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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif)

December 21, 2020

Press Release

Omnibus spending package includes Congressman Panetta’s HOSPICE Act to improve oversight in Medicare hospice facilities

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) commended the House passage of a bipartisan $1.4 trillion FY2021 Omnibus spending package.  The FY2021 Omnibus funding measure includes appropriated funding for COVID relief, veterans’ healthcare, clean energy, and more.  The spending package also addresses expiring tax provisions for small businesses such as Central Coast wineries, families, and clean energy.  The Omnibus will now go to the Senate for consideration.

“It has been a privilege to work on, and I was proud vote for, this bipartisan end of year Omnibus spending bill to provide critical federal funding for the people and projects of the Central Coast,” said Congressman Panetta.  “This type of huge bill takes collaboration and compromise in order to deliver federal support to those who need it the most.  I was glad to do my part to move this spending package forward, which also includes my bill, the HOSPICE Act, to improve oversight in Medicare hospice facilities. As we enter a new year and continue to endure this pandemic, Congress must continue to work together to play its part and lead when it comes to providing federal funding for the people not just of our districts, but also of our nation.”

The FY2021 Omnibus package includes tax provisions for:

  • Emergency Disaster Tax Relief for those affected by wildfires, including increases in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit allocations to expand affordable housing for displaced individuals.
  • Renewable energy by including a two-year extension of the solar investment tax credit.
  • Small brewers and wineries by making permanent excise tax cuts in the Craft Beverage Modernization Act.
  • Businesses who have kept their workers hired throughout the pandemic through an extension and expansion of the Employee Retention Tax Credit.
  • Low-Income Families by allowing them to use 2019 income to determine their 2020 Earned Income Tax Credits and Child Tax Credits.
  • Students by doubling the Lifetime Learning Credit for tuition and education expenses.
  • Energy-efficient buildings by making energy efficiency improvement credits permanent.

The FY2021 Omnibus package includes the following provisions:

Central Coast

  • At least $1.5 million in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers funding for flood control projects in economically disadvantaged areas. The Pajaro River Flood Risk Reduction Project qualified for and received this funding last year and remains a very strong candidate for the funding.
  • $3.84 billion for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Operations and Maintenance account, which has been a lifeline to the Corps’ maintenance dredging project in the Santa Cruz Harbor.
  • Language elevating the San Justo Reservoir Mussel Eradication Project, which is eligible to compete for additional funding provided in the Bureau of Reclamation’s “Water Conservation and Delivery” account.
  • $15,498,985 from the Bureau of Reclamation’s Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program for the Pure Water Monterey Groundwater Replenishment Project.
  • $6,075,000 for the Bureau of Reclamation’s Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program for the Pure Water Soquel Groundwater Replenishment and Seawater Intrusion Project.

Agriculture and food safety

  • $435 million for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which helps fund innovative specialty crop research, education, and extension. This is a $10 million increase from the previous fiscal year.
  • Language directing the U.S. Department of Agriculture to complete a strategic plan within 180 days of enactment for the Agriculture Advanced Research and Development Authority (AGARDA), supporting research on long-term and high-risk challenges in agriculture.
  • Language encouraging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure that any recordkeeping and traceability requirements associated with the high-risk foods list apply across the food supply and distribution chain.
  • Language encouraging the FDA to work in partnership with existing government food safety programs and the industries they represent as it continues implementation of regulations to stop foodborne illness.
  • $15,093,000 for Section 514 and 516 farm labor housing grants, which can be used to buy, build improve, or repair housing for year-round and migrant or seasonal domestic farmworkers.  
  • $1.018 billion to help farmers, ranchers, and other private landowners conserve and protect their lands, including funding for flood prevention and watershed rehabilitation projects.
  • Language that continues allowing the Secretary of Agriculture to waive matching fund requirements for the Specialty Crop Research Initiative.
  • $18 million for the National Organic Program to protect the integrity of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s organic label.

Food and nutrition assistance

  • $114 billion in required mandatory spending for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. This fully funds participating as well as the SNAP enhanced allotments authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
  • $25.1 billion in required mandatory funding for child nutrition programs, including funding for free and reduced-price school meals and funding for the Summer Food Service Program.
  • $1.97 billion for international food aid programs that work to reduce famine and increase food security overseas.
  • $5.27 billion in wildland fire management funding.

Healthcare

  • Additional oversight and transparency of Medicare hospice providers, through Congressman Panetta’s HOSPICE Act.
  • Protection for patients from surprise out-of-network medical bills.

Transportation

  • $45 billion for transportation providers, including funding for transit agencies, state highways, and private motor coach, school bus, and ferry industries.

COVID Response

  • Funding to purchase and distribute COVID-19 vaccines and develop a strategic national stockpile.
  • Funding for direct grants to states for COVID-19 testing, tracing, and mitigation programs Funding for grants for childcare providers.

Veterans

  • Supports servicemembers and military families by fully funding a 3.0 percent military pay raise.
  • $90 billion for VA medical care, including funding to provide homelessness assistance, suicide prevention and outreach, and gender-specific care.
  • $1.1 billion for Federal TRIO programs, an increase of $7 million.
  • Fully funds the 3.0 percent military pay raise.
  • $90 billion for VA medical care, including funding to provide homelessness assistance, suicide prevention and outreach, and gender-specific care.

Environment and clean energy

  • $7.026 billion for DOE’s Office of Science to support energy innovation of the future.
  • $2.86 billion for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
  • $427 million for ARPA-E to support the development of clean, affordable, and secure energy.
  • $367.7 million for a reliable, resilient electric grid.
  • $2 billion for NASA Earth Science, including climate observing programs.
  • $182 million for NOAA Climate Research. 

Education

  • $149 million for Hispanic Serving Institutions and increase of $6 million.
  • $14.1 billion for special education through the Individual with Disabilities Education Act, an increase of $186 million.
  • $1.1 billion for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).
  • $730 million in the expansion of broadband service to provide economic development opportunities and improved education and healthcare services.

Housing

  • $43.4 million in new targeted vouchers to reduce homelessness among families with children, individuals, the unsheltered, veterans, and survivors of domestic violence.
  • $107 million for Education for Homeless Children and Youth, an increase of $5 million above the 2020 enacted level.

The full text of the omnibus spending package can be found here.

MIL OSI USA News