Norcross Votes to Pay Back Federal Contractors, Boost Infrastructure Projects & Support Military, Veterans
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01) – a member of the House Committee on Education and Labor and House Armed Services Committee – voted in favor of H.R. 3055, a "minibus" package that contains five Fiscal Year 2020 bills that fund federal departments and agencies including those related to military construction, veterans, transportation, commerce, justice, science, agriculture, interior, environment and housing.
"Every family knows their personal budget reflects their priorities. The same is true for the federal government’s budget – and House Democrats are committed to investing in our aging infrastructure, supporting military construction projects and our veterans, helping those suffering from the disease of addiction and making our schools safer," said Congressman Norcross. "We’re doing what’s right and addressing urgent needs by working to reform our criminal justice system, reduce gun violence and combat climate change."
The bill rightfully provides lost wages of up to $965 per week to federal contractors impacted by the December 22, 2018 to January 25, 2019 partial government shutdown. Directly after that shutdown, Norcross authored the bipartisan Fairness for Federal Contractors Act – which is supported by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the Communications Workers of America and the AFL-CIO – and has been calling for contractors to receive compensation just like the federal employees they work alongside.
"Federal contract workers and their families endured incredible hardship during the longest-ever government shutdown at no fault of their own – and yet they still lost their paychecks. For months, it’s been our moral obligation to these American families to provide lost wages and I’m relieved the House has finally acted," said Congressman Norcross.
In addition to contractor back-pay, as Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Building Trades Caucus, a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, Vice-Chair of the Bipartisan Addiction Task Force and member of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, Norcross specifically fought for military construction funding and services for our veterans, increased investments to improve our aging infrastructure, commitments to help those suffering from the disease of addiction and efforts to make schools safer.
Below are some specific provisions in H.R. 3055:
- Strengthening Our Military & Supporting Our Veterans
- Provides $10.5 billion for military construction across the country and overseas;
- Moves the issue of road safety and readiness on our joint military bases forward, including at New Jersey’s Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst;
- Addresses disability claims backlog with $3 billion to ensure adequate compensation and care for the more than 450,000 veterans still wading through VCA bureaucracy; and
- Continues the implementation of the VA electronic health record system with $1.6 billion.
- Investing in Our Infrastructure & Improving Our Communities
- Provides much-needed funding for roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports, airports and more, including $61 billion from dedicated trust funds, $17.7 billion for the Federal Aviation Administration, and $3 billion for the Federal Railroad;
- Strengthens communities with $3.6 billion for Community Development Block Grants and $2.8 billion for Homeless Assistance Grants; and
- Funds new affordable housing units for seniors and people with disabilities.
- Fighting the Opioid Epidemic, Preventing Gun Violence & Reforming Our Criminal Justice System
- Provides $501 million for grant programs that help those struggling with the disease of addiction, including funds for treatment, prescription drug monitoring, overdose-reversal drugs, drug courts and at-risk youth programs;
- Increases resources for programs that reduce violent and gun crime, including $125 million to make schools safer, $100 million for at-risk youth mentoring programs and $80 million in grants to States to improve their records used in background checks
- Provides $75 million, as authorized under the First Step Act of 2018, to expand and develop opportunities for incarcerated individuals to participate in evidence-based, recidivism-reducing programming and productive activities;
- Enables the Census Bureau to conduct a thorough & accurate 2020 Decennial Census that counts all persons, as required by the Constitution, with $8.45 billion; and
- Fosters innovation & U.S. economic competitiveness with $8.64 billion for the National Science Foundation to continue research on advanced manufacturing, physics, mathematics, cybersecurity, neuroscience, STEM education and more.
- Acting on Climate Change & Protecting Our Environment
- Provides $1.21 billion for Superfund clean-up, which is vital for New Jersey – the state with the most Superfund sites in the nation;
- Ensures access to safe drinking water and clean air with a $3.08 billion investment and another $70 million in targeted grants for drinking water contaminants like lead and other hazards;
- Builds resilience to climate change by providing $3.44 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency’s core science and environmental program work; and
- Provides $13.79 billion for the National Park System and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
- Assisting Children & Families
- Provides $111.1 billion for nutrition and health programs for low-income families and other vulnerable Americans;
- Expands broadband access by providing $3.9 billion for rural development and infrastructure; and
- Ensures food and drug safety with $1.05 billion.
Contact: Ally Kehoe, Communications Director