Key Legislative Activities - 2002
Expanding Economic Opportunities for Working Families
Extending Unemployment Compensation Benefits. The
Senate unanimously passed a reauthorization of federal unemployment
benefits allowing people currently receiving federal unemployment
benefits to continue receiving those benefits until June 1, 2003,
and allowing people who exhaust their state unemployment benefits to
receive 13 weeks of federal unemployment benefits. Senator Levin was
an original cosponsor of further legislation that would have
provided up to 33 additional weeks of extended unemployment benefits
to states while extending temporary benefits through July 1,
Minimum Wage Increase. Original cosponsor of
legislation which would have raised the minimum wage by $1.50 in
Meaningful Ergonomics Standard. Original cosponsor of
bill which would have directed the Department of Labor to draft a
new ergonomics standard within two years.
Fighting Fraud Against Senior Citizens. Authored
Senate-passed resolution which designated the last week in August as
"National Fraud Against Senior Citizens Awareness Week."
Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Cosponsored the
Employment Non-Discrimination Act that would have provided basic
protection to ensure fairness in the workplace. Employment
discrimination based on real or perceived sexual orientation denies
qualified individuals equality and opportunity in the workplace.
Currently, federal law provides basic legal protection against
employment discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion,
national origin or disability.
Fighting for Fair Trade Practices. As co-chair of the
Senate Auto Caucus and the Senate Auto Parts Task Force, fought for
Senate passage of an amendment to the fast track bill making it a
priority negotiating objective of the United States to increase
market access for U.S. autos and auto parts in foreign markets,
especially in Japan and Korea where American autos and auto parts
have been all but shut out for decades. Unfortunately, the provision
was dropped by the House in the conference committee.
Fighting for Fair Steel Trade. Successfully urged the
President to use the authority given him by the Section 201 statute
of the Trade Act of 1974 to impose tariffs on the flood of cheap
imports which are unfairly dumped in the U.S. marketplace. While the
President imposed tariffs on certain steel imports in March 2002,
the remedies were less than Senator Levin had pressed for,
especially with regard to steel slab imports. Slab steel dumped in
the U.S. market is particularly injurious to the domestic iron ore
industry and displaces iron ore mined in Michigan's Upper
- Secured funding to assist Detroit's Focus: HOPE in its
mission to provide education, training and placement in technology
and manufacturing jobs. Secured $7.5 million for the Army's Mobile
Parts Hospital, a state-of-the-art project that when completed
will enable the Army to machine and fashion replacement parts for
military systems in the field.
- Secured $450,000 to renovate Focus: HOPE's job training
facility, the Machinist Training Institute (MTI). The Machinist
Training Institute has opened a path of economic opportunity in
manufacturing jobs for thousands of Detroit students. The
renovation and expansion of the facility will allow MTI to
continue its innovative training program to provide Michigan
state-licensed training in precision machining and tool
Automotive Research Center (ARC). Secured $2.8 million to enable
the U.S. Army's Automotive Research Center in Warren to increase its
assistance to the ARC for basic research programs. The ARC is a
university-based, U.S. Army Center of Excellence tasked with
creating advanced simulation software and conducting studies of
related technologies for military and civilian ground vehicles. The
University of Michigan leads an eight university consortium
including Wayne State University and Oakland University.
Casting Emissions Reduction Program (CERP). Secured
$6.6 million for the Casting Emissions Reduction Program, the
nation's largest experimental, full production casting facility.
CERP is a partnership between private industry and the U.S. Army.
One million of these funds will be used to assist GM's Malleable
Iron Plant, located in Saginaw, Michigan, with efforts to develop
new, environmentally friendly metal casting technology at this
Community College. Helped secure $1.1 million for Mott Community
College's Workforce Development for Manufacturing Simulation
Project, a program designed to increase permanent employment
opportunities in high skill technology industries nationwide. A
clearinghouse and electronic library for industry specific
manufacturing specialties will be established.
Alter Kercheval Housing Project. Helped secure
$450,000 to develop 214 new affordable homes and rehabilitate 152
homes on Detroit's east side. The Michigan Regional Carpenters
Council will offer career training through the Detroit Carpentry
Apprenticeship Program to residents involved in the project. This
program, designed to develop skilled carpenter journeymen, will
create jobs for neighborhood residents. The program will also help
low income families purchase homes and will provide training for low
and moderate income first time homeowners.
