Udall, Heinrich Secure Major Investments in New Mexico’s Economy, Environment, and Rural Communities in Final Bipartisan Spending Bill

Bill includes significant funding for public lands and environmental protection programs, PFAS cleanup, continues landmark protections for Chaco Canyon and robust funding for Indian Country and colonias

WASHINGTON—Yesterday, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) joined the full Senate to pass government funding bills for Fiscal Year 2021. Udall and Heinrich secured critical investments for New Mexico and Indian Country in economic development, environmental protection and rural development.

“New Mexicans and Native communities continue to show the best of our nation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and I have fought hard in Washington to secure the strong federal funding that meets our communities’ unique priorities and needs and will enable us to prosper in the future,” Udall said. “We need look no further than our federal budget to evaluate our government’s priorities—and throughout my career in Congress I have worked to bring our spending priorities closer to New Mexico values: love for our public lands and environment, empowerment for all of our communities, and a focus on our working families and our children.

“The Trump administration proposed devastating cuts to these New Mexico priorities and attempted to rip the safety net away from our families and our environment in the midst of a pandemic,” Udall continued. “I was proud to help lead the fight in the Senate to reject cruel cuts to our communities and instead secure significant funding for our public lands, rental assistance, and programs to combat the opioid crisis. I also fought to protect our clean air and clean water through investments in New Mexico’s natural treasures, and I am particularly glad that this bill continues protections for Chaco Canyon while respecting the rights of Tribal allottees to develop the land as they see fit. The funding bills also continue significant protection for our national security while stimulating the technological innovation—from our labs to our growing space industry—all critical to New Mexico’s economy. And, the bills contribute critical resources to Indian Country in housing, public development programs, and health care. This funding is a hard-fought victory for New Mexico and the country, and I look forward to seeing it become law.”

“In conjunction with the emergency COVID-19 relief package, I hope that this long-term federal spending agreement will provide some measure of stability for our state. I’m pleased we were able to increase funding for education, health care, mental health services, food assistance, and affordable housing programs that New Mexico families need now more than ever as we continue to face an unprecedented public health crisis,” said Heinrich. “I am grateful for Senator Tom Udall's years of leadership on the Appropriations Committee, where he has consistently advanced New Mexico’s priorities in funding packages like this. I am proud that together we have secured critical forward-looking investments in missions at New Mexico’s national labs, military bases, and WIPP. We fully funded PILT to provide budget certainty to rural counties in New Mexico and passed increased funding for vital Tribal programs like the Indian Health Service. Finally, we are protecting the Greater Chaco Landscape from harmful development and following through on the promise of the Great American Outdoors Act to invest real resources to increase access to our public lands. There is still so much work ahead of us to help our communities recover from this pandemic and rebuild our economy, but the resources in this agreement will set us on the right path forward.”

The package is comprised of 12 appropriations bills drafted in the Appropriations Committee. New Mexico and national highlights are included below:

Highlights of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill include:

Protections for Chaco Canyon: The bill again includes legally binding legislative language first enacted in fiscal year 2020 to reinforce a 10-mile buffer zone protecting Chaco Canyon from new oil and gas leasing. The provision does not prevent Tribes and Tribal allottees from developing their land for oil and gas exploration. The legal limits are paired with $600,000 to continue efforts for the Interior Department to partner with the Pueblos and the Navajo Nation to continue to identify cultural resources in the greater Chacoan region.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF): In only the second instance since its inception in 1965, LWCF funding in fiscal year 2021 will surpass $900 million. This bill sets the annual allocations pursuant to the Great American Outdoors Act of 2020, including $405 million to facilitate federal acquisitions at national parks, national wildlife refuges, national forests, national monuments, and on other public lands, and $495 million for financial assistance to states to increase and improve outdoor recreation, maintain working forests, and protect critical habitat. This is a marked contrast from the president’s budget, which proposed $46 million in total, eliminating state conservation grants and virtually all federal acquisitions. LWCF is critical for improving recreational access to our federal lands, protecting iconic landscapes, delivering grants to states and local governments to create and protect urban parks and open spaces, and providing farmers and ranchers with easements to allow them to continue to steward their private lands in the face of development pressures. Funding estimates for New Mexico projects include $3.1 million for parcels in the Rio Bonito corridor in the Lincoln National Forest, $2.2 million for the Valley of the Spirit Ranch in the Santa Fe National Forest, $4.8 million for Rio Nutria parcels in the Cibola National Forest, and $2.6 million for Tampico Springs parcels also in the Cibola.

