COLUMBIA, SC – U.S. Congressman James E. Clyburn (SC-06) applauded House passage of 10 of the 12 appropriations bills for Fiscal Year 2021 over the last two weeks, which include critical investments in South Carolina communities.
"As we approach the start of the next fiscal year on October 1, I am pleased that the House is well on its way to completing our constitutional responsibility to fund the government and invest in our communities,” Congressman Clyburn said. “Along with coronavirus response legislation like the HEROES Act and an infrastructure package like the Moving Forward Act—both of which have passed the House only to be ignored by the Republican Senate—these 10 bills will enable a strong economic recovery that makes America’s greatness affordable and accessible to all Americans, including my constituents in the Sixth District."
Below are Congressman Clyburn’s priorities for South Carolina that are included in the House-passed legislation:
These 10 bills apply Congressman Clyburn’s 10-20-30 framework—designed to ensure that at least 10 percent of funds are spent in counties with a poverty rate of at least 20 percent over the last 30 years—to 19 spending accounts, four more than the bills enacted in FY20 and an all-time high. These targeted investments will help expand opportunity in these communities and enable them to emerge from persistent poverty.
Building on the Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act, Congressman Clyburn’s bill that passed the House as part of the Moving Forward Act, this appropriations legislation includes $61 billion for the Federal Communications Commission to fund broadband infrastructure construction in unserved areas and $1.025 billion for rural broadband investment through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, including $990 million for the ReConnect program.
Legal Assistance to Prevent Evictions
As the eviction moratorium in the CARES Act expires, and a new analysis finds that 52% of South Carolina renter households at risk of eviction, this legislation includes $25 million in grants for organizations to provide legal assistance to at-risk, low-income tenants. This provision is consistent with the Legal Assistance to Prevent Evictions Act of 2020, a bill Congressman Clyburn introduced with Congressman David E. Price (NC-04), the Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation and Housing & Urban Development.
Lakes Marion and Moultrie
This legislation sustains the FY20 increased allocation of $100 million for the Environmental Infrastructure account within Army Corps of Engineers Construction. The Committee report explicitly “recognizes the importance of continued progress on the Lakes Marion and Moultrie regional water supply project and reminds the Corps that this project is eligible to compete for additional funding provided in this account.” This funding, along with a critical authorization from the Water Resources Development Act, will allow the Lake Marion Regional Water Agency to address unmet funding needed to bring clean drinking water access and economic development to Berkeley, Calhoun, Dorchester, and Orangeburg counties.
The House-passed legislation requires the Army Corps of Engineers to spend at least $10 million to reimburse non-federal sponsors of projects like the Charleston Harbor deepening, and more than $20 million in funding for Charleston Harbor maintenance.
Rural Energy Savings Program
The legislation includes $12 million for the Rural Energy Savings Program, an initiative originally introduced by Congressman Clyburn in 2010 that provides low-interest micro-loans to residents and small businesses in rural areas to fund energy efficiency improvements that bring down electric bills.
Savannah River Site
The bill passed this week includes $1.538 billion for the Savannah River Site, nearly $7 million more than the President’s request. This includes $25 million for the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative facility on the campus of USC – Aiken and nearly $11.5 million for Community and Regulatory Support, which funds Payment in Lieu of Taxes that funds schools, emergency services, and county operations in Allendale, Aiken, and Barnwell counties.
The House bill includes $42 million for the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Telehealth program—a $13 million increase above FY20—including $7 million for Telehealth Centers of Excellence—a $1 million increase above FY20. The Medical University of South Carolina is one of those Centers, and it provides over 100 telehealth services to nearly 350 sites in 44 counties, including 40 hospitals, over 80 schools, and nearly 200 community clinics and other facilities.
Community Health Centers
This legislation provides $1.65 billion for Community Health Centers, $25 million more than FY20. These facilities are vital providers of health care to many Sixth District residents. In addition, the House-passed HEROES Act includes $7.6 billion for Community Health Centers, and the House-passed Moving Forward Act authorizes $10 billion for Community Health Center capital projects to ensure these facilities are state-of-the-art.
The appropriations bill passed last week includes $10 million for the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Historic Preservation Program, the funding level authorized by Congressman Clyburn’s bill that was enacted into law last year.
The bill also includes over $22 million in funding for historic preservation grants of sites from the Civil Rights Movement.
National Park Service National Networks
This legislation includes $1.5 million for the national networks of the National Park Service. One of these national networks is the Reconstruction Era National Historic Network, which includes four sites in South Carolina and is managed by the Reconstruction Era National Historical Park in Beaufort County.
Southeast Crescent Regional Commission
The legislation provides $1 million for the Southeast Crescent Regional Commission, a significant funding increase that will enable the commission to ramp up efforts to promote economic development in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.
University of South Carolina
These legislative packages provide funding for several activities which the University of South Carolina has indicated they plan to pursue, including navy power and energy systems technology, unmanned logistics solutions, and research in the use of biopolymers to support water distribution and regulation and energy systems.
The House approved $10 million for cyber institutes. The Citadel, in conjunction with the other five Senior Military Colleges, has submitted a proposal to serve as a cyber institute, which will facilitate further development of cyber curriculum offerings, cyber experiential events for K-12 student and teachers, support for underserved and minority cyber students, cyber internship and co-op opportunities, and mentorship of other universities seeking to establish DOD cyber pipelines.
These legislative packages advance several activities which Clemson University has indicated they plan to pursue, including prototyping energy smart autonomous ground systems, beam control systems and industry grade optical fiber fabrication for energy laser research, and exploration of the potential of high and ultra-high temperature ceramic-matrix composites in extreme environments experienced during hypersonic flight.
Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership
This legislation provides $153 for the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), which is an increase of $7 million above the FY20 funding level. The Hollings MEP is a nationwide network of centers in all 50 states and Puerto Rico that help manufacturers successfully grow their businesses.