Grants and Funding

Appropriations

For FY2021, Congressman Soto secured the following funding provisions:

Environment

  • Language to encourage the National Park Service to consider including sites undergoing restoration like the Kissimmee River for the Wild & Scenic Rivers Program. 
  • $15,238,000 for the Everglades Restoration including the $10 million for the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Program.
  • Language to recognize the increasing threat of Harmful Algal Blooms to coastal and freshwater ecosystems, like those we have in Florida and encourages the EPA to support and conduct research that promotes scientific progress toward preventing and controlling HABs.
  • Language to recognize the unprecedented coral disease outbreak, along the Great Florida Reef Tract, and the Reef’s importance to biodiversity, our economy and our way of life. It also supports the Department of Interior and NOAA monitoring, research and restoration efforts Including in Biscayne National Park and the Dry Tortugas National Park. Finally, it recommends additional resources to support state and local partners conducting this work on a daily basis.  
  • Language to encourage USGS to use the 3DEP program to quickly and remotely identify sinkholes and consider areas with a high risk of sinkhole development, like in the Sunshine State.
  • Language to recognize the current lack of knowledge and off-shore real-time instrumentation for the Cascadia subduction zone in the Caribbean Basin. It also recommends continued development of an early earthquake warning system and expansion into locations that will benefit from early detection of earthquakes. This is in response to the recent earthquakes in Puerto Rico.

Agriculture 

  • $1 million for High-Priority Research And Extension Initiatives - Fertilizer Management Initiative at the Department of Agriculture – National Institute of Food and Agriculture authorized in Sec. 7209 in the 2018 Farm Bill. The amendment was recommended by the Florida agriculture community. 
  • $2,276,000 for the collaborative effort of the Office of Regulatory Affairs and other offices within the FDA to provide further resources and further implementation of the Food and Veterinary Medicine Program Strategic Plan to enhance the security and reliability of U.S. supply chains during COIVD-19 for food, pharmaceuticals, and other essential medical equipment and supplies through technologies such as blockchain. This builds on efforts advanced by the House Appropriations Committee to support FDA’s food safety modernization and food traceability efforts, and blockchain programs already piloted by the FDA, and this additional funding is meant to enhance the “distributed trust” benefits of blockchain technology and allow the FDA to take advantage of increased transparency, security and informed decision-making to rapidly address threats and increase the reliability and security of U.S. supply chains.

Space

  • Language to recognize the increasing global competition in the space market, especially internationally and encourages the use of domestic launch providers. 
  • $403.5 million for the Europa Clipper Mission. 

Technology

  • $10 million increase of artificial intelligence research at the National Science Foundation, a $8 million increase for Quantum Initiative research at the National Science Foundation and a $60 million increase for high performance and supercomputers computers at NOAA à hurricane forecasting.
  • $125 million for AI research at the Department of Energy.
  • $235 million for Quantum Information Science Initiatives at the Department of Energy.
  • $208 million for Solar Energy Research at the Department of Energy.
  • $160 million for cybersecurity at the Department of Energy.
    Funding for research for blockchain deployment in electric grid modernization and power efficiency. 
  • Language from Congressman Soto’s bill, the AI JOBS Act, that emphasizes the importance of anticipating changes in the workforce and investing in worker retraining programs within the Department of Labor.
  • Language that originated from Rep Soto’s office that states the importance of the AI bias and asks the National Science Foundation to produce a report. 

For FY2020, Congressman Soto secured the following funding provisions:

Department of Defense

  • $110 million for Peer-Review Prostate Cancer Research 
  • $22 million for Peer-Reviewed Gulf War Illness Research
  • $30 million within the Defense-Wide Manufacturing Science and Technology Program for BRIDG 
  • $10 million within the Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment Support Program for BRIDG
  • $10 million within the High Performance Computing Modernization Program for UCF

Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies

  • $592.8 million for the NASA ground crawler that transports the SLS rocket from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the launch pad. 
  • $592.6 million for the Jupiter Europa NASA Mission.

Financial Services and General Government

  • $11 million for the Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program within the IRS. 
  • $12 million for the low-income taxpayer clinic grants program within the IRS.
  • $25 million for the Community Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA clinic) program within the IRS.
  • $5.5 million for Identity Theft and Refund Fraud casework within the IRS.

Department of Homeland Security

  • $850 million for the Urban Area Security Initiative under section 2003 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6. U.S.C. 604)
  • $511,265,000 for Research and Development within Science and Technology Directorate, and $40.5 million for University Programs

Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies

  • $4.0 million for Early Child Care Collaboratives – lead a multimember letter on this
  • $622,372,000 for the Center for Disease Control’s Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases Program 
  • $38,603,000 for the Vector-borne Disease Program
  • $40 million for the Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity Program
  • $70 million for the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
  • $20,083,000 for the Special Olympics - worked closely with Rep. Murphy to increase funds for the Special Olympics days following Secretary DeVos’s attempt to defund the Special Olympics. 
  • $2 million for the CDC’s Harmful Algal Bloom Research program

Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies

  • $15 million for value-added agricultural product market development grants
  • $3 million for Agricultural Innovation Centers

Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies

  • $60 million for Concentrating Solar power research
  • $5 million for advanced thermal desalination technologies
  • $72 million for Photovoltaic Research and Development
  • $35 million for Balance of System Soft Cost Reductions
  • $1 million joint Solar Ready Vets program
  • $5 million National Community Solar Partnership Program
  • $49.5 million for Solar System Integration
  • $60 million for Manufacturing Competitiveness

Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies

  • $10.2 million for multiple Everglades Restoration programs

State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs

  • Venezuela floor amendment – Worked closely with Rep. Murphy and Rep. Shalala to increased funds to $30 million to promoted democracy and the rule of law in Venezuela. 
  • $16 million for the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
  • $7 million for waste recycling

Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies

  • $350,000 for the creation and promotion of Fair Housing translated materials and other programs that support the assistance of persons with limited English proficiency.
  • $793 million for Housing for the Elderly
  • $338 million for the Bus and Bus Facilities Grant Program

    FY2019:

    • National Estuary Program Amendment– Increases funding for the National Estuary Program by $468,000. This brings it up to Obama era levels of funding. Amendment adopted by voice vote. Passed the House on 7/19/18
    • Tax Counseling for the Elderly Amendment – Increases funding for the Tax Counseling for the Elderly program by $1 million. Amendment adopted by voice vote. Passed the House on 7/19/18
    • IRS Identity Theft Casework Amendment – Increases funding for the IRS’s identity Theft and refund fraud casework program by $500,000. Amendment adopted by voice vote. Passed the House on 7/19/18

     

    H.R. 6157 – Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2019

     

    H.R. 5895 – Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2019

    • Electric Delivery Amendment – increases funding by $1 million for the new Electric Delivery program’s activities to accelerate discoveries and innovation in electric transmission and distribution technologies and create “next generation” devices, software, tools, and techniques to help modernize the electric grid.  Amendment adopted by voice vote. Passed the House on 6/8/18
    • Cybersecurity and Electric Grid Emergency Response Amendment – increases funding by $1 million for the new office of cybersecurity, energy security, and emergency response program to improve the ability of the energy sector to prevent, prepare for, and respond to threats, hazards, natural disaster, and other supply disruptions. Amendment adopted by voice vote. Passed the House on 6/8/18

     

    H.R. 1625 – Consolidated Appropriations Act

    • Grassroots Water Amendment -   Increases the funding of the Grassroots Source Water Protection Program by $500,000. This program helps prevent pollution of surface and ground water used as the primary source of drinking water by rural residents. Amendment was adopted on the Floor when offered to H.R. 3354. The amendment was included in the Omnibus base text. Passed the House on 3/22/18 and signed into law on 3/23/18 as part of Public Law No: 115-141.
    • Citrus Greening Amendment -  Increases funding for Specialty Crop Pest Program by $1,000,000 for the Huanglongbing Multi-Agency Coordination efforts. Citrus Greening research is crucial to the eradication of this invasive disease. The Huanglongbing Multi-Agency Corrdination Group collaborate with industry, academia, and the state and federal researchers to concentrate on solutions to the most challenging issues associated with citrus greening. Amendment was adopted on the Floor when offered to H.R. 3354. The amendment was included in the Omnibus base text. Passed the House on 3/22/18 and signed into law on 3/23/18 as part of Public Law No: 115-141.
    • Tax Counseling for the Elderly Amendment - Increases funding for Tax Counseling for the Elderly by $1 million. The Tax Counseling for the Elderly program offers free tax help to individuals who are age 60 and older. These funds are used to reimburse volunteers for their out-of-pocket expenses; including transportation, meals, and other expenses incurred by them in providing tax counseling assistance at locations convenient to the elderly taxpayers. Amendment was adopted on the Floor when offered to H.R. 3354. The amendment was included in the Omnibus base text. Passed the House on 3/22/18 and signed into law on 3/23/18 as part of Public Law No: 115-141.
    • Housing for the Elderly Amendment -  Increases funding for Housing for the Elderly by $2.5 million. HUD’s Section 202 program serves very low income seniors (as defined as having incomes below 50% of the area median income). The average income of a 202 household is $13,300. 202 housing sponsors are ALL nonprofits who provide mission-driven quality housing to older adults. There are about 400,000 Section 202 homes in the United States, including about 19,000 units of 202 homes in Florida. The waiting lists to get into Section 202 housing can be years long. Because of the lack of options for affordable housing, homelessness among older adults is increasing. Only 36% of today’s seniors who qualify for housing assistance actually receive it because the programs are not large enough to meet older adults’ needs. Amendment was adopted on the Floor when offered to H.R. 3354. The amendment was included in the Omnibus base text. Passed the House on 3/22/18 and signed into law on 3/23/18 as part of Public Law No: 115-141.
    • Prostate Cancer Research – Increases funding for prostate cancer research under the Defense Health Program by $10 million. Increases total funding for prostate cancer research to $100 million. Amendment was adopted on the Floor when offered to H.R. 3354. The amendment was included in the Omnibus base text. Passed the House on 3/22/18 and signed into law on 3/23/18 as part of Public Law No: 115-141.
    • Gulfwar Illness Research – Increases funding for prostate cancer research under the Defense Health Program by $1 million. Increases total funding for gulf war research to $21 million. Amendment was adopted on the Floor when offered to H.R. 3354. The amendment was included in the Omnibus base text. Passed the House on 3/22/18 and signed into law on 3/23/18 as part of Public Law No: 115-141.

