Senate Passes Spending Bill With Key Illinois Priorities Secured By Durbin

WASHINGTON  U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced the millions in federal funding he secured for Illinois programs and priorities in the Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) omnibus appropriations bill. The bill, which passed the Senate, is awaiting passage in the House of Representatives. 

“After long bipartisan, bicameral negotiations, the Senate came together to pass a comprehensive spending bill that funds the federal government through the remainder of this fiscal year and will benefit families across Illinois. This bill makes critical investments in public health, research, infrastructure, public safety and violence prevention, environment, education, and more,” said Durbin.

These funding bills include the following priorities for Illinois:

 Agriculture, Rural Development, and Food and Drug Administration

  • FDA-Food Safety Activities: $1.196 billion to support ongoing implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act, including enhancing FDA’s foreign presence, inspections, and outbreak detection. 
  • FDA-Tobacco User Fees: Authorization of $712 million in user fees to support the FDA tobacco program and reduce tobacco use, including developing product standards to protect public health; developing FDA-wide nicotine regulatory policy; finalizing premarket and post-market product controls; finalizing compliance and enforcement activities and standards; and implementing public education efforts, particularly among youth.
  • Agricultural Research: $1.7 billion, which includes $74.2 million for buildings, facilities and earmarks.  
  • Conservation Activities: $941.1 million to support the Conservation Operations programs of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, critical in nationwide efforts to ensure the health and viability of agriculture and rural America through land conservation activities and improving wildlife habitat, wetland protection, and water quality.   
  • USDA Food Safety Activities: $1.16 billion to carry out food safety inspection, surveillance, and data collection activities conducted within USDA.
  • Rural e-Connectivity Pilot Program (ReConnect Program): $364 million to support loans and grants that facilitate broadband deployment in rural areas without sufficient broadband access.  This program covers costs of construction or improvement of broadband facilities, as well as facilities and equipment needed to expand access in rural areas.
  • Food for Peace: $1.75 billion in Food for Peace funding.
  • Child Nutrition Programs: $28.544 billion including $40 million for the Summer Electronic Benefit program and $30 million for school equipment grants.  This funding will ensure schools can continue to serve healthy meals. 
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): SNAP is funded at $154 billion, an increase of $13.4 billion, which will ensure participants receive increased benefits to address the pandemic.
  • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC): $6 billion, which will fully fund anticipated participation.  The bill also includes authority for USDA to continue the Cash Value Voucher.  This will ensure more than 4 million low income women and children do not see their benefits reduced.  

Commerce, Justice, and Science

  • First Step Act: $409.5 million for the implementation of the First Step Act
  • Prosecutor & Public Defender Student Loan Repayment: $5 million.
  • Community Violence Intervention Initiative: $50 million.
  • Children Exposed to Violence Initiative: $10 million.
  • Violence Against Women Prevention and Prosecution Programs: $700 million.
  • Project Safe Neighborhoods: $20 million. 
  • COPS on the Beat grant programs: $324 million.
  • Economic Development Assistance Programs: $430 million.
  • Regional Climate Centers: $6.1 million.
  • Scientific and Technical Research and Service: $953 million.
  • National Science Foundation: $9.9 billion including funding for the new technology directorate.  
  • NASA Science: $7.9 billion. 


