WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, issued the following statement highlighting funding priorities for the federal workforce contained the Fiscal Year 2016 Omnibus spending bill.
“Many important agencies that are located in our state that now will have the resources they need to carry out their missions. The Census Bureau will receive a $228 million increase in their budget to start planning for the next census.
“The National Institutes of Health will get a $2 billion increase. That’s the largest increase they’ve received since 2003. The work they do is lifesaving. The National Institute for Minority Health & Health Disparities received $278 million; this is an increase of $8.7 million over the FY 2015 enacted level of $271 million.
“This appropriations bill will save lives in the United States and around the world while creating jobs in Maryland. We know that the basic research done at NIH is so critically important to our economic growth.
“I’m pleased that in Baltimore, the Social Security Administration will get $150 billion for badly needed renovations to their facilities. The renovations are important for them to be able to carry out their critical mission.
“Mr. President, I’ve taken the floor many times to highlight how our federal workforce has made incredible sacrifices during these tough budget years. Although they didn’t cause the deficit, they have been called upon over and over again to contribute by being denied pay raises, by being asked to pay more for their pension, by being asked to take on more responsibilities with less personnel. This budget is a reprieve from the past budgets. There’s no punitive action against our federal workforce, and I’m pleased for that. The Omnibus provides a modest pay adjustment of 1.3%.”