WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today joined a bipartisan majority of the U.S. House of Representatives in passing a bipartisan funding bill that would strengthen funding for critical healthcare, education, workforce training, and State Department programs.
The legislation contains several provisions Spanberger fought to include—such as her amendment to strengthen federal support for colorectal cancer screening and prevention. Last week, Spanberger spoke on the floor of the U.S. House, where she urged her colleagues to address this life-threatening disease and to join the national effort to combat colorectal cancer. Click here to watch her full speech.
Additionally, the legislation includes her amendment to encourage the U.S. State Department to address existing vacancies at its embassies and consulates around the world. As co-chair of the New Democrat Coalition National Security Task Force, Spanberger has worked to reassert the importance of U.S. diplomatic engagement around the world in support of U.S. national security—and this amendment would address staff shortages that could threaten U.S nationals security. Click here to watch her remarks in support of this amendment.
“A budget reflects priorities, and Congress has an obligation to work in a bipartisan way to build a budget that reflects the needs of the American people. Today, I’m proud to join my colleagues in passing bipartisan legislation that would protect access to healthcare, strengthen support for early childhood education programs like Head Start and underscore the importance the State Department’s diplomatic and humanitarian efforts,” said Spanberger. “I’m particularly glad to pass my amendment to increase funding for vital colorectal cancer screening and prevention initiatives—and I urge the Senate to join us in the fight against this often-preventable cancer. Additionally, I’m encouraged by the inclusion of my amendment to address staffing shortages at our embassies and consulates. Going forward, I’ll continue to reassert the need for principled U.S. global leadership that can help keep our Central Virginia communities strong and safe.”
Spanberger successfully fought to include additional provisions in the bipartisan bill to support Central Virginia’s healthcare, education, and national security priorities, including:
- Securing funding for lifesaving medical research. The funding legislation includes a $2 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health to expand its successful, lifesaving medical research programs. Spanberger helped secure this overall increase in funding, and she was also part of a successful effort to secure $2.4 billion for Alzheimer’s Disease research.
- Protecting community health centers in Central Virginia and across the country. Spanberger successfully advocated for an increase of $50 million for the federal Health Centers program. In rural communities, these community health centers are a critical component of keeping working families healthy—particularly in more isolated or traditionally underserved regions.
- Tackling the ongoing substance abuse crisis in Virginia. The funding package includes increased support for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Earlier this year, Spanberger joined a bipartisan group of colleagues in calling for increased funding, and as a member of the Freshman Working Group on Addiction, she is committed to pursuing bipartisan legislation that can tackle the opioid crisis, reduce the stigma of addition, and better educate the next generation about treatment and prevention.
- Helping homeless veterans return to and succeed in the workforce. Spanberger requested strong funding for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program, and this bipartisan legislation includes an increase of $10 million above last year’s funding level and the administration’s budget request. With this additional funding, more veterans will have access to job training, reintegration resources, and support for mental health issues related to their homelessness and unemployment.
- Strengthening funding for workforce development initiatives targeted toward low-income and disadvantaged youth. Spanberger supported an increase of $38 million in funding for the YouthBuild program, which helps at-risk youth learn about careers in the building trades through community-based building projects—such as affordable housing construction. The program also helps place YouthBuild graduates in jobs, apprenticeships, and further workforce education programs.
- Increasing federal funding for apprenticeship programs. Spanberger worked to secure the adoption of work-based learning programs and apprenticeships. This bipartisan bill includes an increase of $90 million above last year’s funding level and the administration’s budget request.
- Strengthening support for the State Department’s diplomatic, development, and humanitarian missions. In addition to her amendment to encourage staffing of vacant of positions, Spanberger helped fight for restored funding for programs that help the United States engage with its key international partners and help keep Virginia communities strong and safe. The funding legislation includes an $885 million increase from the previous funding year, which would help reverse the impact of the administration’s hiring freeze and help restore State Department personnel to previous levels.
- Increasing available funding for Head Start programs in Central Virginia and across the country. The House-passed funding bill includes $11.6 billion for the Head Start early childhood education program, which is an increase of $1.5 billion. Spanberger helped secure this increase for the program, which has proven ability to reduce lifelong health costs, future encounters with the child welfare system, and crime rates.
- Protecting funding for Special Olympics education programs. Earlier this year, Spanberger requested to protect and increase funding for the Special Olympics. Under the administration’s initial budget request, Special Olympics funding was poised to be eliminated. This bill would increase funding by $3.5 million above the previous year’s funding level.
- Strengthening support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The bipartisan bill would increase funding for HBCUs by $93 million above last year’s funding level and the administration’s budget request. Spanberger advocated for a much-needed funding increase for these critical institutions of higher learning.