Press Release

Welch Leads Bipartisan Colleagues in Requesting Standard Funding for USDA RD’s Community Facilities Program and the Water and Waste Disposal Program  

May 8, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) today led a bipartisan group of colleagues in calling on the Senate Appropriations Committee to return to robustly funding the standard Community Facilities Program and the Water and Waste Disposal Program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA RD) Office.  

The letter was sent to the bipartisan leadership of the Appropriations Committee and was signed by Sen. Welch and Sens. Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.); Tina Smith (D-Minn.); Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio); Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.); Cory Booker (D-N.J.); and Roger Marshall (R-Okla.). 

The letter warned that current low levels of standard grant funding could put the long-term viability of the programs at risk, and that RD programs and offices need standard congressionally appropriated grant funding. 

“As Congress considers the Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 Appropriations Bill for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, we request that you robustly fund standard, non-Congressionally Directed Spending (CDS) grants for the Community Facilities Program and the Water and Waste Disposal Program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development (RD) Office. Specifically, we ask that this funding be returned to FY22 levels at $40 million for Community Facilities grants and $490 million for Water and Waste Disposal grants. These programs are deeply impactful to our rural communities,” wrote the lawmakers.  

“RD is an essential partner for rural America. As costs increase in rural towns, RD helps mitigate those burdens by providing low-interest capital and grants. The Community Facilities Program and Water and Waste Disposal Program provide support for building and improving public infrastructure—key to mitigating costs for towns. Robust standard grant funding for these programs ensures that our rural communities have the resources they need to thrive,” the lawmakers continued. 

Read and download the full letter here.