     

    H.R. 3354 – Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2018 [Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act, 2018]

    Division A – Interior (H.R. 3354 Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2018)

    • Estuary Amendment - Increases funding for the National Estuary Program by $468,000. This amount restores funding to the level of President Obama’s funding requests. Helps the Indian River Lagoon fight harmful Algal Blooms. Amendment was adopted by voice vote en bloc, on the Floor and passed the House on 9/14/17.
    • Invasive Species Amendment - Increases funding for the National Wildlife Refuge System by $500,000 for the Wildlife and Habitat Management of invasive species. Amendment was adopted by voice vote en bloc, on the Floor and passed the House on 9/14/17.

    Division B – Agriculture (H.R. 3268, Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2018)

    • Grassroots Water Amendment -   Increases the funding of the Grassroots Source Water Protection Program by $500,000. This program helps prevent pollution of surface and ground water used as the primary source of drinking water by rural residents. Amendment was adopted by voice vote en bloc, on the Floor and passed the House on 9/14/17.
    • Citrus Greening Amendment -  Increases funding for Specialty Crop Pest Program by $1,000,000 for the Huanglongbing Multi-Agency Coordination efforts. Citrus Greening research is crucial to the eradication of this invasive disease. The Huanglongbing Multi-Agency Corrdination Group collaborate with industry, academia, and the state and federal researchers to concentrate on solutions to the most challenging issues associated with citrus greening. Amendment was adopted by voice vote en bloc, on the Floor and passed the House on 9/14/17.

    Division D – Financial Services (H.R. 3280, Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, 2018)

    • Tax Counseling for the Elderly Amendment - Increases funding for Tax Counseling for the Elderly by $1 million. The Tax Counseling for the Elderly program offers free tax help to individuals who are age 60 and older. These funds are used to reimburse volunteers for their out-of-pocket expenses; including transportation, meals, and other expenses incurred by them in providing tax counseling assistance at locations convenient to the elderly taxpayers. Amendment was adopted by voice vote en bloc, on the Floor and passed the House on 9/14/17.

    Division H – Transportation/Housing and Urban Development (H.R. 3353, Department of Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act, 2018)

    • Housing for the Elderly Amendment -  Increases funding for Housing for the Elderly by $2.5 million. HUD’s Section 202 program serves very low income seniroes (as defined as having incomes below 50% of the area median income). The average income of a 202 household is $13,300. 202 housing sponsors are ALL nonprofits who provide mission-driven quality housing to older adults. There are about 400,000 Section 202 homes in the United States, including about 19,000 units of 202 homes in Florida. The waiting lists to get into Section 202 housing can be years long. Because of the lack of options for affordable housing, homelessness among older adults is increasing. Only 36% of today’s seniors who qualify for housing assistance actually receive it because the programs are not large enough to meet older adults’ needs. Amendment was adopted by voice vote en bloc, on the Floor and passed the House on 9/14/17.

     

    H.R. 3219 – Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2018 [Make America Secure Appropriations Act, 2018]

           Division A – Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2018

    • Prostate Cancer Research – Increases funding for prostate cancer research under the Defense Health Program by $10 million. Increases total funding for prostate cancer research to $100 million. Amendment was adopted by voice vote, en bloc, on the Floor and passed the House on 7/27/17.
    • Gulfwar Illness Research – Increases funding for prostate cancer research under the Defense Health Program by $1 million. Increases total funding for gulf war research to $21 million. Amendment was adopted by voice vote, en bloc, on the Floor and passed the House on 7/27/17.

     

    Grants

    • $1,945,961 for Primary Care Medical Services of Poinciana from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
    • $1,500,000 for Orlando, Kissimmee, Sanford area from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) program.
    • $3,531,926,800 contract to Lockheed Martin Corporation from the Department of the Army.
    • $139,600 for Town of Lake Hamilton Police Department from USDA Rural Development Grants.
    • $5,000,000 for City of Orlando Police Department and Orange County Sheriff’s Office from U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Police Services (COPS) grant to hire 40 new police.
    • $12,000,000 for Florida Department of Transportation, MetroPlan Orlando, and University of Central Florida from the Federal Highway Administration.
    • $38,826 for St. Cloud Fire Rescue from U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG).
    • $4,000,000 for Polk County Fire Rescue from U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant.
    • $2,200,000 for Kissimmee Gateway Airport by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s FAA Runway Incursion Mitigation program.
    • $557,000 for Bartow Municipal Airport by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s FAA Runway Incursion Mitigation program.
    • $674,978 for Haines City Fire Rescue from U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG).
    • $82,581 for Lake Wales Municipal Airport from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s FAA Runway Incursion Mitigation program.
    • $82,581 for Winter Haven’s Gilbert Airport from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s FAA Runway Incursion Mitigation program.