Washington to Receive $200 Million in Federal Funding | Local
The federal spending package that authorized Congress will fund dozens of projects in Washington, from replacing a bridge in Everett to rebuilding a sewer system in the town of Malden, Whitman County, which was destroyed by a forest fire in 2020.
Funding for specific projects marks a return to what was once known as earmarking, but the Senate now calls it “congressionally directed spending” and the House has described it as “community project funding.”
This time around, Congress is funding nonprofits, governments, or other public bodies, but won’t send money to private corporations, which was allowed under the previously halted earmarking process. in 2011.
âThe return of congressional-directed spending is a good thing for Washington State â and I was proud to work with my colleagues to make it happen,â U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said in a statement. press release released on Friday. “I know our state better than any well-meaning DC bureaucrat”
This spending directed at Washington and other states is just a fraction of a much larger $1.5 trillion spending package that passed the Senate on Thursday night after being passed earlier by the Bedroom. Expenditures are spread over 12 appropriation bills for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1.
Murray has supported funding for more than 50 projects in Washington totaling $113 million. They included $2.5 million for the electrification of a ferry terminal in Seattle and $2.5 million for a new municipal sewer and wastewater treatment center in Port Hadlock.
Other members of the Washington congressional delegation, both Republicans and Democrats, also worked to secure funds. Total funding for these projects in Washington is estimated at more than $200 million, according to a staff analysis of U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.
Cantwell has supported funding for 40 projects totaling $51.7 million. They include $900,000 for Port Angeles Food Bank expansion, $1.5 million to fund body cameras for the Vancouver Police Department, $750,000 for a Bothell biotechnology training center in the University of Washington and $2.6 million for the acquisition of electric buses by Everett Transit.
“These high-tech buses charge as they go…eliminating emissions and reducing maintenance requirements,” Cantwell said.
U.S. Representative Adam Smith, D-Bellevue, backed $9 million for 10 community projects, including $600,000 for the African Diaspora Cultural Anchor Village in Tukwila to support the immigrant and refugee community in the south of King County and $1 million for the Africatown Community Land Trust in the Central District to support affordable rental housing and economic development.
U.S. Representative Suzan DelBene, D-Medina, reports securing $7 million for 10 projects, including $1 million for a Nooksack Indian Tribe clinic and wellness center and $1 million for a health center. early learning at the Lake Washington Institute of Technology in Kirkland.
Proponents of the new trust system say it includes reforms aimed at preventing some of the abuses of the past, including the influence-peddling schemes that sent U.S. Representative Randy “Duke” Cunningham of California to jail and sparked controversy over hog barrel projects. .
These differences between the new assignments and the old version are “not just semantic,” said U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, who advocated for a reformed assignment system as part of a larger effort. broad modernization of Congress.
“What’s been proposed here is something completely different because it has a level of accountability, transparency and limitation that didn’t exist before,” he said last year.
Among the changes: Allocations cannot be directed to for-profit entities and legislators must certify that neither they nor family members have a financial interest in funded projects. In addition, the Government Accountability Office will audit a random sample of appropriations, and House Democratic leaders have said they will cap total appropriations at 1% of discretionary spending.
“This is a significantly reformed process that allows representatives to advocate for community projects,” U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, said in an earlier statement. Its list of projects includes $3.5 million for a water replacement project in Airway Heights, a community in eastern Washington that has had well contamination issues related to the use of anti-foams. fire at Fairchild Air Force Base.
Murray’s office began soliciting feedback from communities across the state in April.