WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) welcomed the Senate Appropriations Committee’s bipartisan passage of the Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill, the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations bill, and the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill. This legislation includes $40 million in investments for 25 local projects across New Mexico. Next, the bills will be considered by the full Senate.
“As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’m proud to directly advocate for local projects that deliver for New Mexicans through our annual government funding legislation,” said Heinrich. “These three bipartisan bills will deliver substantial and strategic investments to improve New Mexico’s water and wastewater infrastructure, scale our deployment of clean energy and decarbonization technologies, build more efficient and affordable homes, construct safer roads and transportation networks, and fight the fentanyl epidemic.”
Energy and Water Development Bill Highlights
Locally Led Watershed Conservation: Senator Heinrich successfully included increased funding for Cooperative Watershed Management through the Bureau of Reclamation’s (BOR) WaterSMART Programs, as well as language directing BOR to take additional steps to make the program more accessible to rural, historically underserved, and Tribal communities. This program has supported New Mexican led watershed conservation efforts, including work by the Santa Fe Watershed Association, the Hatch and Mesilla Valley Cooperative Watershed Management Program, the Animas Watershed Partnership, the Rio Fernando de Taos Revitalization Collaborative, and the Isleta Reach Stewardship Association.
Coordinated Rio Grande Basin Management: Senator Heinrich successfully included language that emphasizes the need for coordinated water management between the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the Upper Rio Grande Basin and directs the Corps to identify future work that can be done to improve coordinated operations.
Tribal Partnership: Senator Heinrich successfully included increased funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tribal Partnership Program. This program is the only Corps authority that specifically works with Tribes as partners, assisting Tribes with water resources projects that address economic, environmental, and cultural resource needs. The program has supported numerous critically important flood control projects on Tribal lands in New Mexico.
Waiver of Cost Share for Energy Grants to Tribes: Senator Heinrich successfully advocated to make it easier for Tribal communities to receive energy grants from the Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs. In the bill, the Department of Energy (DOE) is encouraged to waive its requirement that award recipients pay for up to half the costs of the awarded project from the Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs, which has a mission to maximize the development and deployment of energy solutions for the benefit of American Indians and Alaska Natives.
Electric Grid Reliability: Senator Heinrich successfully championed the allocation of up to $1.2 billion in funding to enhance the domestic manufacturing supply chain for electric grid components, which includes financial assistance, technical assistance, and workforce support in innovative technologies. This investment will increase the reliability, resilience, and security of our national electric grid. Senator Heinrich has led bicameral efforts to secure funding for electrical transformers and complementary grid security technologies in the FY24 Appropriations bills, including a letter to the Appropriations Committee requesting $2.1 billion in Disaster Supplemental Funding through the Defense Production Act.
Technology and National Labs: Senator Heinrich helped to secure $8.43 billion, $330 million over FY23 funding, for the Office of Science that includes support for DOE National Laboratories and newly authorized programs under the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, which is intended to boost domestic research and manufacturing of semiconductors. Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory support nearly 30,000 employees in New Mexico.
Southwest Border Regional Commission: Senator Heinrich led efforts to secure $8 million in funding (including $3 million in the FY24 Agricultural Appropriations Bill) for the Southwest Border Regional Commission (SBRC), which will foster economic development in the southern border regions of New Mexico, Arizona, California, and Texas. The SBRC service area includes 93 counties on the Southwest border with an average Hispanic population of 48% and a total minority population of 66%. Of the approximately 35 million people the SBRC serves, nearly 5 million live in poverty. The SBRC will support the region’s communities, farmers, and businesses to reduce disparities in energy reliability, income, infrastructure, education, and access to clean water and health care.
Congressionally Directed Spending
Senator Heinrich successfully included funding for the following 7 local projects in the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations bill:
Additionally, Senators Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján successfully included funding in the bill for the following 2 projects:
Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Bill Highlights
Rental Assistance: Senator Heinrich successfully included increased funding for Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (Housing Choice Vouchers) and Project-Based Rental Assistance. The Housing Choice Voucher Program helps over 12,000 families in New Mexico. Senator Heinrich also secured additional administrative funding for public housing authorities to ensure that voucher holders, and other individuals who qualify for HUD housing programs, receive the necessary help and assistance to find safe and affordable housing.
Tribal Housing: Senator Heinrich successfully included an increase of $61.6 million from FY23 for the Indian Housing Block Grant. The Indian Housing Block Grant program is the single largest source of Tribal housing assistance. The program funds affordable housing activities including new housing construction, rehabilitation, and housing services. Senator Heinrich also successfully ensured that funding was not cut from the Tribal HUD-VA Supportive Housing Program, which provides rental assistance and supportive services to Native American veterans who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of homelessness living on or near a reservation or other Tribal areas.
Housing Supportive Services: Senator Heinrich successfully included increased funding for the Resident Opportunities and Supportive Services (ROSS) Program and the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program. The ROSS program allows public housing authorities to hire a program coordinator who links residents with training opportunities, job placement organizations, and local employers, and the FSS program promotes increased earnings and savings among families receiving HUD-funded rental assistance. Program participants work with an FSS service coordinator to identify their financial and employment-related goals, including education or training, and can access a range of support services, such as childcare or credit repair, that can assist in achieving their goals.
Zero-Emission Buses: Senator Heinrich successfully secured $50 million in additional funding for the Low and No Emission (Low-No) Vehicle Grant Program, which supports transit agencies in purchasing or leasing low or no emission buses and other transit vehicles that use advanced technologies such as battery electric or fuel-cell power. The vehicles can provide a cleaner, more energy efficient transit service in communities across the country. Senator Heinrich is a longtime proponent of this program, introducing the Low or No Emission Bus Access Act in 2020 and securing it in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed in 2021.
Active Transportation Infrastructure: Senator Heinrich successfully included continued funding of $45 million for the Active Transportation Infrastructure Investments Program at the Federal Highway Administration, which awards grants for communities to invest in active transportation networks that include walking and biking routes that enable people to reach their destinations more safely.
Congressionally Directed Spending
Senator Heinrich successfully included funding for the following 12 local projects in the Senate Transportation and Housing Appropriations bill:
Additionally, Senators Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján successfully included funding in the bill for the following four projects:
State and Foreign Operations Bill Highlights
Stopping the Flow of Fentanyl: Senator Heinrich successfully included $125 million to support efforts to stop global flows of synthetic drugs like fentanyl and their precursor materials through diplomatic engagement, law enforcement cooperation and capacity building, and governance capacity support. The bill also requires the Department of State to designate a Counter Fentanyl Coordinator to coordinate these initiatives, and it fully funds the implementation of the FENTANYL Results Act to build foreign law enforcement capacity to detect synthetic drugs like fentanyl.
Combatting the Climate Crisis: Senator Heinrich successfully advocated for additional funding for bilateral and multilateral mechanisms to support biodiversity, adaptation, sustainable landscapes, and clean energy programs, including $150 million for the Clean Technology Fund.
Humanitarian Assistance: Senator Heinrich successfully included $9.1 billion—a $691 million boost above fiscal year 2023—for humanitarian assistance programs to help meet the unprecedented forced displacement, food insecurity, and other emergency needs across the globe in order to save lives, stabilize communities, and improve global security.