Representative Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. (CA-39) voted to pass the first Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Appropriations Minibus. The package consists of four funding bills: Agriculture, Military Construction and Veterans’ Affairs, State-Foreign Operations, and Interior-Environment. Rep. Cisneros championed strong funding levels for several programs in the funding package, including Wildland Fire Management, coronavirus response and preparedness, veterans’ homelessness program, Hispanic Serving Institutions, demining, and public land protection.
“This appropriations funding package reflects the needs and priorities of the 39th District. From wildfire preparedness to coronavirus response to veterans experiencing homelessness, Congress is addressing the challenges our communities are facing right now while making long-term investments,” said Rep. Cisneros. “I’ve been committed to fighting for the residents of the 39th District, and I’m proud to have secured funding that will help all of our community.”
Rep. Cisneros secured the following funding levels to benefit the 39th District. To view a complete Division-by-Division summary of the package, click here.
- Wildland Fire Management (WFM): The bill provides $5.73 billion for WFM, which includes $2.35 billion in cap adjusted fire suppression funding. The total funding is $174.13 million above the FY 2020 enacted level and $35.45 million below the President’s budget request. Rep. Cisneros is a supporter and cosponsor of H.R. 5091, the Wildfire Defense Act, which would authorize funding directly to local communities to defend themselves against the growing danger of wildfires.
- Global Coronavirus Leadership: The bill provides $10.018 billion in emergency funding for coronavirus preparedness, response, and relief globally to support the work of our foreign service officials in curbing global spread. Rep. Cisneros worked as a member of the House Armed Services Committee to ensure proper funding levels were authorized and establish new programs to combat COVID-19 in the National Defense Authorization Act.
- Veterans Programs: The bill provides $1.9 billion for Homeless Assistance Programs, an increase of $81 million above the 2020 enacted level and $40 million above the President’s budget request; The bill also continues funding for vocational rehabilitation programs with a modest 5 percent increase above the FY 2020 funding level. Rep. Cisneros testified on the importance of these programs to the House Appropriations Committee.
- Hispanic Serving Institutions: The bill provides $13 million for Education Grants for Hispanic Serving Institutions under the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. This represents an increase of $1.8 million above the FY 2020 funding level and $3.8 million above the President’s Budget Request. Congressman Cisneros led a letter to the House Appropriations Committee advocating for a letter in support of strong funding levels for HSIs, like Cal State Fullerton. The letter was signed by 63 House members and endorsed by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. Rep. Cisneros also testified before the House Appropriations Committee urging an increase in funding.
- Environmental Justice: The bill provides $15 million for Environmental Justice activities, an increase of $4.7 million or 47% above the FY 2020 funding level and more than five times above the President’s budget request. As a member of the United for Climate and Environmental Justice Congressional Task Force, Rep. Cisneros joined Rep. Alma Adams (NC-12) in urging the Committee to provide strong funding levels for Environmental Justice programs.
- Demining Program: Congressman Cisneros successfully offered an amendment with Rep. Jackie Speier (CA-14) to increase funding for USAID’s demining program in Nagorno-Karabakh. Rep. Cisneros has been a strong advocate of humanitarian demining programs and led a letter to the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee to secure an increase in funding for the Department of Defense Humanitarian Demining Research and Development program.
- Protect Public Lands from Oil and Gas: Rep. Cisneros successfully offered an amendment with Rep. Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) to prevent funding from being used for oil and gas leasing on federal public lands in certain areas of California. The amendment was offered in response to the Trump Administration’s recent decisions to allow for new oil and gas leasing and development in these areas. Rep. Cisneros is a strong supporter and cosponsor of H.R. 279, the California Clean Coast Act, which would ban future offshore oil and gas leasing off the coast of California.
This article was released by the Office of Representative Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr.