House Approves Funding for Education, Health Care and Veterans
Congresswoman Hirono Secures Funding for Hawaii
Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono voted tonight to make essential investments in education, health care, job training and veterans programs as the House of Representatives passed a major appropriations bill. The package funds federal Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education programs as well as Military Construction and Veterans Affairs. The total spending of $715 billion complies with the commitment of the new Congress to fiscally responsible, "pay-as-you-go" rules.
"This bill is about our priorities. It invests in our families, our future, and our veterans, and it does so in a fiscally responsible way. I hope the President will reconsider his veto threat," said Congresswoman Hirono.
The bill provides $3.2 billion in additional spending for the U.S. Department of Education, increases teacher training and expands after-school care. Of particular importance to Hawaii is $300,000 which Congresswoman Hirono secured for Hawaii's State Department of Education. In addition, the bill provides significant funding for Native Hawaiian Education programs.
"I am particularly proud of the investments we are making in public education and restoring funds for educational programs that had been cut by the President," said Congresswoman Hirono, a member of the Committee on Education and Labor.
In contrast to the President's proposed cut in funding for the National Institutes of Health, Congress has voted to increase funding for NIH, which oversees life-saving medical research into diseases such as cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. The bill also will enable community health centers nationwide to serve an additional 1.2 million people. Congresswoman Hirono secured $100,000 for a new Community Health Center on Lanai that will provide core primary health care including medical, dental, perinatal, and telepharmacy services. Also included is $14.2 million for Native Hawaiian Health systems.
With this bill Congress is providing the largest increase in funding for veterans health care in history, reducing the backlog of veterans' claims and upgrading VA facilities. "As Veterans Day approaches, it is important that we are honoring those who have served with our actions as well as our words," said Congresswoman Hirono.