indians on Tribal lands for threatened or attempted violence against children and Tribal justice personnel/law enforcement in connection with domestic violence incidents.
“New Mexicans deserve a federal government that actively listens to their needs and works diligently to meet them,” said Senator Luján. “These investments will serve every corner of our state by modernizing our roads and bridges, lowering the cost of child care, and combating the growing threat of climate change. I’m also proud the omnibus includes two of my bills that I was proud to write to protect and empower Tribal communities. The Protecting Indian Tribes from Scams Act will allow the federal government to work with Tribal authorities to study scams targeting Tribes and Tribal members that have risen during the pandemic. In addition, the Native Youth and Tribal Officer Protection Act will expand Tribal authority to prosecute non-Indians on Tribal lands for threatened or attempted acts of violence against children and Tribal justice personnel. This bill also makes significant investments in modernizing New Mexico’s military facilities and delivers a strong boost for Los Alamos and Sandia National Labs.”
Luján continued, “This legislation also provides more funding for Head Start, an economic boost for minority businesses, and allocates additional funds for New Mexico’s rural communities to help bring utility upgrades and improve broadband access. I’m proud to have secured over 70 projects funded for more than $130 million, providing our state with important investments that will benefit New Mexico families and their communities for years to come.”
Additional Funding and Provisions Included in the Omnibus Bill that Senator Luján Helped Secure:
- Minority Business: $55 million for the Minority Business Development Agency after it was authorized in The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
- Agriculture Funding: Increases in agriculture funding which will benefit New Mexico’s University System, Agriculture Research Station and Climate Hub. The Agricultural Research Service is funded at $1.633 billion, an increase of $142 million over fiscal year 2021. In addition, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture receives total funding of $1.637 billion, an increase of $67 million over fiscal year 2021.
- USDA Rural Development Programs: Increases funding to rural development programs will benefit communities across New Mexico and will help bring upgrades in utilities and deliver economic development funds to areas in most need. Rural Utilities Service is funded at $1.237 billion, an increase of $482 million. The ReConnect broadband program receives total funding of $450 million. This is on top of the historic funding provided in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
- Military Facilities: In addition to the military construction projects funded through Congressionally Directed Spending, the bill secures investments in the Air Force Research Laboratory, White Sands Missile Range, Cannon Air Force Base, Holloman Air Force Base, and Kirtland Air Force Base.
- National Labs: The omnibus increases federal dollars for important Department of Energy and National Nuclear Security Administration projects at Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories.
- Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant: A $50 million increase for the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant.
- Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Program (BHWET): $14 million for the Peer Support Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Program (BHWET), which Senator Luján has consistently championed.
- The Rural Maternal and Obstetric Modernization of Services (MOMS) Act: This legislation takes important steps to understand the root causes of maternal mortality and morbidity by finding gaps and creates a grant program specifically dedicated to improve rural maternal health outcomes, as well as training more health professionals to provide maternal care in rural areas, and much more.
- Veterans Mental Health: Provides $13.2 billion for Veterans Mental Health including $598 million for suicide prevention outreach.
- Ports to Plains: Includes the Ports to Plains interstate highway designation for New Mexico and Texas.
- Native American Housing Block Grant Program: To address the severe disparities of substandard and overcrowded housing on tribal lands, the bill makes the largest ever annual appropriation in Native community housing of $1.028 billion, nearly $200 million more than fiscal year 2021.