Gold King Mine: Udall secured $4 million for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to continue monitoring water quality in areas impacted by the Gold King Mine spill into the Animas River, resulting in a $20 million water quality investment over the past five years since the toxic spill disaster. Udall also included language directing EPA to continue to work in consultation with affected states and Tribes on a long-term water quality monitoring program. In addition, the lawmakers expect EPA to process all claims for damages and report to Congress on the status of those efforts.

Funding for PILT: The bill fully funds payments to counties through the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program, which are estimated at a total of $515 million. New Mexico counties received over $41 million in PILT in FY2020, and that funding is typically released in June.

Valles Caldera: The bill retains increases in the preserve’s base budget that Udall secured last year and directs the National Park Service to study the parks’ infrastructure needs.

Carlsbad: The bill continues $800,000 for cave and karst research at the National Cave and Karst Research Institute in Carlsbad, New Mexico.

Land Grants, Acequias and Community Ditches: Congress continues to urge the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture to recognize the traditional uses of State-recognized community land grants, acequias, and community ditches in New Mexico and across the American Southwest during the land use planning process. Udall helped secure language that recognizes the rights of acequias and land grant mercedes to apply for federal funding and technical assistance under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and directing the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop guidance that ensures timely input from local communities, including listening sessions with land grants and acequias.

Indian Health Service Tribal Programs: The bill provides $6.236 billion for the Indian Health Service, a 3 percent increase above last year. Within these funds, the bill provides new funding to staff Tribal health facilities and to increase mental health, alcohol and substance abuse, preventive care and purchased and referred care programs.

Indian Health Service’s Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program: The bill includes $2.5 million, an increase of $500,000 above last year, for the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program, part of an integrated behavioral health approach to collaboratively reduce the incidence of alcoholism and other drug dependencies in American Indian and Alaska Native communities. This includes funding for grants and contracts with public or private detox centers that provide alcohol or drug treatment, including Na’Nizhoozhi Center in Gallup, New Mexico.

Indian Arts and Crafts Act Enforcement: The bill provides $3.5 million within Fish and Wildlife Law Enforcement to work with the Indian Arts and Crafts Board to combat international trafficking of counterfeit arts and crafts and to conduct criminal investigations of alleged violations of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act.

Tribal Programs: Tribal programs provided through the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and BIE are collectively funded at $3.397 billion, a 5 percent increase above last year. The bill includes $1.7 million in new funding within the budgets of BIA and the National Park Service for the Indian Youth Service Corps and $500,000 in new funding for BIA to implement the Native American Business Incubators Act, two programs that Udall championed.

Tribal law enforcement: The bill provides $14 million in new funding for Tribal law enforcement priorities, including funding to address the crisis of missing, murdered and trafficked Native women and girls, and continues calls for the Bureau of Indian Affairs to produce a comprehensive needs assessment of public safety infrastructure in Indian Country.

Tribal Education Infrastructure: The bill provides $264 million for Tribal education infrastructure, including $15 million in new funding to support facility infrastructure needs at tribal colleges and universities in New Mexico and around the country. It also allocates $95 million in additional funds for infrastructure needs at the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) provided by Great American Outdoors Act. An increase of $5 million in new funding – a 50 percent boost – is also provided to upgrade information technology infrastructure at BIE-funded schools.

Tribal “638” Contracting & Compacting: The bill includes new indefinite appropriations for IHS and BIA to fully fund requirements for Tribal leases as authorized by the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act and fully funds contract support cost requirements.

U.S.-Mexico Border Water Infrastructure Program: The bill increases funding for the U.S.-Mexico Border water infrastructure program to $30 million, an increase of $5 million over fiscal year 2020, to significantly expand support for clean water projects to protect human health and the environment in communities on both sides of the border.

Smithsonian Latino Center: The bill boosts funding for the Smithsonian Latino Center by $1 million to expand Smithsonian programming and collections related to the history, culture and art of American Latinos.

