December 23, 2022

Rep. Watson Coleman Celebrates Legislative Victories in Omnibus Funding Legislation

Today, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) voted to pass an omnibus funding bill that would keep the federal government funded through the end of fiscal year 2023.   

The bill addresses many of the  priorities of the 12th District, including mental health equity, funding for public transit, and an increase in funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which provides lifesaving assistance for Americans facing food insecurity . Also included in the legislation are the Congresswoman’s National Liberty Memorial Preservation Act and an indefinite suspension of clawbacks for victims of Superstorm Sandy. 

“By passing this omnibus funding bill, Congress is not only keeping the government running, but also directly addressing the needs of working families in New Jersey’s 12th District and beyond,” said Congresswoman Watson Coleman. “In addition to funding essential government programs, this legislation delivers real results for some of our most vulnerable communities, including those still recovering from Superstorm Sandy. These families will now be able to put this decade-long nightmare behind them.”   

Also included in the package is the final $30 million needed to complete the Green Brook Sub Basin Flood Control Project. The Congresswoman previously secured nearly $500 million for the project.  

“For decades, this project has gone unfinished due to insufficient federal funding. The fiscal year 2023 omnibus will finally change that,” said Congresswoman Watson Coleman. “Central Jersey communities have always faced the risk of flooding, and climate change has only made this flooding more frequent, more severe, and more deadly. By investing in infrastructure like the Green Brook Sub Basin Flood Control Project, we are protecting at-risk communities in the 12th District and preventing further loss of life.” 

Investments from this omnibus legislation will advance the Congresswoman’s agenda of building an America that works for all. Investments include: 

  • Guarantees a year of health care coverage for 940,000 children in New Jersey enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program. 

  • $25 million in additional funding for the National Labor Relations Board, the agency responsible for protecting workers’ rights and enforcing laws against unjust labor practices 

  • A block grant for early childhood development and an increase in funding for Head Start, a federal program providing early childhood education and health services to low-income families 

  • Additional funding for the new 24/7 9-8-8 National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline 

  • The largest-ever increase in maternal health block grants 

  • Legal aid assistance to protect renters from unlawful eviction 

  • Expanded access to PrEP to prevent the spread of HIV 

  • Increased funding to support the Violence Against Women Act, which provides for responses to domestic and sexual violence 

  • $125 million in grants to support the Second Chance Act, which facilitates programs to reduce recidivism by helping previously incarcerated Americans re-enter society 

  • Hate crime prevention, including funding for both community social justice organizations and the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division 

  • $3.4 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy, including $250 million for battery and electrification technologies 

  • $1.5 billion for LIHEAP, which helps keep low-income families warm and safe during the winter 

  • Disaster supplemental relief, including $1.8 billion for flood prevention 

  • Dedicates the highest-ever level of federal funding for the arts and humanities, including $207 million each for the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities and $1.1 billion for the Smithsonian Institution 

Many of the legislation’s provisions would have an outsized impact on New Jersey communities. Amtrak will receive $2.45 billion, more than half of which will go to the Northeast Corridor. Additionally, the federal grant program funding the Gateway Tunnel project will receive $2.6 billion. The Army Corps of Engineers, which is tasked with building and maintaining infrastructure and military facilities, will receive $37.7 million for projects in New Jersey.  

The government funding package will create good-paying jobs, increase opportunity for the middle class and small businesses, and provide a lifeline for working families. The funding for New Jersey’s 12th District and funding increases for critical government programs will continue to reverse decades of disinvestment in our communities.   

Already passed by the Senate, the funding bill now goes to President Biden’s desk for his signature. A detailed summary of the bill is available here.