Yesterday, Representative Adriano Espaillat announced a series of key policy and funding wins in legislation setting federal spending.
The bill, which is slated to become law as part of a year-end government funding package, includes billions of dollars for programs and priorities Espaillat has advanced over the past few years.
For example, the bill includes an additional $14.4 million for body-worn cameras for border agents to ensure greater transparency and oversight of immigration enforcement agencies along our nation’s southern border.
Espaillat secured $21 million last year for the first tranche of cameras. This additional funding will ensure all agents are equipped with a body-worn camera.
Espaillat also secured an increase in the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) by nearly $15 million, bringing that project to nearly $75 million total, to combat drug trafficking, promote social justice, and increase public safety and security in the region.
Earlier this month, Espaillat secured passage of his Caribbean Basin Security Initiative Authorization Act in the House, which would codify this increase in law and expand activities to promoting climate resiliency.
The package includes $2 billion for the Capital Investment Grants program, which will provide the federal portion of funding for the Second Avenue Subway Phase II Extension project.
Espaillat has provided unrelenting support for bringing New York City’s subway system into East Harlem, and this funding will help make the project a reality.
Espaillat was also successful in his efforts to help Hispanic-serving colleges and universities (HSIs) expand their science, technology, engineering, and math programs.
The bill includes an additional $46.5 million for a National Science Foundation grant program specifically for HSIs, a $1.5 million increase over last year.
Additionally, Espaillat led members of the bipartisan New York Delegation urging robust support for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) whose research programs and support of institutions have been a critical resource to New York City and New York’s 13th Congressional District during this COVID-19 pandemic.
This legislation increases FY2021 NIH funding at a time when our scientific and public health community needs the most support and also includes funding for an array of specialized research programs.
This includes the NIH Innovation Fund for the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for cancer research; National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS); National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH) for the BRAIN Initiative; Precision Medicine Initiative, and Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot Initiative.
These specialized research programs are at the fore of scientific discovery whose work and research in partnership takes place in New York’s 13th Congressional District.
Espaillat has also led efforts to fund the Farmers Market Nutrition Program, which helps those through the WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program to purchase fresh produce from locally-sourced farmers’ markets.
The bill provides a total of $21 billion for the program, a $2.5 billion increase.
In addition to funding, the bill includes a number of congressional directives that Espaillat secured.
For example, it requires Immigration and Customs Enforcement to develop a body-worn camera pilot program similar to the one created for border agents, and it directs ICE to refrain from conducting enforcement actions at “sensitive locations” like schools and courthouses.
Finally, an Espaillat amendment was included that would provide for greater support to local education agencies for English Language Acquisition.
Especially now, as thousands of students prepare for a new form of remote learning, it is critical that schools have the resources to ensure English learners are not left behind.
First elected to Congress in 2016, Rep. Adriano Espaillat is serving his second term in Congress where he serves as a member of the influential U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and the House Small Business Committee.
He serves as a Senior Whip of the House Democratic Caucus and is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) where he also serves in a leadership role as CHC Whip.
He is also chairman of the CHC Task Force for Transportation, Infrastructure and Housing.