Luján Statement on Senate Passage of Bipartisan Appropriations Legislation
Omnibus Package Includes Additional $1.45 Billion for Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Recovery
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) issued the following statement on the Senate passage of bipartisan appropriations legislation that will invest in New Mexico communities, provide additional support for families and businesses impacted by the Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Fire, and support our veterans and national security:
“With strong bipartisan support, the Senate passed robust appropriations legislation to support New Mexico families, empower New Mexico’s recovery from the Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Fire, invest in the cutting-edge research at Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories, and support our military bases at White Sands Missile Range, and Cannon, Holloman and Kirtland Air Force Bases. Critically, this bill will uplift New Mexico communities by restoring and maintaining our acequias, expanding access to affordable housing, modernizing transportation, creating opportunities for early childhood education, and strengthening health care.
“I was proud to work with my colleagues to secure a number of provisions that will benefit New Mexicans and make new investments in critical sectors across the state. I’m hopeful that the House will quickly pass this legislation to keep the government open and invest in critical projects across the country.”
Senator Luján secured and championed the following provisions for New Mexico:
New Mexico’s Wildfire Recovery:
- An additional $1.45 billion to fund the Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Fire Claims Office and a provision that supports the repairs and replacement of the water treatment facility in Las Vegas, New Mexico to ensure the community has access to clean drinking water.
Forest Restoration, Flooding, and Watershed Investments:
- $925 million for the Emergency Watershed Protection Program and $27 million for the Emergency Forest Restoration Program;
- Funding for flood mitigation at the To’Hajiilee Community School and for demolition and abatement of the Bureau of Indian Affairs former Shiprock Administrative Reserve.
- $46.2 billion for Department of Energy and National Nuclear Security Administration to support Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories;
- $6.8 billion for defense environmental cleanup activities including at Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories. Specifically, $275 million for Los Alamos National Laboratory, $17 million for Los Alamos excess facilities, and $4.6 million for Sandia National Laboratories;
- $8.1 billion in new directed funding for DOE’s Science Office to help implement the CHIPS and Science Act.
Health Care, Behavioral Health, and Addiction Treatment:
- TheImproving Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women Act 2.0 that reauthorizes the residential treatment pilot program for pregnant and postpartum women;
- Advance appropriations for the Indian Health Service (IHS) to ensure stable, future-year funding for federal health care for Tribes and their members ($6.93 billion for FY23 and $5.13 billion for FY24), which he championed through his Indian Programs Advance Appropriations Act;
- The Reducing Animal Test (RAT) Act that would remove the requirement for biosimilar drug applications to use animal models which will save animal lives, reduce regulatory burdens for drug makers so they can pass along lower drug prices to Americans;
- The Securing Uninterrupted Pandemic Preparation of Resources & Therapies (SUPPORT) Act to ensure the nation is prepared to address the behavioral health needs that follow natural and human-caused disasters and emergent events, including public health emergencies;
- $300,000 to advance the goals of his Oral Health Literacy Act to support the development of an oral health awareness and education campaign across relevant HRSA divisions, including the Health Centers Program, Oral Health Workforce, Maternal and Child Health, Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, and Rural Health;
- Report language that reflects his Equity in Neuroscience and Alzheimer’s Clinical Trials (ENACT), which seeks to increase diversity in clinical trials and study staff, reduce the burden of study participants, and improve health outcomes for people of color through new treatments;
- $20,000,000 to fund research, testing, and solutions to avoid diagnostic error and to support Diagnostic Safety Centers of Excellence to disseminate related findings. The funding provided will support eight centers, with each center focusing on specific conditions, populations, or settings of diagnostic safety. This reflects the Improving Diagnosis in Medicine Act, which the Senator introduced with Senator Chris Van Hollen;
- TheMainstreaming Addiction Treatment Act, which the Senator co-sponsored,to eliminate the burdensome waiver, referred to as the x-waiver, that makes it more difficult for providers to prescribe buprenorphine, a medication-assisted treatment.
Protecting Public Lands:
- A moratorium on oil and gas leasing on federal land in the withdrawal area of the Greater Chaco Region pending completion of the cultural resources study by Tribes and Pueblos.
Preserving Native Languages:
- $15 million for Native American language preservation activities, including at least $6 million for the Esther Martinez Immersion program.
Education and Labor:
- Congressional consent for New Mexico Constitutional Amendment #1, which provides an additional 1.25% from the Land Grant Permanent Fund for early childhood and K-12 education on an annual basis, amounting to hundreds of millions more every year for New Mexico’s children and educators;
- $2.75 million to support the goals of his Teachers LEAD Act for a Native American teacher leadership and retention initiative at the U.S. Department of Education;
- The Savvy Savers Act that builds toward more transparency by requiring the Department of Labor (DOL) to conduct a study and report to Congress on the effectiveness of disclosures and their transparency for self-directed retirement accounts and pension accounts;
Ending Drunk and Impaired Driving:
- $795 million for highway traffic safety grants and $210 million for operations and research and requires Secretary Buttigieg and NHTSA to fully implement the HALT/RIDE Act.