Senate Passes Funding Bill with Several Key Ohio Wins Secured by Brown


Senator Secured Provisions to Invest in Local Ohio Communities and Support Ohioans; The Omnibus Includes More Than $180 Million in Congressionally Directed Spending Awards for Ohio

For A Full List of Local Projects Funds That Brown Secured, Click HERE

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Senate passed a funding package that provides funding for essential priorities for American families. U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) was able to secure key wins for Ohio to lower costs and invest in healthcare, the environment, science and research, agriculture, public safety, local projects and other priorities for Ohioans. Brown’s bipartisan African American Burial Grounds Preservation Act, legislation to establish a program at the National Park Service to provide grant opportunities and technical assistance to local partners to research, identify, survey and preserve these cemeteries will be included in the bill.

“This is a bipartisan success for Ohio that builds on our work to create jobs, invest in workers and their families, and lower costs for Ohioans. We are making critical investments that our state needs to do – everything from cleaning up Lake Erie to supporting Ohio’s military facilities, supporting our veterans and providing necessary funding in agriculture and nutrition programs,” said Brown.

Brown secured priorities that will help create jobs, lower costs for families, and invest in Ohio communities.

This bill also includes legislation cosponsored by Brown, known as the Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act, which will ensure that electoral votes tallied by Congress accurately reflect each state’s vote for President. This important, bipartisan update to the Electoral Count Act of 1887 will ensure the law more clearly defines the process for certifying electoral votes in a presidential election and prevents any future attempts to overturn the will of the people.

Supporting Workers:

The bill helps to create and sustain good-paying American jobs through investments in job training and worker protection, and includes the following priorities, which Brown championed:

Pregnant Workers Fairness Act: the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, a bipartisan bill to protect pregnant workers and ensure employers accommodate their health on the job closely modeled after the Americans with Disabilities Act, which Brown is a co-sponsor. This year, Brown held a news conference in advance of Mother’s Day on the need to pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.

PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act: the PUMP (Providing Urgent Maternal Protections) for Nursing Mothers Act, a bipartisan bill to expand workplace protections for breastfeeding mothers, which Brown co-sponsored. The bill fixes a loophole that excluded millions of women from the 2010 Break Time for Nursing Mothers law protecting breastfeeding employees, provides clarity for employers to ensure pumping mothers are not incorrectly denied pay, and makes it possible for women to enforce their rights under existing Fair Labor Standards Act remedies.

Helping workers save for retirement when they switch jobs: This bill includes Brown’s Advancing Auto-Portability Act of 2022, cosponsored with Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC). This bill cuts red tape for workers when they switch jobs, so that it’s easier for them to move their retirement accounts.

Increase in Grant Funding for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program: Brown secured $40 million in grant funding for FY2023. The VITA program provides support to free tax preparation sites that help individuals and families file their income tax returns. Brown has long fought to secure funding and support for the VITA grant program, which was authorized for the first time when Brown’s VITA Permanence Act became law in 2019.

Protecting Benefits Earned by Ohio’s Police and Firefighters: Brown’s bipartisan Police and Fire Health Care Protection Act of 2022 which cuts red tape and helps first responders afford health insurance in retirement. Currently, retired first responders can withdraw up to $3,000 from their pensions before taxes to pay for health and long-term care insurance premiums. Now, that money can only be paid from those pensions directly to insurance providers, which can mean additional red tape for pension plans and can end up with fewer first responders being able to use the benefit. Retired first responders will now be able to directly receive that money to pay their insurance premiums and then explain those costs on their tax returns at the end of the year.

Funding the NLRB: An increase of $25 million to bolster the budget of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) by providing the necessary resources and workforce to support workers’ right to organize and fight union busting efforts. Brown sent a letter in March to the Office of Management and Budget then-Acting Director Shalanda Young requesting that funding be increased for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in the fiscal year 2023 budget request so that it has the resources to stand up for American workers. Brown sent an additional letter to Senate Appropriations in May 2022 urging for additional resources for NLRB. Funding for the agency has remained flat since 2014, leading to consistent underfunding and understaffing issues.

TAA funding: a year of funding for the Trade Adjustment Assistance program to continue operating and certifying eligible workers for new workforce training programs. Brown has advocated for the extension of eligibility for this program. In June 2021, Brown was able to secure a bipartisan agreement to extend this program by one month, and vowed to keep fighting for a longer-term extension and overall expansion of the TAA program.

