WASHINGTON, DC – Pennsylvania U.S. Senator John Fetterman secured $1 million in funding for Philadelphia’s William Way LGBT Community Center after the U.S. Senate passed its first bipartisan FY24 appropriations bill yesterday afternoon. The Center was at the forefront of House Republicans’ misguided and bigoted culture war efforts after Republican appropriators removed three projects, including the William Way LGBT Center, from the House’s fiscal year 2024 appropriations bills.
The Senate’s legislative package fully funds Sen. Fetterman’s request for the William Way LGBT Center and includes millions of dollars in funding for Agriculture, Rural Development, the Food and Drug Administration; Military Construction, Veterans Affairs; and Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development. In addition to this project in Philadelphia, the bills will fund projects across Pennsylvania ranging from agriculture research to homelessness assistance to veterans’ health care.
“I am proud to have secured these critical funds for the people I was elected to represent during my first annual appropriations process. These projects will benefit our rural communities and farmers, our servicemembers and veterans, our unhoused population, and so many other Pennsylvanians,” said Senator Fetterman. “Investing in these communities is critical. I’m particularly proud we were able to get the William Way LGBT Community Center funded after House Republicans stripped it out. They must stop playing partisan games and get to work so we can deliver these investments where they are needed.”
The William Way LGBT Community Center meets the health, human service, social, and cultural needs of some of the most vulnerable populations in the City of Philadelphia. The Center is an integral part of the Washington West neighborhood and an asset to the continuing efforts to revitalize South Broad Street and the Avenue of the Arts, providing community space, food and other basic needs, economic opportunities and mental health services. This project will increase the building’s usable space by 78% by transforming two disconnected, drafty, and dilapidated rowhomes into a modern complex for the Center’s programs and partner organizations.
Sen. Fetterman previously blasted House Republicans for stripping funding from all programs with the letters “LGBTQ,” including the William Way Center, calling this move “mask-off bigotry.”
Senator Fetterman worked with his colleagues in the Senate to secure funds that will benefit the entire commonwealth. The Senate’s bipartisan process stands in stark contrast to the House’s partisan approach to funding the government by passing appropriations bills that are littered with extreme social policy riders.
In addition, the appropriations bills funded critical programs that will greatly benefit Pennsylvania, including:
Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA, and Related Agencies
- Fully funds the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program with no new restrictions on eligibility.
- Fully funds the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); and the school lunch program.
- $1.8 billion for agriculture research.
Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies
- $120.1 million for total military construction funding for PA.
- $20.2 billion for FY24 and $24.4 billion in FY25 for the Toxic Exposure Fund.
- Over $2 billion more funding than FY23 for mental health services, including suicide prevention outreach, the Veterans Crisis Line, and addiction services.
Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
- $3.4 billion for the Federal Railroad Administration, including a $32 million increase for FRA’s safety and operations budget.
- $2.45 billion for the Capital Investment Grants program (the biggest source of funding for transit infrastructure).
- $1.145 billion for bridge replacement and rehabilitation.
- $1.5 billion for the HOME Investment Partnership Program to construct 10,000 new affordable rental and owner-occupied housing units.