Helping Avert Partial Government Shutdown, Senator Reverend Warnock Secures Major Investments for Georgia in Minibus Government Funding Legislation

On Friday, the Senate passed the first Fiscal Year 2024 minibus government funding bill by a vote of 75-22. Passage of the bill averted a partial government shutdown

The legislation contains provisions championed by Senator Warnock to improve affordable housing access, protect vital nutritional assistance for children and families, provide infrastructure upgrades for communities across the state, and more

Following Senator Reverend Warnock’s advocacy, legislation includes direct federal funding for 74 projects across Georgia, totaling $207 million

Senator Warnock secured $44 million in direct federal funding to support operations at the Savannah Harbor; over $2 million for infrastructure upgrades at the Augusta Regional Airport; $2.5 million for affordable housing in Columbus; and more

Bill also fully funds vital federal programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)

According to USDA, over 225,000 Georgians participated in WIC as of 2023

Senator Reverend Warnock: “I believe a budget is a reflection of one’s values, and this legislation, with its investments like infrastructure in Savannah, affordable housing in Columbus, and food security in Valdosta reflects my commitment to serving all Georgians

Washington D.C. — On Friday, U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) voted to avert a partial government shutdown and pass major investments for Georgia in the Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) minibus government funding bill, which includes six of the twelve bills necessary to fully fund the government. 

“I believe a budget reflects one’s values, and this legislation, with its investments in priorities like upgrading infrastructure in Savannah, building affordable housing in Columbus, and ensuring food security for working families in Valdosta reflects my commitment to serving all Georgians and working to leave the state better than how I found it. For too long, rural and marginalized communities have been left behind when it comes to reaping the benefits of their tax dollars, and I remain deeply committed to working in Washington to reverse that trend in Georgia,” said Senator Reverend Warnock. 

The legislation contains provisions championed by Senator Warnock to improve affordable housing access, protect vital nutritional assistance for children and families, provide infrastructure upgrades for communities across the state, bolster our aviation economy, strengthen health care for veterans and servicemembers, and more.

The Senator continued: “This government funding legislation is vital for families and communities across Georgia and I’m glad we’ve gotten it over the finish line, but let’s be clear–we are five months behind in passing this bill, and it never should have gotten to this point. A group of Washington Republicans almost let partisan politics prevent Congress from fulfilling our essential responsibility—and we still have more than half the federal government to still fund to prevent what would be an even more harmful shutdown later this month. I’m hoping cooler heads prevail in the next round of funding and will continue centering the people in our policymaking.” 

In addition to championing investments to full fund vital federal programs, Senator Warnock also successfully secured $207 million for 74 projects requested by communities across the state through Congressionally-Directed Spending (CDS).

Key programmatic investments Senator Reverend Warnock supported in the government funding legislation includes: 

Nutrition assistance: the bill fully funds Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which serves an estimated 42 million people per month; there is a $1 billion increase over FY23 for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), which is fully funded at $7 billion. The bill fully funds the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).Additionally, the legislation includes a $1 billion increase over FY23 funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), which is fully funded at $7 billion. According to USDA, over 225,000 Georgians participated in WIC as of 2023. The legislation also fully funds Child Nutrition Programs—like the School Lunch program, school breakfast program, and Summer EBT program—to ensure schools can continue to serve healthy meals to all eligible children. In 2024, this funding will help serve an estimated 5 billion lunches and 2.6 billion breakfasts to kids across the country.

Housing: The bill provides $70 billion in funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development to maintain all existing rental assistance while increasing efforts to reduce homelessness, connect people to both housing and health care, and remove barriers to housing opportunities and development, including unnecessary administrative burdens. The bill provides $4 billion for Homeless Assistance Grants, a $418 million increase above FY23 funding. It also provides $1.25 billion for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program the HOME program is the primary federal tool for state and local governments to produce affordable rental and owner-occupied housing. This funding will support the construction of more than 7,000 new affordable rental and homebuyer units nationwide.

Aviation Staffing and Modernization: The bill provides $20 billion for the Federal Aviation Administration, an increase of $1 billion over FY23. This includes: $12.7 billion for FAA operations, which will allow the FAA to continue its air traffic controller hiring surge by adding 1,800 new controllers and improving training facilities at the air traffic controller academy; $3.2 billion for FAA facilities and equipment, which will accelerate critical next- generation programs; $15 million above the President’s budget request for airport ground surveillance to help reduce the likelihood of runway incursions; and $3.9 billion for Airport Improvement Program grants to reduce emissions at airports, build airport infrastructure necessary to support unleaded fuels and sustainable aviation fuels, and build infrastructure resiliency at airports.