NorthStar Varsity Park Redevelopment Plan. Helped
secure $450,000 for the rehabilitation and development of 100 homes
in the Varsity Park neighborhood in northwest Detroit. These homes
will be both rental/lease-purchase and for sale units.
Boysville of Michigan for the Samaritan Outreach
Center. Helped secure $650,000 for the Samaritan Outreach Center
in Detroit. The center, which is the site of the old Detroit Mercy
Hospital, is envisioned as a hub of social services for children,
youth and families, including educational and career needs, and
business and home development support services.
Keeping Our Families Safe and
Fighting Heroin Addiction. In
2002, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved
buprenorphine/naloxone, an anti-addiction medication for the
treatment of heroin addiction. FDA approval, along with enactment of
legislation introduced by Senators Levin and Hatch, R-Utah, in 2000,
allows for the dispensing and prescribing of this new medication in
a physician's office. This revolutionary new system will accommodate
the treatment needs of tens of thousands of new
Addressing the Nursing Shortage. Original
cosponsor of legislation which addresses the pending nursing
shortage by authorizing nursing scholarships and grants to schools
of nursing. The bill was signed into law by the President on August
Drug Reimportation. Original cosponsor of
legislation which would have allowed American citizens as well as
U.S. licenced pharmacists and drug wholesalers to import
FDA-approved medications from Canada. This legislation was passed by
the Senate in July by a 69-30 bipartisan vote.
Prescription Drug Benefit. Original cosponsor of legislation
that would add a voluntary, affordable prescription drug benefit to
the Medicare program.
Helping Health Care Providers Deal with
Substantial Medicare Cuts. Cosponsored legislation that would
have added $43 billion over 10 years to Medicare and Medicaid to
alleviate scheduled cuts to hospitals, physicians, home health
agencies, nursing homes and other providers.
Clinical Practice Guidelines. Helped secure $6.375 million for a
coordinated program between Ford Health Systems and Tripler Army
Hospital to automate clinical practice guidelines. The goal of this
partnership is to create a system for the collection and
coordination of medical data so that medical services can be
tailored to individual needs.
Research into Chronic
Multi-Symptom Illnesses. Helped secure $5.2 million for research
into the internal mechanisms and the most effective treatment of
Gulf War illnesses and other undiagnosed post-deployment illnesses.
This research is being conducted by the Center for Chronic Pain and
Fatigue Research, located at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor,
and is overseen by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel
Command and its peer review process.
Research. Secured $2 million in the FY2003 DOD appropriations
act for research into the combination of seizures and brain tumors
that leads to cognitive impairment in individuals who have tuberous
sclerosis, a genetic disease characterized by seizures and the
growth of tumors in vital organs. Research on this disease has the
potential to assist those suffering from tuberous sclerosis and
provide valuable information on the growth of tumors and the nature
Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan
Treatment Center. Helped secure $2.005 million for a domestic
violence and residential treatment center in Mt. Pleasant. The
center will address the issues of substance abuse and domestic
violence in a culturally sensitive environment.
Medical Center. Helped secure $1.25 million for the construction
and renovation of the Hutzel Hospital and Rehabilitation Institute
W.A. Foote Hospital, Jackson. Helped secure $500,000
for Foote Hospital to improve its emergency room
Oakwood Hospital, Dearborn. Helped secure
$450,000 for capital improvements.
Jewish Association for
Residential Care, Farmington Hills. Helped secure $500,000 to
develop and expand mental health support and long-term case
Commission on Jewish Eldercare Services,
Bloomfield Hills. Helped obtain $450,000 for the commission to
reach out to additional seniors in Oakland County who require
services to remain living independently.
Park. Helped secure $120,000 for the Experience Senior Power
Program to help underprivileged seniors bridge the "digital divide"
and learn computer skills.
Northern Michigan University,
Marquette. Helped obtain $200,000 for the Center for
Gerontological Studies at Northern Michigan University.
Disaster Assistance for Upper Peninsula
Flood Victims. Secured approximately $11 million in Army Corps
of Engineers flood assistance funding for flood victims in the Upper
Peninsula. Also secured $1.1 million in financial assistance and
$200,000 in technical assistance from the Emergency Watershed
Program of the Department of Agriculture to address damage caused by
flooding in the Upper Peninsula.
