Scenic photo of Dismals Canyon

Aderholt Statement on 2021 Spending Bill & Covid-19 Relief Package

December 21, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. —Today, Congressman Robert Aderholt, (AL-04) released the following statement after passage of the 2021 Omnibus Spending Bill and Covid-19 relief package.

 

“This is a win for the American people and a defeat for left-leaning special interests in our country.  This spending bill provides important support for small businesses that have been hurt during this pandemic and provides another round of direct payments to the American people that will help us get through this difficult time and help to shore up our economy.  There are important funding increases for NASA, protections for rural hospitals, and increases in rural broadband funding.  It also prioritizes our national security and continues to fund the construction of the border wall.

 

“Concerning NASA, which is so important to North Alabama, I am pleased that after a lot of hard work in the House and Senate, this bill includes an increase for NASA of $642 million over last year, for a total of $23.271 billion. Recent progress of China’s space program – a nation still ruled by a ruthless, Communist dictatorship – underscores the fact that access to space and to the Moon is a national security issue, not simply a business development issue.

 

To that end, this package includes bill and report language directing NASA to proceed with work on the Block1B version of the Space Launch System (SLS), with a view to a Block1B flight in 2025.  

 

SLS Block1B is designed to transport our astronauts and ten metric tons or more of cargo on the same flight.  That is a unique, government-secured capability, and we must press ahead on this program as we also fund our science programs and commercial programs.  

 

$400 million of the $2.586 billion appropriated for the SLS is for the Exploration Upper Stage and related work for the Block1B rocket.

 

“Just as important as the items included in this bill are the things that were not included.  The Democrats wish list items of defunding the police, restricting Second Amendment rights and taxpayer funded abortions have all been eliminated.  Also, Democrats pushed hard for bailouts for states that have mismanaged their economies and they expected taxpayers in states like Alabama to foot the bill.   Republicans successfully removed all of these items.

 

“I’m disappointed that it has taken Democrats so long to finally negotiate a deal that helps the American people.  They held on to their liberal wish list for far too long. This should have been done months ago.  I’m hopeful that in the future we can get spending bills completed on time and within regular order.”

 

List of Wins for America and North Alabama:

 

  • Prioritizes national security and continues to rebuild our military
  • Saves rural hospitals by letting them become a Rural Emergency Hospital, which gives them the Medicare funding and flexibility to offer health care services their community needs
  • Increases funding for NASA’s Artemis program, accelerating the return of the United States to the Moon
  • Includes $590 million for Exploration Ground Systems, $850 million for the Human Landing System, $1.407 billion for the Orion capsule, $110 million for nuclear thermal propulsion, $1.778 billion to support flights to the International Space Station, $7.301 billion for Science programs, and $51 million for the NASA Space Grant program (as well as $26 million for NASA EPSCOR)
  • Includes an increase of $2 million for VOTEX SE and the study of tornado development in Alabama
  • Provides $635 million for the Rural Broadband ReConnect program which Congressman Aderholt helped create
  • Establishes a $300 million broadband deployment program at NTIA to support broadband infrastructure deployment to unserved areas, prioritizing unserved areas and areas that are more rural
  • Increases the Debbie Smith DNA Backlog Grant program by $8 million, bringing the funding total to $110 million
  • Funds the border wall with $1.375 billion in new funding
  • Protects the sanctity of life by maintaining all prior-year- pro-life funding restrictions
  • Preserves the Trump Administration’s Title X Family Planning regulations, which have resulted in abortion providers, such as Planned Parenthood, leaving the federal program
  • Removes Democrat riders that would have defunded police and law enforcement

 

 

 

 

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