PFAS: The bill provides $49 million, an increase of $10 million to the fiscal year 2020 level, in funding for environmental cleanup programs and related scientific research to help address contamination caused by PFAS chemicals and other contaminants of emerging concern, including not less than $20 million in direct support for states.

Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund: The bill provides $10 million for grants to federally recognized Indian Tribes for reclamation of abandoned mine lands and other related activities.

National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities: The bill provides $167.5 million each to the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, $5.25 million more than the fiscal year 2020 level for each endowment. The increase was provided after the president once again proposed abolishing these programs, which support arts and cultural programs as well as thousands of jobs in New Mexico and across the country.

Wildland Firefighting: The bill provides $3.744 billion for fire suppression, of which $2.35 billion is provided in the Wildfire Suppression Operations Reserve Fund through the budget cap adjustment authorized in the Fiscal Year 2018 Consolidated Appropriations Act. This is the second year this additional funding stream Senator Udall helped secure is available for use when a fire season exceeds projections and all regular appropriated funds are spent. Before this wildfire suppression reserve fund, the Forest Service and Interior were forced to borrow from their non-fire accounts when this occurred, putting a hold on other activities and straining resources. The agencies spent $2.275 billion fighting wildfires in fiscal year 2020, one of the highest years on record.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): The bill provides $9.23 billion for the EPA, $179 million more than fiscal year 2020 and $2.53 billion more than the President’s budget request. The bill rejects the Administration’s proposals to cut research by 38 percent and cut grants by 33 percent as well as to eliminate climate change programs and several other important funding items, such as the U.S. contribution to the Montreal Protocol Multilateral Fund and a number of regional restoration programs. The bill also provides an increase of $2.3 million, or 24 percent, to Environmental Justice programs, a $13.6 million, or 3 percent, increase to environmental enforcement, and an $11.7 million, or 3 percent, increase to Clean Air programs.

National Park Service (NPS): The bill provides a 4 percent increase in funding for park operations, for a total of $2.69 billion. Historic Preservation Fund grants are funded at $144.3 million, which is nearly $26 million more than fiscal year 2020. Within that amount, the bill includes increases to the fiscal year 2020 level of $3 million for State Historic Preservation Offices, for a total of $55.7 million; $1.3 million more for Tribal Historic Preservation Offices, for a total of $15 million; $2.4 million more for Civil Rights grants, for a total of $21.1 million; $10 million for grants to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, equal to the enacted level; $9 million more for the Save America’s Treasures program, for a total of $25 million.

Highlights of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies funding bill include:

Land Grants, Acequias and Community Ditches: Udall helped secure language that recognizes the rights of acequias and land grant mercedes to apply for federal funding and technical assistance under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). The agreement directs the Natural Resources Conservation Service to develop and report guidance that ensures timely input from local communities, including listening sessions with land grants and acequias. 

PFAS: Udall and Heinrich secured report language directing the Secretary of Agriculture to use an existing program for dairy indemnity to purchase cattle contaminated by PFAS chemicals. Udall fought for dairy farmers in Clovis, New Mexico whose livelihoods are being threatened by the contamination.

Water and Sanitation Grants for Colonias and Federally Recognized Tribes: The bill includes $68 million in grants to support wastewater treatment facilities in colonias and Tribal lands. The grants will help rural communities connect to water resources and help prevent groundwater contamination.

Outreach to Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers: The bill includes language supporting the efforts of the Office of Advocacy and Outreach to increase the accessibility of USDA programs to underserved constituents and notes that $17 million in mandatory funds is available to assist socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers in owning and operating farms and ranches. The Committee provides an additional $500,000 for outreach under the Office of the Secretary.

Agriculture Research: This bill provides $1.492 billion for the Agricultural Research Service. NIFA is funded at $1.57 billion, an increase of $43 million. Included in this funding is $435 million for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, $10 million more than fiscal year 2020. Funding will support investments in the research and development of new technologies and varieties to improve the productivity, sustainability, and quality of American agriculture and forestry.  

Conservation Programs: The bill maintains $832 million to the Natural Resources Conservation Service for Conservation Operations and $175 million for Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations.

