Biden expected to sign off on $1.5 trillion omnibus spending package with millions earmarked for local projects


WASHINGTON DC, March 11, 2022 – Last night, in a 68-31 bipartisan vote, the U.S. Senate passed the $1.5 trillion omnibus spending program for fiscal year 2022. The bipartisan program funds the government through September 2022, invests in communities across northwest Washington and providing $13.6 billion in emergency aid to Ukraine.

US Senator Patty Murray (D-WA)

U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, released the following statement on the passing of the spending package that heads to President Joe Biden for signature.

“My job is to make sure Washington State’s priorities are the federal government’s priorities, whether it’s getting more money for child care and Pell Grants, or making sure the federal government meets its obligations to the community of Hanford, that’s what I’m going to keep fighting every day in the other Washington,” Senator Murray said.

She was very proud that the package included:

  • A 2.7% increase for Washington State military.
  • Washington State Public School Funding
  • Historic funding for Head Start programs and a $400 annual increase to the maximum Pell Grant for students.
  • A reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act which includes Senator Murray’s Access to Supportive Care Act.
  • $2.595 billion for the Hanford site cleanup, including $128 million more than the president’s budget request.
  • Funding projects informed by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act to create jobs in Washington State.

According to the press release, Senator Murray has secured more than $113 million in direct funding for local community projects across Washington State. A full list of these projects can be found HERE.

Passage of the house of the Omnibus expense package

US Congressman Rick Larsen (WA-02)
US Congressman Rick Larsen (WA-02)

On Wednesday, the US House of Representatives passed the omnibus spending package with two separate votes. The first vote included $782 billion in funding for the Pentagon, Department of Homeland Security and other national security priorities, which passed 361 to 69. The second vote, 260 to 171, passed 730 billions of dollars in provisions related to national programs.

The House used a process known as ‘splitting the question’ to hold two votes on the $1.5 trillion omnibus spending package, but the separate pieces passed were combined into one package when the measure was sent in the Senate.

“My priority in developing the spending bills is to invest in local communities to create well-paying jobs and provide vital services in Northwest Washington,” Larsen said. “This spending bill makes these critical investments while supporting a sovereign and independent Ukraine, re-authorizing protections for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, reducing costs for working families, protecting the Washington’s environment and investing in vital infrastructure.”

Congressman Larsen secured $10,662,665 for ten Second District projects local leaders and stakeholders identified as critical to their communities:

  • $2,000,000 for Construction of Phase II of the Compass Health Advanced Facility for Intensive Behavioral Health Services in Everett. The five-story, 82,000 square foot building will house a range of integrated outpatient emergency behavioral and preventive health care services.
  • $2,000,000 for the Town of Mountlake Terrace Transit Connection Project. The City will construct a pedestrian plaza adjacent to the new light rail station and lighted, paved pedestrian pathways through Veterans Memorial Park.
  • $2,000,000 for construction of Unity Care NW’s The Way station in Bellingham. The Way Station will provide medical respite, a hygiene center, health care, long-term housing supports and case management for homeless individuals and families.
  • $1,740,000 for the Samish Indian Nation National Highway 20 Roundabout Project – Campbell Lake Road. The Samish will build a three-legged roundabout at the intersection of State Route 20 and Campbell Lake Road.
  • $1,000,000 for the City of Lynnwood Scriber Creek Trail Redevelopment Project. The City will redevelop the existing trail corridor into a 16-foot-wide ADA-accessible trail with durable, slip-resistant hard surfaces. Where it crosses Scriber Creek and associated wetlands, the trail will be constructed on elevated bridge/boardwalk structures.
  • $694,480 for the MacKaye Harbor Water District’s Agate Beach Lane infrastructure improvements on Lopez Island. The water district will move water infrastructure away from a road that is currently failing due to coastal erosion.
  • $500,000 for the City of Sedro-Woolley Olmsted Park Development Project. The City will transform an existing 14.81 acre municipal property into a destination park for public use.
  • $346,625 for the Goosefoot Community Fund community kitchen project in Langley. The Goosefoot Community Fund will create a commercial kitchen to help local farmers, growers and small businesses build food resilience on Whidbey Island.
  • $245,560 for the City of Everett Pallets to Housing Initiative. To address the homelessness crisis and provide adequate shelter, the City is piloting an initiative using low-barrier shelters to temporarily house hard-to-place individuals and couples. The City plans to expand this pilot project to develop a new, different location to benefit youth and families experiencing homelessness.
  • $136,000 for the Rehabilitation by the Port of Coupeville of the Historic Quay of Coupeville. The port will replace approximately 400 feet of water and sewer lines that run along the causeway of the historic Coupeville wharf.

What’s in the Omnibus Spending Package

According to summaries and fact sheets provided by the House Appropriations Committee, here’s what some of the money will fund:

  • $774.4 million for Congressional offices to recruit and retain a diverse workforce (21% increase)
  • $18.2 million to pay interns
  • $602.5 million for Capitol Police (17% increase)
  • $12.6 billion for the Internal Revenue Service (up 5.6%)
  • $75 million for Election Security Grants
  • $20 million for operating expenses of the Electoral Assistance Commission
  • $17.5 billion for very poor K-12 schools (6.3% increase)
  • $11 billion for Head Start (2.7% increase)
  • $45 billion to the National Institutes of Health for biomedical and behavioral research (5.3% increase)
  • $26.9 billion in funding for child nutrition programs (7% increase)
  • $53.7 billion to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (8% increase)
  • $2.6 billion to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (29% increase)
  • $13.6 billion in emergency aid to Ukraine

What the Omnibus Didn’t Cover

Not included in the 2022 omnibus spending package was $15.6 billion for pandemic response efforts after Republican Representatives called for it to be scrapped. Republicans are asking to see the “full accounting” of what has already been spent on the pandemic before backing any new funding.

House Appropriations Chair Rosa DeLauro, a Democrat from Connecticut, introduced a standalone bill with the pandemic response funds that is expected to be voted on in the House next week. However, it is unclear whether the bill will get the 60 votes required to pass the Senate.

For more information on the Consolidated appropriations act for the 2022 financial yearclick here and here.

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