The $1.1 trillion budget deal reached by Congressional negotiators last night could bring millions in federal funding to Maryland. Congress has until midnight this Thursday to vote on the measure and the House of Representatives is set to vote as early as Thursday morning. Congressional leaders have said they are considering a measure to extend the current funding measure a few days to give the Senate more time to vote. Update: Congress Avoids Shutdown and House Passes $1.1T Spending Bill.
As reported by the Baltimore Sun, Maryland’s senior Senator Barbara A. Mikulski and chair of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, was one of the central negotiators in crafting the deal.
“This agreement means no government shutdown and no government on autopilot,” Mikulski said in a statement. “In today’s era of slam down politics, we were able to set aside our differences. Working across the aisle and across the dome, we created compromise without capitulation.”
The following projects would receive federal funding,
As written, the deal includes $100 million toward the $2.9 billion, 14.1-mile Red Line light-rail project planned for Baltimore and its suburbs. Baltimore city and county leaders have pledged another $280 million for the transit line connecting Woodlawn to East Baltimore.
The congressional spending plan also includes $100 million for the proposed Purple Line through the Washington, D.C., suburbs.
The bill also includes $46 million to dredge channels and shipping lanes leading to the port of Baltimore. The preparations are being made to handle an anticipated increase in trade from the widening of the Panama Canal.
Another $150 million in the bill would help buy new rail cars for the Metro, the D.C. region’s transit system.
Funding is also included in the measure to address the Ebola crisis in Africa and to fight Islamic State insurgents, help clear backlogs of rape kits in police departments across the country, and keep air traffic control towers open at smaller airports.
Staff from Senator Mikulski’s office will be presenting at MACo’s Winter Conference on January 8, 2015 from 2:15 pm – 3:15 pm during a session entitled “What Your Federal Delegation Can Do for You,” to help attendees understand more about how to work with the Congressional delegation on funding needs and legislative priorities.
For more information on the federal budget deal and how it affects county governments, see our posts Congressional Deal Could Alter Pending “Waters of the US” Rule, Congressional Leaders Reach Spending Deal To Avoid Shutdown.
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Questions? Contact Meetings & Events Director Virginia White.