Tribal Food Sovereignty: The bill requires the Secretary of Agriculture to update Congress on its efforts to engage with Tribes to kickstart participation in the Tribal Self-Determination demonstration program for food procurement for the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), a provision Udall championed in the 2018 Farm Bill, to better serve Native FDPIR participants with greater access to traditional and nutritional foods, and requires a report detailing USDA’s plans to increase the amount and variety of traditional foods including wild salmon, caribou, reindeer and elk for FDPIR.

Nutrition Assistance: The bill provides $114 billion for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), an increase from $45.7 billion from FY 2020. The bill provides for $25.1 billion in required mandatory funding for child nutrition programs. This is $1.5 billion above the FY 2020 enacted level. The bill also provides $6 billion for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and $13 million for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CFSP).

Lunch Shaming: The bill includes Udall’s language that directs USDA to provide guidance to lunch program operators. This guidance would include approaches that protect children from embarrassment, encourage lunch fee communications with parents and guardians instead of children, and encourage schools to provide efficient enrollment in free and reduced-price meal programs.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA): The bill provides $3.21 billion in discretionary funding for the FDA, a $43 million net increase to base funding for medical products, food safety activities, and infrastructure needs. Overall, total FDA funding, including user fee revenues, is $5.97 billion. The bill also provides $70 million as authorized in the 21st Century Cures Act.

Horse Slaughter Defunding Amendment: The bill included Udall’s amendment that prohibits the USDA from using any funds that support horse slaughter for human consumption.

Highlights of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (T-HUD) funding bill include:

Federal Aviation Administration: The bill provides $17.9 billion in FY 2021, which is $347 million more than the fiscal year 2020 enacted level and $444 million more than the President’s budget request. This funding level includes $3.75 billion for Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grants, which support airport safety, terminal, and noise mitigation projects. The bill funds Grants-in-Aid for airports at $400 million, above the president’s budget request, and fully funds the Contract Towers Program at $172.8 million, $2.8 million above FY 2020. Both programs are important for rural communities in New Mexico. The bill increases funding for aviation safety and certification in order to strengthen the safety inspector workforce and enable the Department to address oversight weaknesses identified by multiple investigations in the wake of the Boeing 787 Max accidents that claimed the lives of 346 people.

Formula Grants for Rural Areas: Udall and Heinrich helped secure $40 million for 5311 Formula Grants for Rural Areas, critical transportation funding for New Mexico.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA): The bill funds $194 million in Operations and Research.

Tenant-Based Rental Assistance: The bill funds Tenant-Based Rental Assistance at $25.8 billion, an increase of over $1.67 billion since FY 2020 and nearly $6.7 billion over the president’s budget request.

Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA): The bill increases funding by $20 million from  FY 2020 at $430 million, rejecting the Trump administration’s proposed $80 million cut.

Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG): The bill fully funds emergency housing grants at $290 million. Additional funding for ESG is provided through the accompanying Coronavirus relief package.

Native American Housing Programs: The bill includes $825 million in total for Native American Housing programs, $225 million above the president’s budget request. It also includes legislative text Udall championed to enable Tribes to receive grants under the Continuum of Care (CoC) Program at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to address homelessness in Indian Country in addition to $5 million for the Tribal HUD-VASH Program for rental assistance for Native American veterans that are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Highlights of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs funding bill include:

Kirtland Air Force Base: Udall and Heinrich helped secure $46.6 million for Kirtland Air Force Base to construct a new administrative building that the Defense Threat Reduction Agency needs to further national security goals to prepare for and combat weapons of mass destruction and improvised threats, and to ensure nuclear deterrence.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA): The VA will receive $104.4 billion in discretionary funds, including $12.5 billion in emergency funding to address rapidly increasing costs of health care and information technology support.

The bill funds VA medical care at $90.0 billion, an increase of $10.8 billion over FY 2020. The bill includes:

  • $10.3 billion for mental health;
  • $1.3 billion for telehealth services;
  • $1.2 billion for the Caregivers Program;
  • $504 million for opioid misuse prevention and treatment;
  • $800 million for medical and prosthetic research; $660 million for health care specifically for women veterans; and
  • $300 million for rural health initiatives.