  • Defense Medical Research: $3.107 billion in Defense medical research, to include $1.56 billion for the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program. 
  • C-130Js:  $1.7 billion for 16 new C-130J aircraft for the Air National Guard as well as robust funding for upgrades to existing C-130H aircraft.  This will support National Guard bases like the 182nd Airlift Wing in Peoria which seeks recapitalization to the newer aircraft.
  • Baltic Defense:  $225 million to fund the Baltic Security Initiative along with $153 million for security cooperation programs, with a particular focus on European allies in light of Russia’s aggression.
  • Super Hornets:  $600 million for the procurement of eight F/A-18/E/F aircraft.
  • Rock Island Arsenal:  $115 million for the Arsenal Sustainment Initiative to continue to stabilize labor rates at all three arsenals; $120 million to continue manufacturing of the Shop Equipment Contact Maintenance Vehicle (SECM) as part of the AM-General/RIA partnership; $10 million for new research on an occupancy protection system to prevent injuries in the incident of Humvee rollovers; $25 million for continued testing of soft recoil technology; $20 million for the Army’s additive manufacturing Jointless hull chassis effort at the Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center; and Army Organic Industrial Base report language to prevent layoffs without advanced warning and stabilize labor rates at the Arsenals.
  • Scott Air Force Base: $47 million in critical satellite communication and defensive system upgrades to the C-40 aircraft and bill language prohibiting a divestment of any C-40 aircraft from the current Air Force fleet. 
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign: $5 million for continued research on 4-D printing; $7.5 million for a new effort advance research on sustainable fuel propulsion; $5 million for continued research on lithium batteries; $3 million for continued with research on advanced coating to prevent corrosion on DoD platforms and installations; and $10 million for a new research and development effort on hypersonics.
  • Illinois Accelerator Research Center (IARC): $4 million to continue the partnership between IARC at Fermilab and the Army Corps of Engineers for research that can extend the life of roads, highways, and runways.
  • Domestic Battery Research and Production: $9 million for continued lithium ion battery research with the Army and $10 million for domestic battery manufacturing for the Navy. 
  • Tobacco use in the Military: Retains bill language prohibiting the sale of tobacco products at military exchanges at prices below the competitive price in local communities.
  • Extremism in Military Ranks: Requires a report on new policy and personnel actions taken to address extremist or criminal group activity within the military, as well as continued tracking on the number of incidences.

Energy and Water

  • Army Corps of Engineers: $8.66 billion with Army Corps construction increased by $885 million, investigations by $30 million, and operations and maintenance by $561 billion.
  • Great Lakes Resiliency Study: $3 million to begin resiliency study of Great Lakes shorelines. 
  • Brandon Road Asian Carp Project: $47.8 million to continue preconstruction, engineering, and design. 
  • Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program (UMRR) and Quincy Bay: $55 million for UMRR, which will continue funding for Quincy Bay Restoration Project. 
  • Department of Energy Office of Science: $8.1 billion.
  • Long Baseline Neutrino Facility /Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (LNBF/DUNE): $176 million, which includes funding to support work done at Fermilab in Illinois.
  • Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source Upgrade: $9.2 million.
  • Vehicle Technologies Office: $455 million and language that encourages the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation to increase accessibility of EV charging in disadvantaged communities.

Financial Services and General Government

  • Internal Revenue Service: $12.319 billion, including $5.437 billion for tax enforcement activities.
  • Securities and Exchange Commission: $2.21 billion.


  • Consumer Product Safety Commission: $152.5 million.


  • Small Business Administration: $1.218 billion.


  • Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund: $324 million.


Homeland Security

  • USCIS: $242.9 million, which allows the issuance of additional H-2B visas.
  • Citizenship and Integration Grant Program:  $25 million.
  • Disaster Relief: $19.95 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund to respond to all federal disaster declarations.
  • State Homeland Security Grants$520 million for equipment/training for local first responders.  
  • Urban Area Security Initiative Grants: $615 million to address the unique planning, training and equipment needs of high-threat, high-density urban areas.
  • Nonprofit Security Grant Program$305 million to help nonprofits, including houses of worship, to bolster their security.
  • Fire and SAFER Grants$720 million for firefighter training, vehicles, and staffing.
  • Emergency Management Performance Grants$355 million for planning, equipment, training, and management of emergency management programs. 
  • Flood Hazard Mapping and Risk Analysis Program (Risk MAP): $313 million to produce flood risk identification maps that help communities understand and reduce flood risk. 
  • Disaster Declarations: Includes report language directing FEMA to consult with large-population states on its policy of considering population when determining criteria Public Assistance in line with Durbin’s Fairness in Federal Disaster Declarations Act.


  • State Revolving Funds (SRF): Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water SRF were allocated $1.6 billion and $1.1 billion respectfully.
  • Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI): $375 million.
  • PFAS: $2.7 million for U.S. Geological Survey research on the transmission of PFAS in watersheds and aquifers and $2 million for the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences to continue PFAS efforts.
  • Lead Pipes: $71.82 million for lead remediation programs.  
  • State and Tribal Wildlife Grants: $73.8 million to support conservation of the highest priority species at the state level. 