Equipment. Helped secure $8.2 million in funding for fire
departments throughout Michigan.
Energy Assistance. Helped
secure $1.8 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance
Program in the FY2003 omnibus appropriations bill, $97.6 million of
which will go to Michigan. Further, worked to secure the release of
$300 million in emergency funds. Michigan will receive $16.1 million
of these funds.
Security at the Soo Locks. Worked with the Army
Corps of Engineers to secure an additional guard at the Soo Locks,
allowing a second gate to be reopened for visitor access to the Soo
Locks Park and viewing platform.
Hate Crimes Legislation.
Cosponsored the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act, also known as
the "Hate Crimes" bill. Too many acts of violent bigotry in the last
several years have put our nation's commitment to diversity in
jeopardy. Law enforcement organizations such as the International
Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Sheriffs' Association
and the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association all support
passage of federal hate crimes legislation.
Loophole. Cosponsored legislation which would close the gun show
loophole which allows unlicensed private gun sellers to sell guns at
gun shows without conducting background checks. A 1999 Bureau of
Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms study found hundreds of cases of fraud
at gun shows, involving tens of thousands of guns. The legislation
simply applies existing law requiring background checks on gun
purchasers to people who buy guns at gun shows. This common sense
legislation is supported by major law enforcement organizations
including the International Association of Chiefs of
Flint Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). Helped
secure $250,000 for the City of Flint to implement 911 system
upgrades to improve emergency response.
Downriver Mutual Aid
Data Network. Helped obtain $1 million to enhance and update the
wireless capabilities of the Downriver Mutual Aid Data Network
Newago County First Responder
Program. Helped obtain $300,000 for Newago County to enhance and
update its first responder and emergency services communication
Mount Morris Township Police Department. Helped
secure $30,000 through the COPS Law Enforcement Technology Program
for the Mount Morris Police Department to purchase closed circuit
video cameras for each of its 10 police cruisers.
Rescue Mission Ministries. Helped secure $250,000 for Detroit
Rescue Mission Ministries to expand its youth programs to
accommodate more than 1,200 additional at-risk youth in Detroit,
Flint, Lansing and other communities.
Eastern Michigan University
Center for Community Building and Civic Engagement. Helped obtain $1
million for the Center for Community Building and Civic Engagement,
which will focus on preventing youth violence by strengthening
neighborhood associations, building new organizations and linking
emergency preparedness with crime prevention.
Protecting the Great Lakes and
Great Lakes Basin Soil Erosion and Sediment
Control Program. Worked to ensure that the Great Lakes Basin
Soil Erosion and Sediment Control program was authorized in the 2002
farm bill and helped secure $2.5 million for the program. The Great
Lakes Basin Soil Erosion program is a federal-state partnership
managed by the Great Lakes Commission in consultation with the USDA,
EPA and the Great Lakes states. The soil erosion control program is
designed to prevent and control sediment runoff in the Great Lakes
basin. Soil erosion and sedimentation degrade water quality, reduce
agricultural productivity, harm fish and wildlife habitat, limit
water-based recreation, and damage water treatment and public water
supply infrastructure. Nearly 60,000 acres of land in the Great
Lakes basin are under some form of conservation treatment as a
result of the program. Collectively, 69 demonstration projects have
kept more than one-half million tons of soil and nearly 650 tons of
phosphorus and nitrogen from entering the basin's lakes and streams
in their initial project year alone.
Great Lakes Fish and
Wildlife Restoration Act Grants. Helped secure $500,000 for grants
to the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission, states, Indian tribes and
other interested entities to restore fish and wildlife resources to
the Great Lakes basin. These grants may also be used to provide
assistance to encourage cooperative conservation, restoration, and
management of fish and wildlife resources and their
Great Lakes Joint Ventures Program. Helped secure
$650,000 for the Joint Ventures Program which encourages
partnerships among federal, state, and local governments to meet our
commitment to the international North American Wildfowl Management
Plan. By working cooperatively through voluntary, non-regulatory
agreements, partners conserve important migratory wetland and
grassland habitat. Nationwide, these programs have helped protect
over 5.3 million acres of wetland habitat, primarily through the six
Fishery and Ecosystem Restoration. Secured
$174,000 for a program which allows the Army Corps of Engineers to
cooperate with other federal, state and local agencies and the Great
Lakes Fishery Commission to plan, implement and evaluate projects
supporting the restoration of the fishery, ecosystem and beneficial
uses of the Great Lakes. Fiscal Year 2003 funds will be used to
finish developing and begin implementing a plan to support the
management of Great Lakes fisheries.