21st Century Economy: The bill provides $10.6 billion for science and technology programs to implement the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act to help drive U.S. economic competitiveness. The bill invests in scientific research to allow the United States to keep pace with the Chinese government and other competitors in fields that power our economy, like artificial intelligence, quantum computing, microelectronics, clean energy, and advanced communications.

VA Medical Care: The bill provides $121 billion for VA medical care in FY24, a $2.3 billion increase over fiscal year 2023, to provide essential health services for more than 9.1 million veterans. This is in addition to funding previously appropriated to the Cost of War Toxic Exposures Fund to cover the cost of health care related to toxic exposures. This bill funds critical VA priorities including: $343 million, $5 million more than fiscal year 2023, to support improved access to rural health care, including expanded access to transportation and telehealth; $2.4 billion, $556 million more than fiscal year 2023, to help VA implement its caregiving program and extend legacy participant eligibility and benefits through 2025; $3.1 billion, $418 million more than in FY23, to support critical services and housing assistance for veterans and their families experiencing housing insecurity; $16.2 billion, $2.3 billion more than in FY23, to get veterans the mental health services they deserve, including $559 million for suicide prevention outreach; and $23 million to expand the Child Care Pilot Program to eliminate barriers for veterans in need of child care while attending medical appointments.

Addressing Violence Against Women: The bill contains $713 million, the highest funding level ever, for grants provided by the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW). This represents an increase of $13 million above FY23 for these lifesaving programs. Funding supports training for police officers and prosecutors, state domestic violence and sexual assault coalitions, rape prevention programs, lethality assessment and homicide reduction initiatives, domestic violence hotlines, women’s shelters, transitional housing, and rural support services. 

Law Enforcement: The bill contains over $2.4 billion for state and local law enforcement assistance, including for the sexual assault kit initiative ($51 million),  officer mental health and wellness ($10 million), the purchase of body-worn cameras ($32 million) and bulletproof vests ($30 million), and rural law enforcement needs ($7 million). The bill also contains $256 million for officer hiring.

Economic Development: The bill provides $468 million for community economic development through the Economic Development Administration (EDA). This includes $100 million for Public Works grants, $25 million for the Good Jobs Challenge Program, $50 million for the Regional Innovation Program, and $79.5 million to support communities dealing with power plant closures. The bill also provides $68.25 million for the Minority Business Development Agency to help minority-owned businesses grow and succeed and to implement the new programs authorized in the Minority Business Development Agency Act, which was passed as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. 

Additionally, see highlights below of specific investments and policies that Senator Reverend Warnock secured for Georgia in the minibus government funding legislation through Congressionally-Directed Spending (CDS) requests:


$720,000 for affordable housing for individuals with disabilities: Funds will help design and purchase equipment for accessible, sustainable, and affordable housing options for individuals living with disabilities. Specifically, they will aid the planning and design work associated with sustainability and accessibility elements/features of Bobby Dodd Institute’s (BDI) new support center and 100-unit affordable housing complex. 

  • The project allows these individuals to fully participate in an inclusive community while living independently. 
  • For 60+ years, BDI has had a mission of building an inclusive world by embracing people of differing abilities, creating a community where each person’s unique strengths are empowered and employed. 
  • As one of the largest and longest-serving agencies in Atlanta supporting those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, BDI has become a respected community partner delivering essential services to their clients. 

$5 million for transportation upgrades at The Stitch: This transportation and infrastructure investment will help construct a multi-use 14-acre cap park over Interstates 75 and 85 to reconnect north Downtown Atlanta neighborhoods that were divided by the current highway system. 

  • Funding will be used to advance preliminary engineering of the Stitch to a shovel-ready project state. 
  • Funding support for preliminary engineering is crucial for securing project design approvals and raising local and federal funds for construction.
  • Supporting this project is key to bringing a 21st century design to Georgia: including reducing traffic congestion, increasing safety, and providing much needed open public space.
  • The cap structure will spur the development of a new urban neighborhood with affordable housing, direct access to heavy rail, and a 14-acre park.
  • Beyond reconnecting communities divided by the construction of the interstate system, the Stitch will improve the overall transportation network in Downtown by transforming existing car-oriented streets into complete streets, developing an off-street bus facility for local and commuter buses, and renovating an existing rail station. 