Labor, Health, Human Services, and Education

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH): $47.5 billion for NIH.  Since Durbin first started advocating for 5 percent real increases for NIH in FY14, Congress has provided NIH with $17.4B in additional funding, a 58 percent increase. 
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): $9.2 billion for CDC. Since Durbin first started advocating for 5 percent real increases for CDC nine years ago in FY14, Congress has provided CDC with $2.4B in additional funding, a 35 percent increase. 
  • Community Violence & Trauma: $18 million for CDC’s community violence initiative, which aligns with Durbin’s Chicago HEAL Initiative; $9 million for the CDC Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) program Durbin created in 2018; $12 million for the Trauma Support in Schools grant program Durbin created in 2018; $25 million for CDC and NIH firearm injury prevention research; $94 million for the National Child Traumatic Stress Network; and $2 million for the Interagency Task Force on Trauma-Informed Care that Durbin created in 2018.
  • Congenital Heart: $8.25 million for CDC’s research, data collection, and awareness-building activities.
  • Health Workforce: $10.5 million for SIREN Act grants to rural EMS agencies, a program Durbin created in 2018. The bill provides $126 million for the National Health Service Corps and $47 million for HRSA’s Area Health Education Centers program, which builds the pipeline of local students into health careers.
  • ALS: $75 million for the NIH’s ALS Expanded Access Program, increases access to clinical trials/experimental treatments for ALS patients.  
  • Tobacco:  $246.5 million for the CDC’s Office of Smoking and Health.
  • Refugee and Entrant Assistance Account: $6,427,214,000, of which $6,377,459,000 shall remain available through September 30, 2025, to provide services for unaccompanied children, refugees, unaccompanied children, and Ukrainian and Afghan parolees. 
  • Open Textbooks: $12 million for Open Textbook Pilot, a competitive grant program to create and expand the sustainable use of open college textbooks, which is based on Durbin’s Affordable College Textbook Act.  
  • Pell Grants: Increases the maximum Pell Grant award by $500 to $7,395 for the 2023-2024 school year.  This increase represents the largest increase since the 2009-2010 academic year.  Pell Grants help nearly 209,000 Illinois students.
  • Early Education Programs: $20.315 billion for early education programs, including $12 billion to help Head Start programs provide high-quality early childhood; $315 million for Preschool Development Grants; and $8 billion for Child Care and Development Block Grants.
  • School-based Mental Health:  $216 million in new funding for the School Safety National Activities program, which supports student access to mental healthcare, addressing school violence, and planning for emergency management response.  
  • Strengthening Predominately Black Institutions (PBI): $22.3 million.
  • Registered Apprenticeships: $28 million to support registered apprenticeship activities through grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts.
  • Reintegration of Ex-Offenders: $115 million to help individuals exiting prison and at-risk youth find long-term employment through job training, mentoring, and other services.
  • YouthBuild: $105 million to help disadvantaged youth obtain education and employment skills.
  • Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act State Grants: $2.92 billion to support job training programs for youth, adults, and dislocated workers. 

Military Construction and Veterans Affairs

  • Scott Air Force Base: $52 million for improvements to military family housing; increases funding for Child Development Centers for the Air Force by $37.4 million, which covers funding for a new $19.8 million CDC at Scott Air Force Base.
  • Caregivers Program: $1.9 billion to expand training, benefits, and services for caregivers. 
  • State Home Construction Grants: $150 million.  Illinois Veterans Homes continue to receive strong financial support from this program for renovations and new construction. 
  • VA Electronic Health Records: $1.8 billion to modernize the VA’s health information system and allow for interoperability with DOD to support continuity of care and improve treatment for service members, veterans, and their families.
  • Medical and Prosthetic Research$916 million to support ongoing and new research in areas such as toxic exposures, traumatic brain injury, and precision oncology. 
  • Cost of War Toxic Exposures Fund: $5 billion created by the Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act for the expanded healthcare and benefits for veterans exposed to toxic substances during their service.  
  • Smoke-Free VA: Report language included supporting VHA’s prohibition on smoking modeled after Durbin’s Smoke-Free VA bill. 

