U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen

WASHINGTON, DC — Congressman Cohen voted to pass the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, known as an omnibus, to keep the government open and make transformative long-term investments at the local and national level. In addition to funding critical national  priorities, Congressman announced he secured $46,418,332 in funding for projects in Tennessee’s 9th District in the final 2023 appropriations government funding package, including $23,768,332 million in Community Project Funding and $22,650,000 for three research projects requested by the University of Memphis. This funding responds directly to some of Memphis’s most pressing needs.

“The investments in this legislation address some of our nation’s greatest challenges while making direct investments in Memphis’s economy,” said Congressman Cohen. “The $23.7 million Community Project Funding that I was able to secure for Tennessee’s 9th District is more than twice last year’s record amount of $11.7 million. This, combined with $22.6 million for research projects at the University of Memphis, will create jobs with better pay, strengthen our communities, make Memphis safer, support our youth, improve local health care and strengthen research programs at our flagship university. 

 “Taken together, funding for Tennessee’s 9th

 District and increased funding for crucial public programs will continue to reverse decades of disinvestment in our communities. This full-year funding package will create good-paying American jobs,

lower costs for working families, expand opportunities for small businesses and the middle class, invest in public safety and national security, care for our veterans, improve protections for the environment, and support our most vulnerable citizens.” 

Under House guidelines, each Representative could request funding for up to fifteen carefully scrutinized community projects for fiscal year 2023. Congressman Cohen championed funding for fifteen projects that will directly benefit his constituents. The bill also includes funding for three research projects requested by the University of Memphis, which were previously authorized in the National  Defense Authorization Act of 2023. 

$23.7 Million in Community Project Funding for Tennessee’s 9th District: 

1. $673,332 for the 901 Entrepreneurs Program to support local entrepreneurs and small businesses. 

2. $1,000,000 for the Memphis Competitive Edge job training and career placement program. 

3. $1,250,000 for Collins Chapel Connectional Hospital and Room at the Inn to provide the Mid-South’s first respite care center for homeless individuals. 

4. $1,275,000 for Hospitality Hub Studio Village to support chronically homeless individuals. 

5. $970,000 for Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital to procure pediatric intensive care transport vehicles. 

6. $4,000,000 for developing the Memphis Cobblestone Landing riverfront recreational center. 

7. $2,000,000 for the Local Initiatives Support Corporation’s (LISC) Memphis Home Repair Program. 

8. $3,000,000 for the Overton Park/Memphis Zoo Parking Solution Initiative. 

9. $3,000,000 for the redevelopment of Porter Jr. Hi. – MLK Transition Academy. 

10. $1,200,000 for United Housing’s Promoting and Preserving Homeownership Program. 

11. 500,000 for Lifeline to Success to provide reentry services to reduce recidivism. 

12. $2,000,000 for Regional One Health to make access and quality care improvements. 

13. $1,150,000 for Stax Music Academy and Soulsville Charter School. 

14. $750,000 for the redevelopment of Foote Park at South City Community Homes. 

15. $1,000,000 for the expansion of YMCA Before and After School Care in Memphis-Shelby County Schools.  

$22.65 Million for Three University of Memphis Research Projects: 

 1. $12,650,000 for a small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) testing facility to study the performance of drones in a variety of real-life weather conditions. 

2. $5,000,000 for a multiple drone, multiple sensor project that will improve intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance capabilities. 

3. $5,000,000 for a cavitation erosion modeling project to reduce the wear and tear of propellors on seafaring vessels. 

 The final package also incorporates national priorities that Congressman Cohen championed such as increased funding for Legal Services Corporation and  the research and treatment of Tourette syndrome, cerebral palsy and polio. It also includes Congressman Cohen’s language directing the National Park Service to study lynching sites in and around Memphis for possible inclusion in the National Park system, directing  the legislative branch to reduce or eliminate single-use plastics, and enabling the proceeds of recovered Russian oligarch  assets to be sent directly to Ukraine.  

Nationally, the $1.7 trillion fiscal year 2023 Omnibus also delivers historic investments in American families and workers – while strengthening Democracy at home and abroad. It includes $772.5 billion for non-defense discretionary programs, including $118.7 billion – a 22 percent increase – for VA medical care, and $858 billion in defense funding. To combat the pain of inflation felt by American families across the country, the bill makes  significant investments in our communities, funds critical programs supporting America’s middle-class families, cares for our veterans, and invests in our national security. 

 The bill includes $44.9 billion in emergency assistance to Ukraine and our NATO allies and  $40.6 billion to assist communities recovering from natural disasters and extreme weather events.

This level of funding advances important bipartisan policy priorities and provides relief to American families from the rising costs of living as a result of inflation. 

National highlights of the package include: 

1. Investing $58.7 billion in programs authorized by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act; $1.8 billion in new funding to implement the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act of 2022; and $5 billion for the Cost of War Toxic Exposures Fund to implement the landmark PACT Act. 

2. Making bold investments in health care and research including $47.5 billion for the National Institutes of Health, $9.2 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, $1.5 billion for ARPA-H (the President’s bold initiative to fight cancer), and $950 million for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.  

3. Supporting nutrition programs including a $13.4 billion increase for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, $28.5 billion for Child Nutrition Programs, and $6 billion for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. 

4. Providing housing assistance including $3.6 billion for Homeless Assistance Grants, $2 billion for the Rural Housing Service, $1.5 billion for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, $1.435 billion for the Housing for the Elderly and Housing for Persons with Disabilities program, and new incremental Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers to support over 11,700 additional low-income households. 

5. Investing in education including increasing the maximum Pell Grant award to $7,395, $18.387 billion for Title I-A grants, and $1.2 billion for TRIO to support more than 800,000 low-income first-generation students get into college and succeed when they’re there.  

6. Supporting childcare by investing $8 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, and nearly $12 billion for Head Start. 

7. Providing $5 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to help families address the rising cost of energy. 

8. A record $700 million for combatting violence against women.    

Key Democratic victories on health care include: 

1. Ensuring permanent, mandatory and continuous coverage for the 40 million children enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP. 

2. Historic funding for the critical Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting initiative, which improves health outcomes for pregnant people and young families who live in underserved communities. 

3. Strong guardrails to prevent disruption to families’ health coverage, as states resume Medicaid recertifications next year. 

4. New investments in mental health services, which will improve access to medication-assisted treatment, expand our mental health workforce and increase coverage of mental health services. 

5. Improving diversity in FDA clinical trials and providing FDA regulation of cosmetics. 

6. Passing the PREVENT Pandemics Act, which uses lessons learns from COVID-19 to improve our preparedness for future public health emergencies. 

7. Securing $21 billion increase for veterans’ health care, supporting the VA as it implements our landmark PACT Act. 

Additional key Democratic victories include: 

1. Creating a nationwide permanent Summer EBT Program so that 29 million kids can get healthy, nutritious meals throughout the summer. 

2. For the first time in more than a decade, more funding for the National Labor Relations Board, which helps defend the right to organize. 

3. Emergency disaster support to help victims of hurricanes and wildfires throughout our country, to address the water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi, and $1 billion for Puerto Rico’s electrical grid. 

4. Reforming the Electoral Count Act of 1887, which will help thwart future attempts to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power like we saw on January 6th. 

5. Critical Community Project Funding, to support vital projects that meet the needs of our families in our districts. 

Since the House and Senate have passed this legislation, it will now go to President Biden’s desk for his swift signature. A detailed summary of  the bill is available here.