Legislation includes several policy priorities championed by Carper
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) today voted with a bipartisan majority in the Senate to pass the 2023 Fiscal Year omnibus appropriations bill by a vote of 68-29. The government funding bill authorizes nearly $773 billion for non-defense discretionary programs—including $118 billion for Veterans Affairs medical care—and $858 billion for defense programs. The spending package also includes bipartisan legislation to reform and modernize the outdated Electoral Count Act to safeguard future presidential election results.
“When Congress comes together in a bipartisan way to get things done, our country is better for it. In addition to funding our government through the end of next September, this spending package includes billions of dollars to expand health care for our nation’s veterans, increased funding for nutrition and housing assistance to help ease the burdens of inflation on American families, and assistance to our Ukrainian allies as they continue to fend off Russian aggression,” said Carper. “I’m also pleased this spending bill includes nearly $97 million for community projects in Delaware—funding that will make a positive impact in all three counties in the First State. In the weeks and months ahead, I look forward to seeing these investments in action and seeing how they will help our communities thrive.”
Carper secured the inclusion of several policy priorities in this year’s omnibus package, including:
- A Two-Year Extension of the Hospital Care at Home Waiver Program
- Launched during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Acute Hospital Care at Home program provides inpatient hospital-level care to Medicare patients from the comfort of their own homes. This provision championed by Carper and Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) extends the program for an additional two years, helping to cut costs and enhance patient experiences. Click here for more information on this legislation.
- Support for Youth Mental Health
- The assistance will improve access to health care for justice-involved youth through Medicaid and CHIP by helping them maintain coverage and get connected to needed services when planning to re-enter society. Carper and Senator Bill Cassidy (R-La.) championed these provisions as a co-chairs of the Youth Mental Health Working Group—an effort in the Senate Finance Committee to improve youth mental health care across the nation. Click here for more information on the working group.
- The Starter K Act
- The Starter K Act, introduced by Carper and Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), expands access to retirement savings for more Americans. The bipartisan legislation creates starter retirement plans that streamline regulations and lower costs for small businesses and start-ups, resulting in expanded access to retirement savings. Click here for more information on this legislation.
- The Keep America’s Refuges Operation Act
- The Keep America’s Refuges Operational Act, introduced by Carper and Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), reauthorizes funding for the National Wildlife Refuge System volunteer, educational, and community partnership program for an additional four years. This initiative helps ensure public access to national refuges for exploring, hunting, fishing, and studying wildlife. Click here for more information on this legislation.
- Upgrades to the Clean School Bus Program
- The changes ensure that public charter schools and third-party school bus providers—which comprise over 40 percent of the nation’s school bus fleet—have greater access to funding for electric and low-emission school buses. The changes also provide additional flexibility for five-year school bus contracts with local educational agencies. This is good for states like Delaware that mostly do not have five-year school bus contracts.
- Funding for the Clean Hydrogen Partnership for Excellence
- The additional $15 million in funding for the Clean Hydrogen Partnership for Excellence, on top of $10 million received through 2022 Fiscal Year appropriations, supports investments in innovative hydrogen technologies to increase green energy production.
Click here to view the entire text of the 2023 Fiscal Year omnibus appropriations bill.