The bill also includes $1.9 billion to help prevent veterans homelessness, nearly $17.3 million over the president’s budget request.

Office of Inspector General (OIG): Udall and Heinrich helped secure $228 million for the OIG, increasing the budget by $18 million from FY 2020 to hold our government accountable to the veterans who have served our country.

Directs further VA cancer research: Udall secured report language in the bill directing the VA to conduct a feasibility study investigating the potential benefits of molecular diagnostics technology to detect rare cancers in veteran populations. The agreement also provides up to $5 million to accelerate the adoption of molecular diagnostics for prostate and breast cancer, as directed in House Report 116-445.

Highlights of the Defense funding bill include:

The bill funds the Department of Defense (DoD), supporting the men and women who serve in the armed forces, and funding their important missions across the globe and in New Mexico. The bill provides funding for a three percent pay raise for military personnel.

PFAS

PFAS provisions for both drinking and agricultural water contamination. The bill directs the Air Force secretaries to keep the congressional defense committees apprised of their plans to use their authorities to address PFAS contamination. The committee urges the Air Force to act expeditiously to implement this new guidance to prevent further harmful PFOA and PFOS contamination on agricultural lands. The Director of the Department of Defense PFAS Task Force is directed to provide a report within 180 days on alternatives and cost implications of replacing aqueous film forming foam.

PFAS increases include:

  • 20,000,000 increase in Base Operations Support for PFAS remediation;
  • 15,000,000 increase in strategic environmental research program for PFAS remediation and disposal technology; and
  • 3,000,000 increase in PFAS/PFOA response

Cyber Kinetic Warfare Program: Senator Udall in coordination with New Mexico Tech has helped developed the nation’s first cyber kinetic warfare program in Playas, New Mexico. This new program is now in a strong position to continue supporting the military as it adapts to new threats and develops training programs to better prepare America’s troops. Senator Udall secured $20 million for the program this year.

Space Technology: Secured $216.8 million, $86 million above the President’s request for programs supporting the development of new space technologies. Kirtland Air Force Base is a leader in research and development of new space technologies to support national security in space. The increase included funding for the following programs in New Mexico

Small Satellite Facility: Secured $6 million for the development of a mission control facility for small satellites in Albuquerque and support for a small satellite innovation center.

Satellite Laser Communications: Secured $10 million for continued work on satellite laser communications, specifically to support the rapid prototyping and testing of clusters of satellites to provide high bandwidth secure communications in space.

Space Rapid Capabilities Office: Secured a $5 million increase for the Space Force’s Space Rapid Capabilities Office to continue their important national security space missions. The Space RCO will be funded at $108.5 million.

Advanced Space Technology: Secured strong funding for multiple programs that support New Mexico’s growing defense space sector. New Mexico continues to be a leader in research and development of new space technologies. This funding includes:

Ground-Based Interferometry: The $6.5 million will enable the Magdalena Ridge Observatory to continue the development of new systems to help support defense space situational awareness, and continued excellence in astrophysics.

Modular Satellite Power Systems: $4 million to continue the development of modular  low cost solar power system available in high volume. Modular solar power systems which are compatible with platforms from any satellite prime contractor are essential for achieving national security space objectives and developing commercial opportunities in space. Albuquerque is a leader in the development of low solar power systems for use in space.

Tactically Responsive Launch: Restored funding to $15 million for Tactically Responsive launch after the President’s budget zeroed out the program. The program is developing a vital capability to meet the Space Force's resiliency requirements and ability to launch military payloads in a contested environment. New Mexico’s small launch providers and Spaceport America will benefit from the development of the Tactically Responsive Launch capability.

Army Test Ranges and Facilities: Secured a $40 million increase ($390.3 million total)  in support of test ranges and facilities such as White Sands Missile Range (WSMR). The substantial increase includes $15 million to upgrade directed energy test infrastructure at WSMR. WSMR is the premier tri-service testing range in the country and will necessitate increased funding as it takes on the Department of Defense’s anti-missile and hypersonic testing requirements.

Directed Energy Technology: Secured $2.5 million for a directed energy center of excellence.

Defense Innovation Unit: Secured a $9 million increase ($35.6 million total) to support the work of the Defense Innovation Unit, a program created to help bring cutting edge commercial technology to support the Department of Defense’s critical national security needs.