State and Foreign Operations 

  • U.S. Cooperation with ICC Regarding Ukraine:  Allows the U.S. to cooperate with “investigative activities that relate solely to investigations and prosecutions of foreign persons for crimes within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court related to the Situation in Ukraine” and for the U.S. to render assistance to “international efforts to bring to justice foreign nationals accused of genocide, war crimes or crimes against humanity.”
  • Global Health Security: $900 million for global health security and $100 million for the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). 
  • Global Fund: $2 billion to leverage donations from countries to address AIDS, TB, and malaria. 
  • Ukraine: $920 million in humanitarian assistance for Ukraine and neighboring countries in addition to Omnibus supplemental funds. 
  • Food Security: $1.01 billion for food security and agricultural development programs.
  • Anti-Slavery in West Africa: $2 million for anti-slavery and reintegration programs.
  • Water and Sanitation: $500 million to implement the enacted Simon Water for Poor Act and Durbin’s Simon Water for the World Act.  
  • Caribbean Energy Security Initiative: $7.5 million to help Caribbean nations gain greater energy independence with less carbon intensive energy sources.
  • Haiti Reforestation: $8.5 million to help with ongoing economically sustainable reforestation programs. 
  • Combatting Child Marriage: $20 million to help implement enacted Durbin legislation aimed at reducing the incidences and victims of child marriage. 
  • Democracy Programs: $50 million for Venezuela; $2 million for independent media and civil society in Hungary; $2 million for Belarus; $2 million for Equatorial Guinea; $2 million for Benin.
  • Mobility:  $3 million to provide access to affordable bicycles to achieve development objectives around the world. 
  • Great Lakes Fisheries Commission: $50 million for the Commission to help manage shared Great Lakes issues with Canada, including invasive species. 

Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development

  • FTA Transit Capital Investment Grants: $2.21 billion, including $100 million for Core Capacity projects.  This will fully fund all the transit capital projects in the CIG pipeline.
  • Aviation SafetyIncreases funding for aviation safety by $94 million and provides 223 new positions to continue FAA’s efforts to improve its aircraft certification and inspection programs in wake of Boeing 737 accidents.
  • Air Traffic ControllersIncreases funding by $340 million to help hire an additional 1,500 new air traffic controllers to help reduce airport delays.
  • Airport Improvement Program Grants: $558 million for airport construction grants.
  • Federal Highway Administration (FHWA): $62.9 billion, a $2.3 billion increase including $1.145 billion to reduce the backlog of structurally deficient bridges.
  • Workforce Development: $32.5 million for workforce development programs across transportation industry, including training for pilots and aviation maintenance workforce. 
  • Amtrak: $2.6 billion, including $1.19 billion to support the National Network.
  • Rail Research: $4.4 million to establish a Rail Research and Development Center of Excellence, which Durbin authorized in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
  • FRA CRISI Safety Grants: $534 million to fund freight safety/congestion projects including $150 million to support new passenger routes.
  • Public Housing Fund (both Capital & Operating): $8.5 billion. $50 million for emergency capital needs, with $20 million set aside for PHAs in receivership or under the direction of a monitor and $10 million set aside for Safety and Security. $65 million is available in competitive grants to address lead, mold, carbon monoxide, radon, and fire safety.
  • Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes: $410 million, including $5 million for Radon Testing and Mitigation, which will help remediate lead-based paint from over 25,000 low-income households.
  • Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA): $499 million.
  • Community Development Block Grants (CDBG): $3.3 billion.
  • Homeless Assistance Grants: $3.63 billion, which will serve more than 1 million people experience homelessness each year.  Builds assistance for special populations, including $52 million for survivors of domestic violence and $107 million for homeless youth.
  • Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers: $130 million for new incremental vouchers that will serve 11,700 more low-income households, including survivors of domestic violence and youth aging out of foster care.

