Thursday December 19th, 2019

Cortez Masto Applauds Passage of Government Funding Package, Touts Victories for Nevada

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) released the following statement applauding the final passage of a legislative package to fund the federal government through September. Senator Cortez Masto fought for several provisions included in the final bills, including a repeal of the Cadillac tax, strong funding for Alzheimer’s public health infrastructure and research, and the reauthorization of Brand USA. The funding bills also include language from Senator Cortez Masto’s HUD Manufactured Housing Modernization Act and bipartisan amendment to study food access on tribal lands.

In a victory for Nevada, the spending package does not authorize funding for the failed Yucca Mountain project and provides no funding to transport weapons-grade plutonium from South Carolina to Nevada.

“I was proud to make the voices of Nevadans heard in this final funding agreement and deliver on a promise I made in 2016 to repeal the burdensome Cadillac tax. Working Nevadans and union members can rest assured that they will not be unfairly punished for their hard-fought health benefits.

“While this legislation isn’t perfect, it addresses many of the kitchen table issues that matter most to Nevadans – from lowering high health care costs and increasing affordable housing, to supporting Nevada’s tourism industry and creating economic opportunities in our struggling neighborhoods. It also guards against any attempt to waste taxpayer dollars by restarting the failed Yucca Mountain project or shipping weapons-grade plutonium to our state. I’ll continue fighting to ensure that the voices of Nevadans are heard and respected here in Washington.”


The final federal funding package included the following legislative and funding priorities supported by Senator Cortez Masto:

  • Zero funding to restart the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository;
  • No funding to transport weapons-grade plutonium from South Carolina to Nevada;
  • Repeal of the Cadillac tax, which would have punished generous employer-provided health insurance plans with a 40% excise tax;
  • Seven-year extension of Brand USA, a public-private partnership to promote international tourism to the United States;
  • Increased funding to develop Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias public health infrastructure across the country, as authorized by the senator’s BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act, which was signed into law in 2018;
  • Extension of the New Markets Tax Credit with $5 billion in funding to incentivize development in low-income and underserved communities;
  • Reauthorization of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program, which provides affordable insurance coverage for Nevada businesses, for seven years;
  • The HUD Manufactured Housing Modernization Act, legislation introduced by Senator Cortez Masto to empower communities that choose to make manufactured housing part of their affordable housing plans;
  • A bipartisan amendment introduced by Senator Cortez Masto requiring the federal government to report on access to the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) for program enrollees who are elderly, disabled, homebound or otherwise challenged in physically accessing food assistance that passed on the Senate floor 90-1;
  • Strong funding for Nevada’s military installations, including $65.2 million for military construction projects at Nellis Air Force Base;
  • $10 million to expand clinical services and make infrastructure improvements at the Reno VA Medical Center;  
  • Language requiring a Smart Cities Report on efforts by the Department of Transportation to engage with local communities, metropolitan planning organizations, and regional transportation commissions on advancing data and intelligent transportation systems technologies and other smart cities solutions;
  • Extension of enhanced funding for Certified Community Behavioral Health Centers through May 22nd (Nevada host sites include: New Frontier Treatment Center in Fallon, Bridge Counseling in Las Vegas, and Vitality Unlimited in Elko);
  • Over $4 million in funding to combat aquatic invasive species under the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act of 2016.

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