Burn Pits and other Medical Research: Strong funding for Peer Review Medical Research Program. Udall secured inclusion of burn pits, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis in the program, which received an additional $370 million. Udall has championed veterans exposed to open-air burn pits, including spearheading establishment of the first open-air burn pit registry. Udall also worked to add $130 million for breast cancer research.

Highlights of the Energy and Water funding bill include 

The important national security work at Los Alamos and Sandia National labs is fully funded in the FY 2021 bill. NNSA is funded at $19.73 billion, an increase of $3 billion over FY 2020. Weapons activities programs are funded at $15.345 billion. The stockpile modernization and life extension programs are fully funded, ensuring that the nation can rely on our nuclear arsenal without the need for testing. Funding levels also ensure that there will be continued employment growth at both labs.

Los Alamos National Lab (LANL) Clean-Up: The president’s budget request proposed cutting funding for LANL cleanup from $220 million this year to only $120 million for fiscal year 2021. The NDAA restores funding to $220 million. This final appropriations agreement increases funding to $226 million. 

Sandia National Laboratories: The pulsed power program will receive not less than $66.9 million for operation of the Z Facility, which conducts research on Inertial Confinement Fusion Ignition and High-Yield. 

Waste Isolation Pilot Project (WIPP): WIPP will receive $420 million to support the ongoing operations and recovery projects from the 2014 accident, including $35 million for construction of the Safety Significant Confinement Ventilation System, $55 million for new construction of the Exhaust Shaft, $10 million for the Hoisting Capability Project, and $6.8 million for safeguards and security. In total, this is $30 million more than the president’s request, and $16 million more than the fiscal year 2020 enacted levels.

Nonproliferation: The bill includes $2.26 billion for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, a significant increase above the President’s request. New Mexico’s national labs develop the critically important technologies and training for nonproliferation efforts that are used domestically and internationally in concert with our allies.

Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board: The bill provides $31 million for the Board’s safety oversight work, rejecting a proposed $2 million cut proposed by the president’s budget request. The bill includes report language directing the Department of Energy to collaborate with the Board to address the Board's specific concerns with Department of Energy Order 140.1 – an order that undermines the Board’s oversight responsibility by restricting its ability to get health and safety information from Department of Energy sites. The report urges the Department to demonstrate a renewed focus on adequate protection of public health and safety, including the health and safety of workers.

Tribal Energy Programs: The bill provides $22 million, $14 million above the president’s request, for the Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy Policy to support energy development in Indian Country, and provides $2 million, the same as the FY 2020 appropriation, for a loan guarantee program to support the development of commercial renewable energy projects.

Bioenergy Technologies: The bill includes $40 million for Advanced Algal Systems to sustain investment in the development of algal biofuels, which has supported research in New Mexico in previous years.

Southwest Border Regional Commission: Senators Udall and Heinrich helped secure $250,000 for the Southwest Border Regional Commission. This is the first time Congress will provide funding for the SBRC, which was authorized to promote economic development in southern regions of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. This funding will allow the SBRC to jump-start its operations and expand in upcoming years.

Army Corps of Engineers: The Army Corps of Engineers is funded at the highest-ever level in a standard appropriations bill, at over $7.79 billion. This year’s budget marks an increase of $135 million from FY19 appropriations. A breakdown of funding includes:

  • $4 million for the Tribal Partnership Programs
  • $2 million for restoration of abandoned mines

The bill also funds specific Corps projects at the following levels:

  • Abiquiu Dam: $3.391 million
  • Cochiti Lake: $3.326 million
  • Conchas Lake: $2.755 million
  • Galisteo Dam: $689,000
  • Jemez Canyon Dam: $978,000
  • Inspection of Completed Works, NM, $563,000
  • Santa Rosa Dam and Lake: $1.374 million
  • Two Rivers Dam: $1.140 million
  • Upper Rio Grande Water Operations Model: $945,000
  • Reservoir Operations: $225,000

Bureau of Reclamation: Increases funding to $1.691 billion for FY2021 appropriations, an $11 million increase from FY2020 levels. The bill also funds the WaterSMART program at $55 million, and includes a Udall provision requiring the agency to ensure water conservation projects funded by WaterSMART grants truly conserve water and do not lead to increased consumptive use. The WaterSMART program is a water conservation and efficiency program that has funded everything from Rio Chama restoration to Rio Grande Basin climate change studies.