Additional Authorizing Provisions

  • New Philadelphia: Includes Durbin’s New Philadelphia National Historical Park Act, which designates the original town site of New Philadelphia, IL, as a National Historical Park.  New Philadelphia was the first town platted and legally registered by an African American.  New Philadelphia was founded in 1836, and peaked around 1865—with a population of 160 people and 29 households. 
  • Pullman National Historical Park:  Includes Durbin’s Pullman National Historical Park Act, which codifies the Pullman National Monument, established by President Obama in 2015, and allows the site to acquire land and enter into cooperative agreements to advance park management. 
  • Electoral Count Reform ActThe bipartisan Electoral Count Reform Act updates the antiquated Electoral Count Act (ECA) to close loopholes in the electoral vote counting process.  Durbin is a cosponsor of the legislation.
  • Increasing Access to Summer Meals for Children Through EBT:  Updates the summer food service program to permanently allow states to provide non-congregate meals and summer EBT benefits nationwide to eligible children in addition to meals provided at congregate feeding sites.  Non-congregate meals, such as grab-and-go or home delivery, would be provided in rural areas to eligible children, and summer EBT benefits would be capped at $40 per child per month. 
  • Retirement Security Package (SECURE 2.0):  Includes a retirement package commonly that is a follow-up to the SECURE Act passed in 2019.  The key provisions of SECURE 2.0 expand auto-enrollment, a feature that puts the onus on workers to affirmatively opt-out of a workplace retirement plan rather than affirmatively opt-in, for 401(k) and 401(b); significantly boost the small business startup credit for smaller employers (fewer than 100 employees) to further defray the cost of setting up a workplace retirement plan—which many experts recognize as a key barrier preventing many from saving for retirement; and build upon the saver’s credit in the tax code by adding a saver’s match for lower-income working savers beginning in 2027.  SECURE 2.0 also raises the required minimum distribution age from the current age of 72, to 73, beginning in 2023, and to 75 beginning in 2033. 
  • Unleashing American Innovators Act: Addresses disparities in the U.S. patent system and expands access to patents for underrepresented communities, including individual inventors, small businesses, and military veterans, by establishing a new USPTO satellite office in the Southeast Region, requiring the satellite offices to conduct outreach to these communities, and creating a network of community outreach offices to educate Americans about the patent system. 
  • Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act: Increases filing fees on large mergers to ensure antitrust enforcers have sufficient tools and resources to protect consumers; prevents antitrust enforcement actions brought by state attorneys general from being transferred out of the courts in which they are filed; and requires companies to disclose financial support from adversarial foreign governments and entities in premerger notification filings to U.S. antitrust enforcers. 
  • Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Program: Extends to program to December 31, 2024 with an increase in the number of available visas to 38,500. 
  • Pandemic Preparedness:  Includes pandemic prevention package to improve disease preparedness, including by enhancing lab capacity, data use agreements, outbreak forecasting/surveillance, and authorizing the APRA-H agency to operate independently but with NIH’s support.  This includes provisions from Durbin’s PPE in America Act to expand domestic manufacturing of personal protective equipment (PPE) through supply chain reforms to the Strategic National Stockpile.
  • Behavioral Health:  Reauthorizes of a several mental health, suicide prevention, and opioid overdose programs—primarily within the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. New provisions include enforcement grants to improve insurer compliance with mental health parity requirements, the removal of barriers for clinicians prescribing opioid addiction treatment, and requiring all DEA-licensed prescribers of opioids to undergo specialized training.
  • Infant Formula: Includes several provisions to address the current infant formula shortage and improve FDA’s oversight of the market, including the creation of a “Office of Critical Foods” at FDA to better oversee market, required congressional notification of an infant formula recall, and establishment of a “national strategy” to improve resiliency of the market, which is heavily consolidated under a few manufacturers.
  • Maternal & Child Health: Permanently extends a policy from the American Rescue Plan allowing states to provide 12 months, instead of 60 days, of postpartum coverage to pregnant women in Medicaid and CHIP, a cornerstone of Durbin’s MOMMA’s Act.  
  • Telehealth:  Extends for two years the pandemic telehealth flexibilities for Medicare beneficiaries.
  • Medicaid for Incarcerated Youth:  Expands Medicaid coverage for incarcerated youth by maintaining Medicaid coverage during pretrial detention and re-instating Medicaid coverage for eligible individuals 30 days prior to release, which improves continuity of care and reduces overdoses.