Investing in Ohio Communities:

The final bill includes millions in funding to support projects across Ohio and invest in Ohio communities, including the following provisions:

More Than $180 million for Local Projects across Ohio: Brown and his office worked with Ohioans to secure Congressionally Directed Spending (CDS) funding through the Senate Appropriations Committee. Brown’s office offered a reliable, easily-accessible and user-friendly program for local leaders across Ohio to submit CDS requests, with the goal of using every tool available to get resources to Ohio communities. Republicans tried to remove funding for these projects from the spending package during debate on the bill, but Brown voted to retain these resources for Ohio communities.

  • For a full list of local projects funds that Brown secured, click HERE.

Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development:

  • Supplemental Highway and Public Transit Investments: $3.418 billion of new investment to repair and upgrade roads, highways and bridges under the Highway Infrastructure Programs account and $542 million for additional investments to upgrade and improve public transit services under the Transit Infrastructure Grants program. Ohio will receive an allocation from these funds to supplement the transportation investment provided under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
  • Affordable Housing and Community Development:  The bill includes funding to continue to make housing affordable and safer for over 220,000 Ohio families, seniors, and persons with disabilities and support state and local affordable housing and community development activities. It also includes funding for 11,700 new housing vouchers and more than 2,900 new units of affordable housing for seniors and persons with disabilities.  
  • Preserving Manufactured Housing Communities: The bill includes $225 million making infrastructure improvements and keeping manufactured housing communities affordable for residents. Brown championed this program in housing investment legislation he co-authored.
  • Removing Barriers to New Housing: The bill includes $85 million to support communities seeking to address barriers to new housing supply, which Brown proposed as part of housing investment legislation this Congress.
  • Repairing the Carl B. Stokes Courthouse: The bill includes $10,235,000 to begin repairing the Carl B. Stokes Courthouse in Cleveland.

Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization. The bill provides a total of $135 million for grants to reclaim abandoned mine lands in conjunction with economic and community development and reuse goals. Earlier this year, Brown joined Secretary Haaland in announcing the release of AML funds provided by the Bipartisan infrastructure law that would be used to support local mine and orphan well reclamation efforts.

Critical funding for NASA programs in Ohio: This bill provides critical wins for Ohio’s NASA Glenn Research Center and NASA Neil A. Armstrong Test Facility:

  • $935 million for Aeronautics to accelerate research and development for next generation commercial engine technologies for electrified aircraft propulsion, including electric air flight. NASA is further encouraged to support research into additive manufacturing.
  • $50 million for Hypersonics Technology.
  • $110 million for the development of nuclear thermal propulsion, NASA is encouraged to develop innovative nuclear technologies that enable a regular cadence of extended duration robotic missions to the lunar surface and Mars.
  • $15 million for Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) to begin a systematic approach to NEP technology development.
  • $40 million for payload development and delivery to the lunar surface via the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program to execute a surface power demonstration by 2026.
  • $51 million for the Communications Services Program.

Strengthening Police-Community Relations: The agreement provides $231,000,000 for State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance and Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office grant programs related to police-community relations.

Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants: The bill funded $770,805,000 for important programs supporting communities and law enforcement including:

  • $30 million for the Patrick Leahy Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program.
  • $95 million for Victims of Trafficking Grants.
  • $82 million for STOP School Violence Act.
  • $95 million for Drug Courts.
  • $ 3.5 million for Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act.
  • $50 million for Community Violence Intervention & Prevention.
  • $130 million for Debbie Smith DNA Backlog Grant Program.

Energy and Water:

$200 million for the Appalachian Regional Commission to promote economic and community development, education and job training, and critical infrastructure throughout the region. This is a $5 million increase from the previous fiscal year.

$480 million for Portsmouth Decontamination and Decommission for cleanup at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon, an increase of $8 million over the prior fiscal year which will ensure that cleanup continues as planned. Brown fought to ensure that workers at Piketon receive the necessary funding to maintain workforce levels and keep cleanup on pace.

$20 million to replace Zahn’s Corner Middle school in Pike County which has been closed and quarantined for years following the discovery of radioactive materials in the school. Brown fought for this funding to ensure the community has safe educational facilities to support efforts to reindustrialize the region.

$368 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) which plays a critical role in restoring and reclaiming the Great Lakes and its tributaries: GLRI is a results-driven program, and this funding ensures that it has the resources it needs to address the most serious issues that threaten the ecological and economic wellbeing of the Great Lakes basin, including invasive species, pollution, and toxic contamination. This is a $27.89 million increase over the previous fiscal year.

$30.5 million for the EPA Lead in Schools Grant Program: This is a $3 million increase over the previous fiscal year to award funding to states, territories, and tribes to assist local and tribal educational agencies in voluntary testing for lead contamination in drinking water at schools and childcare facilities. 