Highlights of the Health and Human Services, Labor, and Education Departments funding bill include:

Health

Funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH): The bill provides $42.9 billion for the NIH, an increase of roughly $1.25 billion over FY 2020 – this also includes $404 million from the 21st Century Cures Act. Organizations in New Mexico received more than $95 million in grants from NIH in FY 2020.

State Opioid Response Grants: The bill continues $1.5 billion in funding for states to respond to the opioid epidemic. The bill sets aside $50 million to Indian Tribes or Tribal organizations, and mandates that 15% of the funding will be allocated to states with the highest mortality rates.

Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH): The bill funds REACH at $63.950 million, an almost $4 million increase over FY 2020. These programs engage communities that are particularly affected by chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes to address the health disparities. The programs are designed to address risk factors and social conditions to prevent and manage chronic diseases.

Healthcare Workforce Programs: This funding is critical for states like New Mexico with an aging healthcare provider workforce and statewide shortages, especially in rural areas. The total funding includes $29.7 million to continue the Mental and Substance Use Disorder Workforce Training Demonstration, as well as $16 million for the second year of the Loan Repayment Program for the Substance Use Disorder Treatment Workforce, both important to recruiting and retaining substance abuse professional nationwide.

Community Mental Health Block Grant (CMHBG): CMHBG received an increase of $35 million in funding to a new total of $757.571 million.

Rural Residency Planning & Development (RRPD): RRPD received $10.5 million, an increase of 500,000 over last fiscal year.

Domestic Violence Victim Resources: The bill continues support for the Stronghearts Native helpline, a culturally-informed hotline that specializes in helping helps Native victims of domestic violence find resources in their communities.

Tribal Public Health: The bill rejects the Trump Administration’s attempt to defund the Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country program, the CDC’s largest annual investment in Tribal public health, and increases funding for the program to $22 million.

Education

Early Learning/Care: Head Start and the Child Care and Development Block Grant program each received a $135 million increase, bringing their totals to $10.75 billion and $5.91 billion.

Native Languages: The bill increases funding for Native American language programs by $1.5 million by appropriating $13 million for the Administration for Native American’s Native American Language programs, including no less than $5 million for the Esther Martinez; and, a $500,000 increase to Native language grants at the Department of Education.

Pell Grants: Students will see a $150 increase, bringing the total award maximum to $6,495 for academic year 2021-2022.

Tribal Colleges and Universities: Tribal colleges were allocated $38.080 million, an increase of $1.633 million over last fiscal year’s level. This funding helps support four Tribal Colleges in New Mexico.

Hispanic-Serving Institutions: HSIs received $148.732 million, an increase of $5.732 million over FY 202o levels. The majority of New Mexico’s higher education institutions are classified as HSIs.

Impact Aid: Impact Aid was given $1.501 billion in funding for fiscal year 2021 2020, an increase of $15 $20 million.

Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants (SSEA): SSEA received $1.220 $1.250 billion, an increase of $10 million more than last fiscal year.

Special Olympics Education Programs (SOE): SOE received $23.683 million, an increase of $3.6 million.

Care Corps Grants: The final agreement provided $4 million in funding and included report language directing the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to continue the grant provided in fiscal year 2019 to support innovative local models in which volunteers assist family caregivers or directly assist older adults or adults with disabilities in maintaining their independence. The report language incorporates Udall’s legislation, the Care Corps Demonstration Act of 2020, to establish a national caregiving volunteer corps.

Labor

Employment and Training Administration: The package includes a $100 million bump, bringing the E&T Administration total to $9.4 billion for FY2021.

Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS): The bill provides an increase of $40 million, to a new total of $1.15 billion. 

Highlights of the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies funding bill include:

Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA): The agreement also provides $48 million for the Minority Business Development Agency to help minority-owned businesses adapt and grow. This is an increase of $6 million or 14 percent more than the FY2020 level. $18 million must be used to continue the existing network of Minority Business Development Centers, and MBDA cannot allow a lapse in services at a MBDA Center. This year, MBDA announced $3 million in new funding to support minority women entrepreneurs following Udall and Heinrich’s previous push to expand funding for the initiative.