$475,000 for supporting returning citizens: Funds going to the Georgia Justice Project in Fulton County will provide criminal record clearing assistance for eligible individuals. This is vital for reintegration into society, enabling people to secure employment and housing, reducing recidivism, and ultimately fostering a more equitable and rehabilitative criminal justice system. 

$3.8 million for cutting edge research and manufacturing: Secured alongside Senator Ossoff, these funds will go to Georgia Tech to provide equipment for a battery manufacturing research and education facility. 

$1.6 million supporting current and formerly incarcerated students: Secured alongside Senator Ossoff, these funds for Morehouse College will provide education, peer mentoring, and support for incarcerated students and formerly incarcerated students through Andrew Young Center’s Higher Education in Prisons Initiative.

$1.5 million for survivors of abuse: Secured alongside Senator Ossoff, these funds will go to Cobb County’s Family Justice Center to provide coordinated services with various community services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assaults, human trafficking, stalking, child and elder abuse. 

$477,000 to support people with HIV/AIDS: Secured alongside Senator Ossoff, these funds will go to Status: Home (formerly Jerusalem House Project)to support efforts to serve and house people living with HIV/AIDS in Atlanta. As a pastor and public servant, Senator Warnock has long been committed to raising awareness and promoting continued medical advancements in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

$340,000 for infrastructure upgrades: Investment for the City of Dahlonega will provide critical sanitation infrastructure upgrades for the Torrington St. sewer lift station.

$1.3 million for Camp Merrill barracks: These funds will go towards planning and designing a new student barracks in Dahlonega, Georgia. 

  • Currently, the existing barracks were constructed at Camp Merrill between 1961 and 1977 and have varying degrees of identifiable deficiencies, including failing fire alarms, electrical systems, and asbestos materials.
  • Existing barrack facilities are not sufficient to handle the increased student population: current barracks were built when Ranger class sizes numbered between 70-80 students. Ranger classes today can start with over 400 initially. 
  • This facility will help ensure Ranger candidates have a safe and large enough space to live while attending training.

Savannah & Coastal Georgia:

$11.3 million for the Brunswick Harbor: Funds will go to the Army Corps of Engineers for modifications of the Brunswick Harbor to improve the efficiency, cost and reliability of ship traffic in the harbor.

$44.7 million for the Savannah Harbor: Funds will go to the Army Corps of Engineers to support the operations and maintenance of the Savannah Harbor. 

$2.7 million for State Route 38 Bypass in Liberty County: Secured alongside Senator Ossoff, funds will go to the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) to construct a new, two-lane, roadway from SR38/US84 to SR119 to meet local transportation needs.

$1 million for Bulloch County infrastructure upgrades: Funds will go to the Bulloch County Board of Commissioners for wastewater facility construction and expansion. The funding reflects the Senator’s commitment to investing in better public health and more robust infrastructure for Georgia’s communities. 

$3 million for Savannah infrastructure upgrades: Funds will go to the City of Savannah for additional wastewater capacity to the existing pump station and conveyance system to divert flows to a newly constructed facility. 

$500,000 for St. Marys infrastructure upgrades: Funds will go to the City of St Marys to upgrade their water infrastructure to allow for more efficient operation and help eliminate raw sewage spills from the collection system–attributable to rising sea levels and climate change.

$8.6 million for Fort Stewart/Hunter Army Airfield infrastructure planning and construction: These multi-million dollar investments will help fund projects to construct and upgrade maintenance and hangar facilities. 

  • $6.4 million would fund planning and design for a rotary-wing hangar to support the Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) for the 3 Infantry Division. Currently, aircraft unit maintenance is conducted in a hangar constructed in 1955, lacking proper electrical and mechanical systems that meet current maintenance requirements and negatively affecting unit readiness, morale, and retention.
  • $2.2 million would help fund planning and design for new facilities to accommodate personnel, aircraft and equipment of the 224th Military Intelligence Battalion in support of its specialized mission requirements. Constructed in 1958, the current hangar presents several challenges for aircraft maintenance and lacks proper systems and space for our servicemembers to succeed in the 21st century while making their jobs harder.
  • These new facilities will ensure our servicemembers have facilities that are safe, comfortable, and fit for function so they can focus on keeping us safe.


$2.2 million for Augusta Regional Airport (AGS) infrastructure: Funds will be used to construct a waterline, sanitary sewer, and access road at the Augusta Regional Airport. This will add critical water and sewer infrastructure in a portion of the airport that currently does not have service. Development like this helps bolster growth for all residents in the region by opening the door for businesses to invest in the community. 

