WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI), who serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee and is Chair of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, today released the following statement on President Biden’s budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2024. Peters is the first Michigander to serve on the Senate Appropriations Committee for a full Congress in decades. Peters serves on the following Appropriations subcommittees: Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies; Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies; Homeland Security; Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies; and Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies. In the coming weeks, Peters and his colleagues on the Appropriations Committee will begin to hear testimony from government officials and witnesses regarding the budget, assess our needs for the coming year, conduct oversight of federal funding and start drafting bills to fund the government.
“Together we’ve made strong progress to strengthen our economy and lower costs for Michigan families,” said Senator Peters. “Through my work on the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’ll push to ensure our state has the necessary federal resources for priorities important to Michiganders and to make sure taxpayer dollars are used effectively. I’ll be fighting to continue reducing costs for families, protecting the Great Lakes, combating PFAS contamination, expanding domestic manufacturing and workforce development, supporting Michigan agriculture and strengthening our national security. Amid Republican threats to cut Medicare and Social Security, I’ll push to protect these critical benefits for Michiganders who earned them through a lifetime of hard work, while looking for ways we can responsibly reduce the deficit and save taxpayer dollars.”
The President’s proposal includes priorities that are important to Michigan and our security:
Improving Water Quality
- PFAS Cleanup: The budget request includes $170 million to address PFAS contamination to increase the understanding of PFAS impacts on human health, as well as its ecological effects; prevent toxic PFAS chemicals from entering the air, land, and water; and remediate PFAS contamination that has already been released into the environment.
Strengthening Michigan’s Infrastructure
- Investing in Infrastructure and Expanding High-Speed Internet Access: The budget request includes funding to continue to implement the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that Peters helped pass by investing in critical projects in Michigan and across the country. The proposal continues support for the ReConnect grant program with robust investments to improve access to high-speed internet, including in rural and underserved areas, including tribal areas. It also would support historic levels of federal investment to modernize America’s port and waterway infrastructure provided under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. It includes robust funding for the Port Infrastructure Development Program to strengthen maritime freight capacity, as well as resources for the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund to facilitate safe, reliable, and environmentally sustainable navigation at coastal ports. In addition, the proposal would invest in water infrastructure to help improve access to clean, safe drinking water.
- Mitigating Climate Change Impacts: The budget request builds on the investments made through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act with funding for resilience and adaptation programs to reduce the risk of damages from severe weather events and to make critical infrastructure climate resilient.
Lowering Costs for Families
- Protect Medicare and Lower Prescription Drug Prices: The budget strengthens Medicare’s power to negotiate prescription drug prices and calls for a universal $35 per month cap on the price of insulin to save patients money, building upon the Inflation Reduction Act that caps the cost of insulin for seniors on Medicare at $35 a month.
Investments in Safety and Mental Health
- Preventing Gun Violence: The budget includes significant funding for the Department of Justice to improve public safety and continue implementing the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which Peters helped enact into law and is the most significant gun violence prevention legislation enacted into law in three decades. The budget also requests $578 million to increase the number of school-based counselors, psychologists, social workers, and other health professionals in K-12 schools and to support colleges and universities develop campus-wide strategies to address student mental health needs including hiring additional providers on their campuses, which builds on the $1 billion included in the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act to address mental health staffing shortages in schools.
Investing in Domestic Manufacturing and Workforce Development
- Increasing Domestic Manufacturing: Peters has been a longtime supporter of programs to increase domestic manufacturing and strengthen U.S. supply chains. The budget request includes funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership – which Peters has championed and continued to support through efforts he led in the Senate – to provide technical assistance to small- and medium-sized manufacturers.
- Implementing the CHIPS and Science Act: The budget proposal includes $25 billion to implement the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act. Peters helped author and pass the bill into law, which includes a provision he and Senator Debbie Stabenow (MI) secured to boost the auto sector’s manufacturing of semiconductor chips. The law will lower costs for the products families depend on, bring high-quality jobs home, increase domestic production of semiconductor chips and bolster national security.
- Strengthening Workforce Development: The budget request includes funding to support training for in-demand job training programs, which Peters has long supported. It also includes resources for $335 million in Registered Apprenticeship programs to provide debt-free pathways to careers in construction, clean energy, semiconductor manufacturing, and other in-demand industries.
Protecting Benefits Seniors Paid Into Their Whole Lives
- Protecting Social Security and Medicare: The budget includes a plan to make sure Americans can receive the Social Security and Medicare benefits they’ve earned through a lifetime of hard work. It raises the tax rate that the ultra-rich pay into the Medicare trust fund, which would extend the life of Medicare for another 25 years without cutting benefits, while still lowering costs for seniors.
Tackling the Deficit
- Lowering the Deficit: The President’s proposal would aim to cut the deficit by nearly $3 trillion over the next 10 years without raising taxes on Americans making less than $400,000 a year, while ensuring billionaires and the ultra-wealthy pay their fair share.
Investing in Our National Defense & Security and Supporting Veterans
- Bolstering National Security: The budget proposal includes significant support to strengthen our national defense and support our U.S. armed services. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Peters has worked to position Michigan’s military footprint as a vital part of our national security and Peters will fight for Michigan’s defense facilities through his role on the Armed Services Committee and Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies.
- Supporting Ukraine and Taiwan: The proposal continues to support Ukraine, our alliance with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and other European allies by prioritizing funding to enhance the capabilities and readiness of U.S. forces, NATO allies, and regional partners in the face of continued Russian aggression. It also includes support to strengthen the U.S. role in the Indo-Pacific, to counter the Chinese government while also supporting Taiwan and to advance the U.S. economy.
- Implementing Landmark PACT Act and Standing with Our Veterans: The proposal includes significant resources for the Cost of War Toxic Exposures Fund, which provides additional funding to implement the landmark PACT Act that Peters helped enact last year by expanding eligibility for health care services and benefits to veterans with conditions related to toxic exposure during their service. It also includes federal resources to advance veteran suicide prevention efforts, including the continued expansion of the Veterans Crisis Line 988 and additional support.
Preparing for Cyber-Attacks, Upcoming Census and Future of Mobility
- Strengthening Our Cybersecurity: The budget request includes $145 million increase for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). It also includes $98 million to implement Peters’ landmark Cyber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure Act to ensure critical infrastructure companies are reporting cyber-attacks and ransomware payments. The proposal also includes important funding to improve CISA’s internal cybersecurity and analytical capabilities.
- Preparing for Next Census and Ensuring an Accurate Census Count: The proposal includes $1.6 billion for the U.S. Census Bureau to prepare for the 2030 Census and other critical activities. Robust and steady funding for census operations will help ensure that every community is counted. The census helps determine everything from Michigan’s representation in Congress to the amount of federal funding the state receives, including resources for programs that support education, health care and infrastructure. Peters will keep advocating for necessary funding to help ensure an accurate census.
- Expanding Federal Electric Vehicle Feet: Peters has pressed the U.S. Postal Service to purchase more American-made and union-made electric delivery trucks. The proposal includes $801 million across 21 agencies for zero-emission fleet vehicles and associated charging or fueling infrastructure, including dedicated funds for the United States Postal Service’s charging infrastructure.