Census Bureau: The Census not only determines Congressional apportionment, but also is relied on to distribute $1.5 trillion in Federal funds. The bill provides $1.1 billion for the Census Bureau, a decrease of $6.5 billion below the fiscal year 2020 enacted amount and $565 million below the President’s request. This reduction is typical in the year after the decennial census is conducted as the bulk of the work to prepare for and conduct it have occurred in previous fiscal years. The bill also allows the Census Bureau to spend more than $1.05 billion in available prior year funds.

Department of Justice: The bill provides $386 million for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant programs, $43 million above fiscal year 2020. The bill also supports increased funding for Tribal Assistance by $8 million by appropriating $46 million to the Office of Justice Programs (OJP); and a $4 million increase for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)  State Formula Grants Program by appropriating $67 million. Additionally, the bill provides $541.5 million to help state and local partners combat the opioid and methamphetamine crises.

Tribal VAWA & Public Safety: The bill provides $92+ million within the Department of Justice to support Tribal public safety efforts, including $3 million to support Tribal access to federal law enforcement databases and $4 million to support Tribal implementation of the special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction authorities restored to them in the 2013 VAWA reauthorization. 

Victim Resources for Tribes: The bill continues to support direct Tribal access to federal funding for victims of crime by including a 5% set-aside for Tribes within the Crime Victim Fund allocation. This set-aside will result in $100+ million for victim services going to Native communities.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA): The bill provides $23.3 billion, reflecting the need to fund infrastructure for human spaceflight to support the accelerated plan to return to the moon by 2024 while supporting NASA’s science, technology development, aeronautics, and education activities. The bill includes $27,000,000 for the Flight Opportunities Program, of which $7,000,000 is dedicated for payload development and flight of K-12 and collegiate educational payloads. Universities and other organizations in New Mexico have long been partners with NASA in research and development activities.

National Science Foundation: The bill includes $8.49 billion, $208 million above the FY 2020 enacted level and $738 million above the president’s budget request. The funding provides $6.9 billion, an increase of $170 million, to maintain NSF’s core basic research portfolio and supports the priorities of quantum computing and artificial intelligence research. The bill also provides $964 million, an increase of $23.5 million, in additional funding for STEM education research funding, a total of $75 million for mid-scale research projects, and $195 million for the EPSCoR program. Udall successfully fought for increased funding for Tribal Colleges and Universities Program at $16.5 million and Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program (HSI) at $46.5 million.

Highlights of the Homeland Security Appropriations bill include:

Report Language on Specialty Units and Medical Supplies: Udall helped secure report language on the need for specialty units and medical supplies along the border to be made available through U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). CBP shall ensure that appropriate medical supplies are made available to each Border Patrol agent with an Emergency Medical Technician or paramedic certification and to each Border Patrol sector, including all remote stations and forward operating bases. In developing the appropriate list of medical supplies required, CBP shall consult with and consider recommendations from national organizations with expertise in emergency medical care, including emergency medical care of children, and the DHS Chief Medical Officer.

FEMA State Homeland Security Grant Program: The bill provides Homeland Security Grants $610 million, of which $15 million is for Tribal security, for necessary preparedness programs allow the state and local officials to continually answer the Federal and national call to reduce risk, more readily respond to events, and build the leadership for tomorrow.

Firefighter Preparedness and Management: As the West confronts unprecedented wildfires, Udall pushed to secure $360 million for grants to assist firefighters, with an additional $360 million for Staffing for Adequate and Emergency Response Grants and over $287.8 million for firefighter training and technical assistance.

Funding for Infrastructure at Ports of Entry Extension Act: Senator Heinrich secured the incorporation of his bipartisan legislation that reauthorizes the Donations Acceptance Program. The program enables U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) and the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to explore, create and facilitate partnerships for improvements on port of entry infrastructures and technology, with the investment made by the local entities.

Alternatives for Detention: The omnibus directs U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to expand its alternatives to detention programs and includes $25 million for case management services and $5 million for a FEMA alternatives to detention case management grant pilot program.