A lot of money is budgeted for upstate New York.
With postings returning, members of Congress in New York have committed hundreds of millions of dollars to projects at home as part of the $1.5 trillion federal budget enacted this month.
The biggest payout for upstate: $27 million to secure Fort Drum’s water supply, a project Rep. Elise Stefanik and the two New York senators have lobbied for.
Other big ticket items for upstate include:
- Millions of dollars for projects at the US Military Academy and Gabreski Air National Guard Base, as guaranteed by the senses. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand
- Nearly $4 million to expand broadband in Niagara County, as Rep. Chris Jacobs and the two senators secured
- $3.5 million each for water systems projects in Portville and Middletown, guaranteed by Reps. Tom Reed and Sean Patrick Maloney, respectively. The two senators also pleaded for the funds.
Other lawmakers also touted the victories.
“I’m bringing $1.5 million for a health clinic at Rockland Pride Center, which is historic,” Rep. Mondaire Jones said.
“Three million to Cohoes for their floating reservoir solar project. I think it will be an example for the country,” said Representative Paul Tonko.
The earmarking process allows members of Congress to obtain funding for specific purposes in their district. Coverage of what upstate lawmakers originally called for can be found here.
Assignments disappeared for a decade due to abuse that sent some members to prison. They were brought back last year with reforms and a new oversight, aimed at improving transparency.
With the budget bill now in effect, some New York Republicans are under scrutiny for bragging about securing funding while simultaneously voting against legislation that included the dollars.
“Your community needs to know what role you played. And if it was a negative role, if it was a role that held back that investment, people need to know that,” Tonko said of them.
Among those who fall into this camp: Reps. Stefanik and Jacobs.
Asked about it, Stefanik blamed what ended up in the bill.
“We worked with the appropriations committee every step of the way…Nancy Pelosi then took that bill, she finalized it in her office, added a number of far-left provisions that made it untenable” , she said.
As lawmakers now begin working on next year’s budget, the allocation process is beginning again, giving New Yorkers another bite to eat.
Many lawmakers shared the list of projects they managed to fund in the budget bill. These press releases are below: