Huffman Applauds Increase in Funding for Special Education in Final Appropriations Bill, Secures Additional Priorities

July 31, 2020

Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 7617, the second “minibus” of fiscal year 2021 appropriations bills, which included a $194 million increase in funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), championed by Representative Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael). This week’s House-approved bill funds the following federal priorities: Defense; Commerce-Justice-Science; Energy and Water Development; Financial Services and General Government; Labor-HHS-Education, and Transportation-HUD.

“Full funding of IDEA must be at the top of Congress’ priority list to help public schools during this pandemic. It makes it possible to hire teachers, invest in safety, and provide the resources students and faculty need to adapt to these new challenges,” said Rep. Huffman. “The funding allocated in this appropriations bill is a step in the right direction to living up to the federal promise to give every student access to a quality education. I’m incredibly grateful to Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro and all the advocates who worked with us to secure this much-needed funding.”

Rep. Huffman has spent his congressional career advocating for the needs of individuals with disabilities, highlighting the need for adequate special education funding. From the beginning of the pandemic, Rep. Huffman has pushed leadership to prioritize funding for IDEA in coronavirus relief packages. Just last week, Huffman led his third letter to House leadership urging them to include strong IDEA funding in the next COVID-19 relief bill so school districts have the resources to support all students throughout the pandemic.

Rep. Huffman successfully led the charge to allocate funding for multiple other priorities, including:

  • Energy and Water Development
    • Congressman Huffman successfully advocated to block funding for the controversial Shasta Dam raise, a project championed by the Trump administration that is illegal under California state law.
    • Includes Rep. Huffman’s amendment barring the federal government from moving forward with a flawed permit for the proposed Pebble Mine project in Bristol Bay, Alaska. A similar amendment offered by Rep. Huffman passed the House last year. The Pebble Mine threatens one of the world’s greatest sockeye salmon runs, which tribes, fishermen, and local communities depend on. The federal permitting process for the Pebble Mine has been rushed and insufficient from the start.
  • Commerce-Justice-Science
    • Rep. Huffman led requests on several priorities in this bill, including:
      • Increased funding for salmon management and endangered salmon recovery, and $65 million for the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund
      • $173.7 million for Fisheries Data Collection, Surveys, and Assessments, $9.6 million above the President’s budget request
      • Report language specifying $400,000 for the review of West Coast Groundfish electronic monitoring data
      • $4 million for the John H. Prescott Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance grant program, ensuring continued conservation, recovery, and research to protect marine mammals
      • $58 million for National Marine Sanctuaries
  • Labor Health and Human Services
    • Non-discrimination language protecting civil rights by preventing the awarding of federal grants to any organization that discriminates on the basis of age, disability, sex, race, color, national origin, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation.
  • Transportation and Infrastructure
    • Funding for the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA) - the Indian Housing Loan Guarantee program (Section 184), the Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG), and the Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant (NHHBG). 

Below are a number of other notable wins for American communities in H.R. 7617:


  • $107.2 billion in total budgetary resources for the Department of Transportation, $19.4 billion above Trump’s request
  • $7.6 billion for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, including studies, construction, and operation & maintenance
  • $75 billion in emergency funding to rebuild our nation’s transportation and housing infrastructure
  • $61 billion in emergency funding to expand the availability of broadband to unserved and underserved areas
  • $43.5 billion in emergency spending modernize water and energy infrastructure
  • $24.425 billion in emergency spending to support state and local public health agencies and global health activities


  • $47 billion for the National Institutes of Health, an increase of $5.5 billion above FY20
  • $50 million, an increase of $25 million above FY20, for firearm injury and mortality prevention research at CDC and NIH


  • $73.5 billion for the Department of Education, $6.9 billion above Trump’s request
  • $10.2 billion for the Employment and Training Administration, $1.5 billion above Trump’s request


  • $50.6 billion for Housing and Urban Development, $13.3 billion above Trump’s request
  • Blocks Trump administration rules targeting undocumented immigrants and LGBT people


  • $3.5 billion for Community Development Block Grants, rejecting Trump’s proposal to eliminate the program
  • $356 million for the Economic Development Administration, helping boost struggling communities
  • $273.5 million for Community Development Financial Institutions, rejecting Trump’s proposal to eliminate the program


  • Invests in the safety of our communities; provides $400 million in grants to carry out police reforms as authorized by the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act; provides $525 million for VAWA programs; funds research into the climate crisis; and advances science and technology. 
  • Implements the provision of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act which limits the transfer of surplus military-grade equipment to state and local law enforcement.


  • Provides full funding necessary to support the 3 percent military pay raise
  • More than $33.3 billion for Defense Health Programs, including $512.5 million for cancer research


  • $12 billion across Department of Energy programs to support clean, affordable, and secure energy
  • $5.45 billion for NOAA, helping address important priorities such as climate research

Additional materials on the legislation can be found here: