Hoeven: Funding Bill Keeps Americans Safe, Supports ND Priorities
Includes Hoeven Provisions for DAPL Reimbursement, Farmers and Ranchers, UAS, Drayton Levee, Williston Airport, CCS Technology
WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, who serves on the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced that the Senate has passed the Fiscal Year 2017 funding bill that includes important priorities for North Dakota and the nation, while continuing to find savings. The bill increases funding for national defense, the military and border security to keep Americans safe, while also including Hoeven provisions to help reimburse costs from the Dakota Access Pipeline protest, support the nation’s producers and rural communities, build unmanned aerial systems (UAS) operations and allow Drayton to permanently keep its levee.
“The FY17 funding legislation makes important investments to keep Americans safe with strong funding for national defense and border security. At the same time, it provides the state with reimbursement for protest costs and supports farmers and ranchers, UAS operations and flood protections in North Dakota,” said Hoeven. “While we continue to fund our priorities, we also continue to find savings to help tackle our debt and deficit.”
Hoeven worked to include priorities in the legislation:
- $15 billion increase in funding for military and national defense
- $12 billion in funding for border security, including fencing, technology and people
- Continues efforts to reduce spending and find savings. Total discretionary spending reached a peak of $1.5 trillion in 2009, compared to $1.16 trillion in 2017, a reduction of $340 billion.
North Dakota Priorities
- Up to $15 million in reimbursement to ND for costs associated with the Dakota Access Pipeline Protests
- Strong support for farmers and ranchers, including ag research, Water Bank Program, ARC Pilot project and increased funding for FSA loans for farmers and ranchers
- $5.7 million for a new USDA inspection facility at Pembina Port of Entry
- Support for the energy industry, including $6 million in grant funding for Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) projects, like ND’s Project Tundra
- Allows Drayton to permanently keep its levee
- Supports UAS research and Centers of Excellence co-led by UND
- Provides $ 8 million for facility to keep CBP UAS training in Grand Forks
SUMMARY OF NORTH DAKOTA PRIORITIES
- Reimbursement for Dakota Access Pipeline Protests – North Dakota will receive up to $15 million in federal funding to help reimburse the state for costs incurred as a result of the Dakota Access Pipeline protests. Hoeven worked to include grant funding in the Department of Justice's budget as part of the Fiscal 2017 funding legislation passed today. The state must submit an application to the Department of Justice (DOJ), which will provide $15 million for emergency law enforcement events occurring during Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017. The program will be administered by the DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance.
- National Defense
- Provides for the largest military pay raise in six years, fully funding the authorized 2.1% pay raise.
- Grand Forks Air Force Base
- $8 million in funding for a new facility for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to conduct its unmanned aerial systems (UAS) training out of Grand Forks, allowing the agency to retain its training program at the air base. Due to growth on the base, CBP’s current UAS training facility is no longer available and this funding is crucial in helping to keep the CBP UAS training program in North Dakota.
- Includes language prohibiting any retirement or divestment of aircraft from the Air Force’s fleet of RQ-4 Global Hawks.
- Provides $284 million for Global Hawk procurement, research and development.
- Minot Air Force Base
- Prohibits any reduction in nuclear forces, including missile silos, below existing levels.
- Provides $732 million for ICBMs, including $113 million for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program to replace the aging Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile.
- Includes $220 million for B-52s and $95 million for the Long Range Stand Off (LRSO) missile to replace the aging Air Launched Cruise Missile carried on the B-52.
- $93 million to replace the fleet of UH-1N helicopters used to secure the ICBM fields around Minot Air Force Base.
- Caring for our Veterans – Provides additional funding on top of the record funding approved in the FY17 Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill passed in December, including:
- Opioid Abuse Prevention and Treatment – Provides an additional $50 million in funding at the Veterans Health Administration for opioid and substance abuse prevention and treatment.
- Veterans Employment and Training – Includes $234 million for employment and training programs, including the Jobs for Veterans State Grant Program.
- Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program – Provides $15 million for the program, including an electronic health record pilot program to coordinate rural veterans care between rural providers and the VA’s electronic health record system.
- Supports the Nation’s Farmers and Ranchers
- Water Bank– Provides $4 million in funding for the Hoeven Water Bank program, which compensates farmers and landowners for flooded land through 10-year, voluntary conservation agreements.
- ARC Pilot Program – Includes $5 million for an Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) pilot program to allow for an alternate calculation method for crop payments when NASS data is insufficient.
- Increased Funding for FSA Loans – Increases Farm Service Agency loan funding by $1.6 billion above the Obama budget request.
- Agriculture Research– Provides an increase of $62 million for research through the Agricultural Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. $375 million is provided for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative. Other research increases include the Small Grains Genomic Initiative, the US Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative, and the Crop Protection/Pest Management program.
- USDA APHIS Inspection Facility at Pembina Port of Entry – Includes $5.7 million in funding to construct a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) building at the Pembina Port of Entry. The facility will provide a permanent solution for APHIS at a secure location directly on the port and place all operations on the U.S. side of the border.
- Supports Rural Communities
- Rural Electric Refinancing – Allows Rural Electric Cooperatives to refinance loans, which will benefit ratepayers in rural America.
- Rural Water Circuit Rider – Provides nearly $16.9 million to provide technical expertise and training to rural communities through state based nonprofit organizations through the Rural Circuit Rider program, which is one of USDA’s most successful public-private partnerships.
- Rural Development Distance Learning Telemedicine - Provides $26 million for grants that fund capital improvements – primarily equipment – for distance learning and telemedicine projects serving rural residents.
- School Nutrition Flexibility - Provides flexibility in school nutrition standards by continuing to make available a waiver from the 100 percent whole grains requirement, delaying Target II for sodium level requirements, and adding a new waiver authority for flavored, low-fat milk.
- UAS Operations
- FAA UAS Research – Provides the FAA with $20 million for general UAS research, including $10 million to support the UAS Center of Excellence in coordination with the six national UAS test sites.
- Customs and Border Protection UAS Fleet – Includes $15 million to support the standardization of CBP’s Predator fleet into a single configuration. This will reduce the operating costs of CBP’s fleet, part of which is flown out of the GFAFB.
- DOD UAS Research – Provides $7.3 million in Defense Department funding to support continued investments in UAS infrastructure and enhanced operations, such as the DASR-11 digital radar system at GFAFB and a similar system at Hector Field in Fargo.
- Drayton Levee – Hoeven’s provision allows Drayton to permanently keep its earthen levee as part of the city’s flood protection. The levee was built on land acquired through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), and over the past year, Hoeven secured two extensions to delay the removal of the structure as required by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) policy.
- Project Tundra – The senator worked to provide $6 million in competitive grant funding to develop commercially-viable carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technologies. The funding will support the initial engineering, testing and design work for a commercial-scale, carbon capture project on an existing coal-fueled generating unit, similar to Project Tundra, which is being developed by Allete Clean Energy, Minnkota Power and BNI Coal.
- Williston Airport – Includes a Hoeven provision to help existing airports, like Williston’s Sloulin Field International, that are in critical need of expansion or relocation, but unable to grow their current facilities due to physical constraints. The measure directs the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ensure sufficient funding is available to relocate these airports in a timely manner.
Next Article Previous Article