Haaland Delivers Annual Funding for Programs that Help New Mexicans During COVID-19 Pandemic

July 24, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – While the country remains in the midst of the pandemic, Congresswoman Deb Haaland (NM-01) is fighting even harder to fund programs that help New Mexicans during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the Fiscal Year 2021 Appropriations Minibus that passed the House Floor today, Haaland delivered increased funding for SNAP benefits, rural broadband to help close the homework gap, veterans telehealth services, and support to Indian Health Service and Bureau of Indian Affairs Housing programs to address alarming infection rates in Indian Country. 

“All Americans deserve affordable food, internet, and healthcare. Unfortunately, this pandemic has put extra stress on New Mexico families and services in the state. I know what it’s like to rely on food assistance to feed my family when times are tough, and right now times are tough and our communities need support. That’s why I fought to deliver SNAP funding, closing the homework gap with investments in rural broadband, telehealth services for veterans, and support for housing and Indian Health Service in the funding bill that passed the House today,” said Congresswoman Deb Haaland.

The Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA Appropriations Act provides $23.98 billion for rural community infrastructure, domestic and international food programs, agriculture research, oversight of the commodity futures market, and programs that serve farmers and ranchers. Specifically, Haaland secured $196,265,000 in funding for IHS Sanitation Facilities, $11,708,000 for the BIA Housing Improvement Program (HIP) and expanded telehealth for Veterans. 

The bill specifically would: 

  • Strengthen Food Security through $68.277 billion in mandatory funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), $25.131 billion in mandatory funding for child nutrition programs  and $5.75 billion in discretionary funding for the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program.
  • Invest in Infrastructure and Rural Development through more than $4.214 billion for rural development programs, $990 million for the ReConnect Program to expand broadband service, $1.45 billion for rural water and waste program loans, more than $610 million in water and waste grants for clean and reliable drinking water systems and sanitary waste disposal systems and $24 billion in loan authority for the Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program, supporting rural housing development.
  • Ensure Consumer Safety through $3.212 billion in discretionary funding for the Food and Drug Administration, $1.088 billion for food safety and inspection programs
  • Promote Agricultural Research through $3.3 billion for agriculture research programs to help mitigate and stop devastating crop diseases, improve food safety and water quality, increase production, and combat antimicrobial resistance
  • Help Vulnerable People Around the World through $2 billion for international food aid and to promote U.S. agricultural exports overseas, including $1.775 billion for Food for Peace grants and $235 million for the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition program. 

Haaland also secured an expansion of Telehealth for Veterans. The U.S. Department of VA is leading the way in telehealth innovation to make sure Veterans can access care when and where they need it. However, there is still a need to grow this program to reach veterans with limited mobility, those who live in rural areas, or do not have access to resources like transportation. As a result, $1,329,566,000 was granted for telehealth and connected care, which includes home telehealth, home telehealth prosthetics, and clinic-based telehealth. Additionally, the CARES Act allocated $250,000,000 for telehealth expansion to the VA.   

These wins for New Mexico come only a couple of days after the House passed the NDAA in which Haaland delivered jobs and funding to New Mexico, continued the fight for equality, and worked to address climate change.