$24 million for the African American Civil Rights Grant Program, a $2.25 million increase over the previous year. This program is a competitive grant program and provides grants to states, tribes, local governments, and nonprofits. Grants will fund a broad range of planning, development, and research projects for historic sites including survey, inventory, documentation, interpretation, education, architectural services, historic structure reports, preservation plans, and “bricks and mortar” repair.

$25 million for the EPA Reducing Lead in Drinking Water Grants: This is a $3 million increase over the previous fiscal year. These grants go directly toward the replacement of lead service lines, testing, planning and corrosion control in water systems throughout the country.

Preserving Ohio History:

African American Burial Grounds Preservation Act. The bill includes Brown’s bipartisan African American Burial Grounds Preservation Act, which establishes a program at the National Park Service to provide grant opportunities and technical assistance to local partners to research, identify, survey and preserve these cemeteries. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) cosponsored this legislation with Brown.

Kol Israel Foundation Holocaust Memorial. The bill includes Brown’s bipartisan, bicameral bill to designate the Kol Israel Foundation Holocaust Memorial—located in Bedford Heights, Ohio—as a national memorial. Rep. Shontel Brown (D-OH-11) led this legislation in the House.

John P. Parker House. The bill includes Brown’s bipartisan, bicameral legislation which will begin the process of incorporating the John P. Parker House and museum, an important stop on the Underground Railroad, into the National Park System. The Parker House is located in Ripley, Ohio. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) cosponsored the legislation, and Reps. Joyce Beatty (D-OH-3) and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH-2) led this legislation in the House.

The Buckeye National Scenic Trail. The bill includes Brown’s bipartisan legislation to authorize a feasibility study to determine if the Buckeye National Scenic Trail – a more than 1,400 mile trail that circles the state of Ohio – is eligible to be designated as part of the National Scenic Trails System. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) cosponsored the legislation, and Reps. Tim Ryan (D-OH-13) and Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH-16) led this legislation in the House.

National Aviation Heritage Area. Located in Dayton Ohio, the National Aviation Heritage Area honors the invention and continued innovation of aviation and aerospace technology that transformed our national development and the global economy. Legislation extending the Area’s funding authorization was included in the omnibus.

Supporting Health Care Providers and Increasing Access to Care for Ohioans:

$385 million for the Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) Program which provides resources to help train pediatricians at children’s hospitals across Ohio. This allocation is the highest ever funding level.

Support for Medicare Providers. The bill includes support for physicians, hospitals, and other providers by increasing Medicare physician fee schedule payments by 2.5 percent in 2023 and by 1.25 percent in 2024.

Telehealth. This bill extends Medicare COVID-19 telehealth flexibilities through calendar year 2024 to reimburse Medicare providers to ensure Ohioans who rely on Medicare can access telehealth services.

Children’s Health Insurance Program. This bill extends funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for two years, through 2029.

IMPROVE Act. Brown’s legislation the Improving Medicare Patients with RNHCI Options to Vaccinate Easily (IMPROVE) Act was included in the bill and specifies that individuals who elect to receive services in religious nonmedical health care institutions (RNHCIs) may receive COVID-19 vaccines under Medicare. Brown introduced this legislation with Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH).

TRAIN Act. Brown’s bipartisan, bicameral Technical Reset to Advance the Instruction of Nurses (TRAIN) Act was included in the bill and will help support the future of our health care workforce by providing much-needed relief to hospital-based nursing schools and allied health professional programs across the country. Brown introduced this legislation with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).

Continuous Eligibility for Children Covered Under Medicare and CHIP. Included in the bill is legislation which will guarantee that every child in Medicaid and CHIP, 40 million children nationwide, will have 12 months of continuous, stable coverage when they enroll. This will dramatically reduce disruptions in coverage and care for children, creating critical stability for their ongoing health needs. This legislation is based on Brown’s Stabilize Medicaid and CHIP Coverage Act.

Mental Health Access Improvement Act. The bill will include legislation that Brown co-sponsored which allows America’s seniors access to marriage and family therapists (MFTs) and licensed mental health counselors (LMHCs) through Medicare.

Lymphedema Treatment Act. The bill will include legislation that Brown co-sponsored which increases and improves care for Medicare beneficiaries with lymphedema by requiring Medicare Part B to cover physician-prescribed compression therapy garments, which are essential in the effective treatment of lymphedema.

Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act. The bill will include legislation that Brown co-sponsored which increases access to medication assisted treatment options for Ohioans struggling with opioid use disorder.

