WASHINGTON, DC –– Yesterday, several legislative provisions authored by Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-CA) were included in the H.R. 133, the Omnibus Appropriations and Emergency Coronavirus Relief bill. The bill increases non-defense spending by $12.5 billion above the budget caps, allowing for strong investments in American families and communities, and includes several critical Democratic priorities for COVID-19.
Swalwell was the architect of three provisions: legislation that facilitates a strong domestic supply of Energy Critical Materials (ECMs), an amendment that secures $10 million for the Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) worker training program in fiscal year 2021, and an amendment regarding student loan repayment for the Intlligence Community (IC).
“From securing another round of direct payments, to accelerating vaccine distribution, this package is a critical first step to crushing the virus and getting our economy back on track,” said Swalwell. “There is still work to be done and the American people can and should expect to see more money in their pockets, and a more coordinated relief strategy, under a Biden/Harris administration. I am proud to see my provisions included in this historic piece of legislation and look forward to continuing to fight for CA-15 in further agreements”
A version of Swalwell’s Securing Energy Critical Elements and American Jobs Act was included in the agreement and will help the United States develop the technical expertise and production capabilities to assure a long-term, secure and sustainable supply of ECMs. ECMs are vital in manufacturing cell phones, laptops, jet engines, gas and wind turbines, petroleum refining catalysts, nuclear reactors, solar panels, state-of-the-art batteries for hybrid vehicles, and more. America’s global competitiveness and security suffers without them, yet the United States relies on imports for at least 80 percent of its domestic need for 21 of 35 of these critical minerals.
Swalwell also secured $10 million for the HAZWOPER worker training program in fiscal year 2021. This money will greatly benefit many of the workers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, located in California’s 15th Congressional District.
Finally, Swalwell’s provision regarding student loan repayment programs for the IC was included in the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 section of the bill. It puts Congress on record as recognizing the importance of such programs with respect to recruitment and retention in the IC, and establishes a requirement that the Director of National Intelligence create minimum standards for IC student loan repayment programs.
The full text of the bill can be found here.
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