Senator Sheldon Whitehouse Achieves Policy Wins in Latest Appropriations Bill

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse has announced policy victories in the latest minibus appropriations bill signed into law by President Biden. The bill, which addresses various pressing issues, includes provisions championed by Whitehouse in areas such as combating the opioid crisis, protecting oceans, and fighting kleptocracy. Additionally, Whitehouse secured $79.4 million in earmark funding for community projects across Rhode Island.

In his statement, Whitehouse emphasized the multifaceted impact of the funding bill, stating, “This funding bill not only keeps the federal government open and delivers direct investments for Rhode Islanders, but it advances my work to address the opioid crisis, protect the oceans, and fight kleptocracy.”

Key provisions in the minibus appropriations bill include:

Addressing the Opioid Crisis:

$111 million allocated for Medication-Assisted Treatment for prescription drugs and opioid addiction, building on Whitehouse’s Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. $48.6 billion in base funding for the National Institutes of Health, with increases for opioid research and Alzheimer’s research. Over $400 million dedicated to improving detection and seizure of fentanyl at ports of entry. Requirements for Homeland Security Investigations to establish a formal Cross-Border Illicit Finance Center to disrupt drug trafficking profits. Directives for the Office of National Drug Control Policy to resume illicit crop imagery programs to monitor cocaine and poppy cultivation industries.

Protecting the Oceans and Coastal Innovation:

$47.5 million allocated to address ocean plastic pollution and marine debris. $36.7 million for Centers of Excellence, including those focused on coastal resilience. Measures to combat illegal fishing and improve security cooperation with island States. Encouragement for the U.S. Navy to release oceanographic data, including information about pirate fishing vessels. $281.4 million for Flood Hazard Mapping and Risk Analysis Program to enhance FEMA’s capabilities. $10 million for the Direct Air Capture and Blue Carbon Removal Program under the SEA FUEL Act.

Fighting Kleptocracy:

$190.19 million allocated for the Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to support anti-money laundering and anti-corruption reforms. Implementation of Whitehouse’s Corporate Transparency Act to reveal true owners of anonymous shell companies. Rulemakings to extend anti-money laundering safeguards to the real estate and private investment sectors.