The CEO Council for Growth strives to influence regional and national policy through advocacy for the improvement of the region’s transportation infrastructure, availability of a top notch workforce, and the development of a more vibrant culture of entrepreneurship and business growth. The CEO Council believes that federal investment in these important sectors of our regional economy will ensure tremendous economic return as well as innovations and breakthroughs that will provide for a better quality of life not only for the residents of northern Delaware, southern New Jersey, and southeastern Pennsylvania, but the nation as a whole. We continue to leverage our direct engagement of private sector and higher education research institution leadership to advance regional projects, advocate for critical federal policies, and support key sector initiatives.
As such, the CEO Council applauds members of our regional congressional delegation for their effort to include the following appropriations as part of the recently enacted FY 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Bill:
- Federal research funding increases to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which received a total of $37 billion or a $3 billion increase from the FY 2017 enacted level. The spending bill enacts several funding increases for almost all scientific research programs important to our region including Departments of Energy and National Science Foundation.
- $315 million for Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education (CHGME), an increase of $15 million over current funding. CHGME ensures children’s access to high-quality medical care by providing freestanding children’s hospitals with funding to support the training of pediatric providers. This program helps create the workforce required to meet the increased demand for pediatric patient care.
- $1 billion in new funding for grants to States to address the opioid epidemic; $476 million (+$350 million) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to support increased opioid overdose surveillance and prevention activities at the national, state, and local level; more than $500 million in research on opioid addiction supported by the National Institutes of Health;
- $496 million appropriation to the innovation fund authorized by the 21st Century Cures Act, which supports the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot, the All of Us research initiative, and the Brain Research through Application of Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative.
- Increased the maximum Pell grant award by $175 to $6,095 starting for 2018-19 school year, which will continue to provide need-based grants to low-income undergraduates to promote access to postsecondary education;
- $250 million, an increase of $224 million from FY 2017 levels, for Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair Grants which helps address the critical rail investments needed to maintain the Northeast Corridor. Amtrak funding in total went from $1.5 billion in FY 2017 to $1.9 billion for FY 2018.
- $1 billion increase to Federal Transit Administration to $13.5 billion in FY 2018 while providing increased funding for important transit programs as authorized by the FAST Act including TIGER Grant ($1.5B), Capital Investment Grant ($2.6B) , and State of Good Repair ($3B) Programs.
- Increased funding for roads and bridges by $3.5B above FY17, providing $45B from the Highway Trust Fund to be spent on the Federal-aid Highways Program.
- $445 million in Fiscal Year 2020 for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). CPB’s annual advance appropriation attracts state, local, and private contributions to support education programming, civic engagement, and public media in our region.
Despite having just authorized spending for FY 2018, Congress has little time to waste before it must begin the FY 2019 appropriations process. Together with the Chamber, the CEO Council recently submitted its highest priority appropriations requests to members of our regional delegation and will continue to work with congressional offices to ensure continued federal investment in the identified areas.