WASHINGTON — The House voted on the budget to increase non-defense spending by $12.5 billion, allowing for strong investments in American families and communities. The budget supports better schools, expands access to housing, tackles food insecurity, builds safer communities, and protects the environment.
“It’s important that we expand funding for 2021 to ensure that American families are the priority.” Rep. Dean said. “I am grateful we were able to include my priorities including the PFAS health study and funding for pregnant and postpartum women struggling with substance use disorders.”
Reps. Dean and McBath co-led a letter to increase the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives funding to $1.48 billion. ATF plays a critical role in protecting Americans from gun violence. This $83.9 million increase from last year’s allocation will help ATF investigate gun crime, prevent illegal gun trafficking, and ensure gun dealers comply with federal law and regulations.
Reps. Dean and Rose co-led a letter to secure an extra $1 million (from last year’s allocation) for the Pregnant and Postpartum Women program in SAMHSA. This program is specifically targeted at women suffering with substance use disorders and is designed to expand the availability of comprehensive, residential substance abuse treatment, prevention and recovery support with a family-centered approach.
Rep. Dean also led a letter to secure $15 million for the CDC-ATSDR PFAS health study which will help study exposure to PFAS, an issue that has impacted Montgomery County for decades.
Additionally, $6 million for Disability CDFI funds was secured. These funds will go to CDFIs that grant loans for disability related purchases and help organizations like the PA Assistive Technology Foundation.
The year-end package also included Rep. Dean’s Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act which addresses the needs of foster youth by providing vouchers from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to those who are at risk of homelessness – rather than forcing them to spend years on waiting lists.
Furthermore, the bill incentivizes young people to participate in self-sufficiency activities such as pursuing education, workforce development opportunities, or employment, by extending their assistance for up to an additional two years.