McCarthy announces $28 million to fix buildings
Congressman Kevin McCarthy announced that $28 million in additional funding has been appropriated for the Bureau of Prisons to start seismic retrofits and repair work at the Taft Correctional Institution.
The money comes after weeks of efforts to reverse a decision by the BOP to close the federal prison. The BOP cited structural damage to buildings and the high cost of making repairs in its decision, which was contest by McCarthy and local officials.
The money is included in the Fiscal Year 2020 Domestic and Defense Appropriations bills.
Mcarthy released the following statement after voting for the bills.
“Over the past several months, I have worked with our appropriators to ensure that our defense and domestic funding bills include many important priorities affecting Kern, Tulare, and Los Angeles Counties, especially earthquake recovery for China Lake. These important investments in our communities will help improve the foundations for continued economic growth. Yet, because they have been preoccupied with a partisan and unprecedented impeachment, with few legislative days left in this calendar year, the Democrats once again rushed the appropriations process giving the House less than a day to review over 2,000 pages of legislative text. I am extremely disappointed – but not at all surprised – that House Democrats ultimately left lawmakers with these massive legislative packages to vote on days before a potential government shutdown. Americans deserve a better process that provides more transparency and an end to spending gamesmanship.”
Other funding for McCarthy's 23rd Congressional District and California priorities that McCarthy helped secure include:
•$6 million to advance navel orangeworm research. Navel orangeworm is an invasive species that threatens our almond, pistachio, and walnut trees throughout the Central Valley;
•$69.5 million to combat Huanglongbing, also known as Citrus Greening Disease, and the Asian Citrus Psyllid, an insect which spreads this disease affecting orange, lemon, and other citrus groves;
•$134 million for WIIN Act water infrastructure storage projects;
•$2.35 million for fixing subsidence on the Friant-Kern Canal;
•$139 million for programs that replace old diesel trucks and other equipment with newer, cleaner technology to help improve air quality in the Central Valley;
•$2 million to enhance Valley Fever surveillance, research, and awareness efforts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;
•Report language directing the Department of Veterans Affairs to prioritize a new Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) in Bakersfield – following the VA’s recent, disappointing termination of the October 2018 Knudsen Drive lease award due to the VA failing to follow its own procedures – and to begin site work on the clinic in the Calendar Year 2020;
•Report language directing the BOP to prioritize life and safety repairs, and encouraging the Bureau to focus on fixing facilities with geological and seismic deficiencies without transferring inmates to other prisons;
•Report language that expresses the disapproval of the BOP closing any low security prisons, such as the TCI, in FY2020;
•Report language supporting reducing the royalty rate on soda ash production to 2%
•Extensions of both the Biodiesel Mixture Tax Credit and Alternative Fuel Mixture Tax Credit through December 31, 2022;
•$85.2 million for the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) program at NASA Armstrong;
•$2.369 billion for military construction project funding to repair Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake following this year’s earthquakes;
•$627.459 million in earthquake related defense funding to help support rebuilding efforts at NAWS China Lake;
•$64.5 million to fund the runway and taxiway extension project at NAWS China Lake; and
•$43 million to fund the Joint Simulation Environment Facility at Edwards Air Force Base.
Other provisions included in the spending legislation:
•Repeals the Obamacare medical device tax, the Cadillac tax, and the Health Insurance Tax (HIT);
•$1.375 billion in new funding for the border wall;
•Maintains the President’s ability in current law to transfer certain federal funds to construct a border wall;
•$2.5 billion for Community Health Centers, which help fund local federal health centers, such as Clinica Sierra Vista, Omni Family Health, Family Healthcare Network, and the Antelope Valley Community Clinic;
•$81.4 million for the Teaching Health Center program that funds training of medical students at outpatient community health centers, such as Clinica Sierra Vista;
•$96.5 million to fund the Special Type 1 Diabetes Research Program;
•$5.6 billion to combat wildlfires;
•$75.3 million to fund Impact Aid 7002 Federal Property payments for federally impacted school districts, such as Sierra Sands Unified School District;
•2-year extension of the Secure Rural Schools Program;
•1-year extension of the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program;
•Maintains all existing abortion funding restrictions; and"Includes various disaster tax relief provisions to help California and other states recover from natural disasters.