$317,000 for Augusta-Richmond County: These funds for the county will go towards creating crisis intervention co-responder teams. Secured alongside Senator Ossoff, this investment is important to promote de-escalation and specialized assistance, fostering a more compassionate and effective response to situations involving mental health crises. 


$1.3 million for rural health care in Laurens County: Funds secured for the Community Service Board of Middle Georgia will provide behavioral health and substance misuse diversion services and treatment in rural Georgia. This investment reflects Senator Warnock’s commitment to expanding access to health care in Georgia’s rural communities. 

$230,000 for United Way of Central Georgia: These funds will go towards the improvement and expansion of services to central Georgia’s chronic homeless who may not yet be ready for a structured environment but want a safe space to stay during extreme heat or cold. 

  • Brookdale Resource Center/Hello House is now able to serve approximately 100 individuals and families in a 90-day program designed to case manage them back to housing security.
  • But countless more still need a safe space to get out of the elements on a day-to-day basis. United Way has a gymnasium with 50 beds for those in need, but the gym is not air conditioned and does not have windows, thus making it unusable as a shelter during extreme heat days.


$2.5 million for affordable housing in Columbus: This investment will go towards construction of a 130-unit low-income senior rental complex. There is a substantial need and demand for affordable senior housing with over 20% of the population of Columbus being low-income residents 55+. 

  • Providence Pointe is the low-income senior rental phase of Elliott’s Walk, the first new housing development in South Columbus in over 50 years. These funds would provide gap financing to cover the increased interest rates and construction costs since the project budget was initially developed.

$500,000 for a new elementary school at Fort Moore: This investment will help fund a required planning and design phase for the soon-to-be Dexter Elementary School at Fort Moore. Providing this school will help increase quality of life for military families at the Army’s premier training installation, keeping our commitment to military families.

$1.6 million for affordable housing: This investment for West Georgia Star, Inc. in LaGrange will go towards construction of new affordable housing units in the area. As a child who grew up in public housing, Senator Warnock understands the security and dignity that housing provides and has been working to expand access to safe and affordable housing for vulnerable Georgians. 

$1.5 million for United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley: Secured alongside Senator Ossoff, this investment will prepare a large site for development through planning, surveying, consultancy, and studies, to ensure the ability of the buildout of a future manufacturer. This reflects Senator Warnock’s commitment to bolstering economic activity in every corner of Georgia. 


$2 million for Second Harvest Food Bank: This investment will enable Second Harvest to construct a new food bank facility with more storage and kitchen capacity to serve rural South Georgia. Second Harvest serves 26 counties in rural South Georgia, but their current building layout and capacity is an obstacle to their efficient operation, and, in turn, limits their ability to help neighbors in need.

  • Constructing a new facility will allow Second Harvest to keep up with rising demand by increasing their overall capacity and operational efficiency to serve the region. 
  • Second Harvest is now being called on to provide disaster relief far more often and is the hub for area relief efforts. The new facility will provide 25 new jobs to the region and increase their ability to utilize locally sourced foods.

$440,000 for survivors of abuse in rural Georgia: This investment will go towards constructing additional housing for women and children who have escaped domestic violence, sex trafficking, and dependency.

·The Villages is a new, tiny home community project by Shane’s Crib in rural Jesup, Georgia aimed to house women with children who are in recovery, providing them with a place to foster hope and wellness.

·The project is poised to play a major role in a rural area of Georgia that drastically lacks resources for those who face challenges from dependency and abuse. 

·The Villages will serve as a steppingstone for women who have escaped abuse and dependency on their way toward bright and successful futures for themselves and their children. 

$1.6 million for safe drinking water: Funds will go to the City of Blackshear to provide Pierce County High School with safe and clean drinking water by implementing infrastructure upgrades. 

$488,000 to support survivors of abuse: Funds will go to Southwest Georgia Children’s Alliance, Inc. in Americus to expand facilities for services addressing domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, and sexual assault.

$100,000 for Dawson Farmers Market and Community Center: These funds will be used to convert a blighted cotton warehouse in Downtown Dawson into a farmer’s market, retail micro-business development and event center. Dawson serves as a retail hub for Terrell County and surrounding counties of Webster, Stewart, Dougherty, Calhoun, Sumter and Lee Counties– a combined population of 170,000 and home to over 1,700 commercial produce farms with predominantly low-income minority families in all but one of the counties. 

·This not only revitalizes an unused portion of Downtown Dawson but also reduces excess food waste.

·Creating this farmers market and making it EBT/SNAP eligible will benefit all members of the region.