Warnock: Omnibus bill includes major wins for Georgia

Dec. 28—WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. the Rev. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., voted to pass major investments and critical policies for Georgia in the Fiscal Year 2023 omnibus government funding bill. The legislation contained provisions championed by Warnock to improve health care, invest in housing, expand workf orce development opportunities, and ensure the state remains a leader in the country's national security.

Additionally, the legislation fully funds the Savannah Combat Readiness Training Center. Sen. Warnock led a bipartisan campaign to ensure the center continues to play a crucial role in the military's strategic planning and readiness.

"I came to Washington to deliver for Georgia, and the annual government funding package is a major win for Georgians in every corner of the state," Warnock said in a news release. "These federal investments will expand health care access, address our housing needs, revitalize our neighborhoods, support workers and bolster our national security."

In addition to millions in robust federal investments, the omnibus government funding bill includes the Anti-Money Laundering Whistleblower Improvement Act, legislation Warnock introduced with Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, to ensure all whistleblowers are incentivized to speak out and combat corruption. The bill sets a minimum payout for whistleblowers and allows the U.S. Treasury Department to use collected fines to fund their anti-money laundering whistleblower program.

Key program investments Warnock supported in the government funding bills include:

— Health Care: $9.2 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an increase of $760 million; $324 million to improve maternal health and reduce maternal mortality, a nearly 60% increase; $1.01 billion for mental health treatment services; and $4.9 billion to address opioid misuse, an increase of more than $345 million;

— Nutrition: $13.4 billion increase for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); $28.5 billion for Child Nutrition Programs; and $6 billion for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC);

— Housing: $3.6 billion for Homeless Assistance Grants, a $420 million increase; $2 billion for the Rural Housing Service, an increase of $183 million; $1.5 billion for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, which will support the construction of nearly 10,000 new rental and homebuyer units; $1.435 billion for the Housing for the Elderly and Housing for Persons with Disabilities program; and $130 million for new incremental Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers to support more than 11,700 additional low-income households;

— Education: Increasing the maximum Pell Grant award to $7,395; $18.387 billion for Title I grants to low-income public schools, a 5% increase; and $1.2 billion for TRIO to support more than 800,000 low-income first generation students;

— Defense & Veterans: $5 billion to implement the Warnock-supported PACT Act for veterans' health, fully funding a 4.6% pay raise for our troops; and $2.7 billion to support critical services and housing assistance for veterans and their families experiencing housing insecurity, a 25% increase;

— Child Care: $8 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, a 30% increase; and nearly $12 billion for Head Start;

— Energy Assistance: $5 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to help families address the rising cost of energy;

— Public Safety: $770.8 million, an increase of $96.3 million, for Byrne-Justice Assistance Grants (JAG); $324 million, an increase of 32%, for COPS hiring, which will help place more than 1,800 more police officers on the streets; and a record $700 million for combatting violence against women.