Sen. Kelly Secures Funding for Arizona Priorities, More Aid for Ukraine in Senate-Passed Government Funding Package

Includes largest Pell Grant increase in a decade, additional border security resources

Today, Arizona Senator Mark Kelly announced that he successfully secured key funding for Arizona priorities in the omnibus package that will fully fund the government through the end of the fiscal year. The Kelly-shaped package will strengthen our national defense, improve border security, boost workforce training programs, make higher education more affordable, provide more humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine, and create good-paying jobs. 

“This legislation is the product of Republicans and Democrats working together to find common ground and will have a real impact on Arizonans. A big increase in Pell Grants and workforce training will get more Arizonans the skills and education they need to get good-paying jobs. Arizona law enforcement and border security will benefit from more funding for staffing and resources. We’re also going to invest in Arizona’s military bases and the technology to maintain our competitive edge over China while ensuring the Ukrainian people have the support they need to defend their homeland,” said Senator Kelly, a Navy combat veteran and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The package passed the Senate tonight with Kelly’s support and will head to President Joe Biden’s desk where it will be signed into law. For a breakdown of Arizona projects across the state funded through Kelly’s Congressionally Directed Spending requests, click here.

See a breakdown of key funding Kelly secured in the omnibus package below:

BORDER SECURITY AND LAW ENFORCEMENT

More Funding for Police and Fire Departments

The son of two police officers, Kelly was successful in securing increases in funding for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program and the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program, as well as the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. Kelly also secured funding for Arizona police and fire departments detailed in his Congressionally Directed Spending Requests.

Supporting Border Communities, Humanitarian Response

 In keeping with his commitment to supporting our border communities, Kelly fought for and secured over $1.45 billion in additional support for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help manage the high volume of migrants arriving at the southern border, including: 

  • $993.792 million for CBP for processing facilities; migrant medical care, transportation, personnel overtime, and other costs for border management requirements of the U.S. Border Patrol;
  • $100 million additional for Border Patrol hiring and contractors, and retention and relocation incentives; 
  • $239.7 million for ICE for processing capacity, personnel overtime, transportation, and other costs; 
  • $150 million for FEMA’s Emergency Food and Shelter Program for nonprofit organizations sheltering migrants. 

Kelly also secured $256 million for more and better technology at the border, such as autonomous surveillance, anti-tunnel technology, aerostats, geospatial capabilities, mobile surveillance, search and rescue capabilities, mesh networks, port technology, and Non-Intrusive Inspection Technology (NII) inspection systems to reach 100% screening and enhance CBP’s effectiveness in detecting contraband at ports of entry. In addition, Kelly also secured $500,000 to fully fund a feasibility study for the Dennis DeConcini Port of Entry in Nogales, AZ. 

Kelly also secured $275 million to address the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services backlog. This funding may be used to hire additional personnel, including asylum officers and refugee officers, increase over time, invest case file management support, and for other costs to improve the agency’s processing of applications.

EDUCATION & JOB TRAINING 

Investing in Our Arizona Workforce

Kelly supported $1.38 billion for Career, Technical and Adult Education State Grants that help fund programs at Arizona community colleges and technical schools, an increase of $45 million above the FY 2021 enacted level. Kelly also supported $690 million for Adult Education State Grants, an increase of $16 million above the FY 2021 enacted level. 

Improving College Affordability for Arizona Students

Kelly supported $24.6 billion, an increase of $35 million from 2021, for federal student aid programs in order to make college more accessible. Within this amount, the bill provides: 

  • $6,895 for the maximum Pell Grant, an increase of $400 above 2021 and the largest increase in the maximum award in more than a decade
  • $895 million for the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program, an increase of $15 million above 2021, 
  • and $1.21 billion for Federal Work Study, an increase of $20 million above 2021. 

DEFENSE 

Through his role on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Kelly advocated for and secured a $25 billion increase in defense spending above President Biden’s original budget request to invest in a robust national defense. Building on Senator Kelly’s work on the National Defense Authorization Act, the bill provides a $32.5 billion increase in defense spending over last year, supporting Arizona servicemembers and military bases while making the investments in research and technology needed to maintain our competitive edge over China. The Kelly-shaped legislation also includes $1 billion to replenish interceptors for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.

Aid for Ukraine

Kelly voted for $13.6 billion in aid for Ukraine which will provide food, medicine, shelter for the Ukrainian people while providing billions in military assistance.

Luke Air Force Base

Thanks to Kelly’s advocacy, the F-35 program is fully funded and Luke Air Force Base will receive $49 million to construct a new Squadron Operations Facility and improve an Aircraft Maintenance Unit (AMU) Facility to support critical training missions and keep Luke on track to receive a sixth F-35 squadron.

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base

Kelly secured $13.4 million for the South Wilmot Gate project to allow commercial traffic to enter the base on the south-side through an enhanced gate complex.

Kelly also successfully fought to retain full funding for the A-10 mission and added language that requires the Secretary of the Air Force to provide a report to the congressional defense committees, not later than 30 days after submission of the President’s budget for fiscal year 2023, on any proposed divestments of the A-10 aircraft during the future years defense plan.

Marine Corps Air Station Yuma

Kelly included a Congressionally Directed Spending request for $29.3 million to construct a combat training tank and applied instruction building at MCAS Yuma to support combat water survival training and mandatory bi-annual swim qualifications for Marines and Sailors.

INFRASTRUCTURE, DROUGHT, AND WILDFIRES

Widening I-10 and Completing I-11

Kelly championed language in the omnibus package that would direct the Department of Transportation to prioritize western highway projects like I-10 and I-11 when making funding decisions.

Tucson-Sonoran Corridor

Kelly drafted and secured language to direct the DOT to prioritize completing the Sonoran Corridor, a project which would connect I-10 to I-19 south of Tucson to reduce traffic. 

Phoenix Valley Metro Light Rail Projects

Kelly successfully delivered full funding for the South Central and Northwest Extension Light Rail project in Phoenix.

Drought Contingency Plan

Despite the historic funding in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the historic drought necessitated additional resources, so Kelly worked to include an additional $25 million for the Bureau of Reclamation to carry out the Colorado River Lower Basin Drought Contingency Plan. 

Advancing 4FRI

Kelly included a provision that directs the Forest Service to utilize 20-year stewardship agreements to prevent wildfires, such as in the case of the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI).

IMPROVING HEALTH OUTCOMES

Rural Health Care

Thanks to Kelly’s work, this legislation will invest over $550 million in the expansion of broadband internet service to provide economic development opportunities and improved education and healthcare services, including an additional $450 million for the ReConnect program. 

Reducing Veterans Disability Claims Backlogs

Kelly, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, supported $3.5 billion for the Veterans Benefits Administration, an increase of $274 million above the 2021 enacted level and $31 million above the President’s budget request, to ensure the prompt processing of disability claims and efforts to continue reducing the disability claims backlog. 

These funds will allow the VA to complete an estimated 1.7 million disability compensation claims in 2022 and support service-connected compensation payments to an estimated 5.5 million veterans, 500,000 survivors, and dependents. In addition, pension payments will be funded for more than 350,000 veterans and survivors. The bill also continues rigorous reporting requirements to track each regional office’s performance on claims processing and appeals backlogs.

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