NIOSH Facility in Cincinnati: The bill protects funding for the Cincinnati NIOSH facility, a project which Brown secured $110 million for, and includes language requiring the Department of Health and Human Services to prioritize the construction project for completion and to provide quarterly reports on the ongoing project to keep Congress updated on its progress.

Combatting Global Tuberculosis: This bill includes $394.5 million for Global Tuberculosis funding for programs at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to fight tuberculosis throughout the world. Brown has led his Senate colleagues urging additional funding for public health officials to ensure they have the tools needed to eliminate tuberculosis. Brown has led a bipartisan group of colleagues in introducing his Comprehensive TB Elimination Act, which would reauthorize the National Strategy for Combating and Eliminating TB, as well as authorize the use of grants to help state health departments focus on TB in high-risk populations and encourage interagency coordination in identifying novel tools and therapeutics for TB control. Brown received the Congressional Champion Award in early December by the Global Health Technologies Coalition for his work in this area, and is a co-sponsor of the End Tuberculosis Now Act of 2022.

Investing in Ohio’s Agriculture and Nutrition Programs:

Funding for Summer EBT and Non-Congregate Meals: The bill will create a permanent nationwide Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) program to provide families with $40 per child, per month to buy groceries during the summer months, starting in summer 2024. This will benefit about 29 million children nationwide. The bill establishes a nationwide non-congregate meals program to provide meals to children in rural areas without congregate feeding sites. It allows these non-congregate operators to use a variety of means to feed kids through non-congregate, like grab and go, mobile delivery, shipping meals or backpack programs. This is based off of the Hunger-Free Summer for Kids Act of 2019 of which Brown was an original co-sponsor.

$7.4 million for Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program, a program Senator Brown led efforts to reauthorize in the 2023 Farm Bill. This is a competitive grants program that supports the establishment and expansion of local and regional food markets and supply chains.

$13 million for the Value-Added Producer Grant, a program Senator Brown led efforts to reauthorize in the 2023 Farm Bill. This is a competitive grant program that provides funding to farmers and groups of farmers to create or develop value-added producer-owned businesses. 

Growing Climate Solutions Act: The bill includes a version of legislation Brown co-sponsored. This directs USDA to establish a program to register entities that provide technical assistance to and verify the climate-smart practices of farmers, ranchers, and foresters who participate in voluntary carbon markets.

$232.5 million for 1890 Land-Grant Universities to support research and extension activities, scholarships, and facility improvements at 1890s land-grant Historically Black Colleges and Universities. This is a $17.5 million increase compared to the previous fiscal year. Senator Brown and Senator Warnock led efforts to secure this funding in the omnibus.

Bolstering National Security and Providing Essential Support for Ukraine:

Military Construction, Veterans Affairs:

  • $8 million to build a small arms range at the Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base.
  • $29 million to build a Child Development Center on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
  • $4 million to support the planning process of building a Human Performance Wing Lab at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
  • $5 billion for the Cost of War Toxic Exposures Fund to implement the expanded care and disability benefits authorized by the PACT Act.
  • VA Beneficiary Debt Collection Improvement Act. This bill includes legislation that prohibits an individual from incurring a debt to the United States that arises from participation in a VA benefits program and is attributable to the failure of the VA to process information according to its timeliness standards. This is a version of Brown’s SHIELD for Veterans Act of 2020.

Lima’s Joint Systems Manufacturing Center (JSMC):

  • $1.278 billion for upgrades to Abrams Tanks.
  • $891 million for upgrades to Stryker vehicles.

Supporting Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Pay Parity: The bill includes $398 million to bring the TSA workforce pay on par with the rest of the federal workforce. This puts the TSA in a favorable position to address recruiting and retention issues while the agency works to respond to an increase in travel volumes.

FEMA: The bill provides important funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

  • $615 million for the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) Program to assist high-threat, high-density urban areas in efforts to build and sustain the capabilities necessary to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism.
  • $305 million for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program: This grant provides funding support for target hardening and other physical security enhancements and activities to nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of terrorist attack.
  • $20 million for the targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention (TVTP) Grant Program which provides funding for state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, nonprofits, and institutions of higher education with funds to establish or enhance capabilities to prevent targeted violence and terrorism.
  • $720 million for Assistance to Firefighter grants (AFG) for funding critically needed resources to equip and train emergency personnel, enhance efficiencies, and support community resilience and the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grants (SAFER).
  • $313 million for Flood Hazard Mapping and Risk Analysis.

United States Coast Guard (USCG): The bill includes $11.6 billion for USCG operations and assets, including $918 million for vessels, $238 million for aircraft, and $415 million for shore facilities that directly support the USCG mission.