Inventory. Secured funding for the Army Corps of Engineers to finish
compiling existing information within the federal government which
is relevant to sustainable water use management. This information
will be needed to make decisions about the appropriate, sustainable
use of Great Lakes waters.
Pipeline Study. Helped win Senate
passage of a study on the cumulative impacts of building energy
infrastructure in the Great Lakes. There are several proposed
projects to build pipelines and other energy infrastructure in the
Invasive Species. Authored a bipartisan, bicameral
bill which would reauthorize the National Invasive Species Act.
Invasive species are one of the greatest threats to the ecosystem
health of the Great Lakes.
Ban on Oil and Gas Drilling in the
Great Lakes. Worked with other Senators to extend the moratorium on
issuing oil and natural gas permits for slant drilling in the Great
Lakes. The moratorium now expires at the end of
Great Lakes Water Levels.
- Authored amendment to the Small Business Drought Relief
Act, S. 2734, to ensure that small businesses, such as marinas or
charter fishing operations hurt by disastrously low water levels
on the Great Lakes, were eligible for SBA economic injury disaster
assistance loans. However, S. 2734 was not acted upon by the full
Senate before the end of the 107th Congress.
Helped secure $2.3 million for the International Joint
Commission (IJC) for the third year of the Lake Ontario/St.
Lawrence River Study. This five year study will provide the
information needed to evaluate the Lake Ontario/St. Lawrence River
Orders of Control (orders that dictate the regulation of Great
Lakes water), which have not been formally reviewed for 50 years.
Also helped secure $1.2 million for the IJC to begin work on the
Upper Great Lakes Plan of Study.
Consumption Study. Secured passage of legislation directing the
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry to establish a
pilot program in Michigan in conjunction with the Great Lakes Human
Health Effects Research Program to develop risk communication
strategies to reduce toxic chemical exposures from contaminated fish
from the Great Lakes and to evaluate the effectiveness of targeting
health education to specific audiences who eat fish caught in the
Great Lakes, such as women of reproductive age and minority anglers.
- Helped secure $300,000 reimbursement for the City of
Escanaba to cover some of the costs of repairing the north wall of
the Municipal Dock. The 60+ year old north wall had deteriorated
to the point of collapse from age, weather and vessel
- Helped secure $2.5 million for construction funds for the
larger replacement lock at Sault Ste. Marie. Over 80 million tons
of cargo move through this lock complex, so it is vital to the
regional industries, the lake carriers and the ports that larger
ships be able to navigate through this passage.
- Worked to fund the second year of a comprehensive Great
Lakes Strategic Plan in which the Army Corps of Engineers would
provide Congress with recommendations for navigation improvements,
environmental restoration activities, water level control, flood
damage reduction and other activities.
- Worked with the General Accounting Office (GAO) to review
the progress of cleanup at Areas of Concern (AOC) in the Great
Lakes as prescribed by the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.
GAO released its report in May 2002 and reported that cleanup has
- Amended and secured Senate passage of the Great Lakes
Legacy Act. The GAO identified the slow progress of cleanup at
AOCs, and this legislation will reinvigorate current cleanup
efforts by authorizing an additional $50 million to the
Environmental Protection Agency for AOC cleanup.
Belle Isle. Secured $100,000
for the planning and design analysis of the Belle Isle South Shore
and $160,000 for plans and specifications and construction of the
Belle Isle Piers.
Lake St. Clair/St. Clair River. Helped
secure $124,000 for the St. Clair River and Lake St. Clair
management plan; $694,000 for operations and maintenance and
$128,000 for channels in Lake St. Clair.
Chain of Lakes. Secured $250,000 for Houghton Lake and $100,000
for the Cisco Chain of Lakes to eradicate harmful Eurasian water
milfoil, which can make navigation difficult and kill fish by
lowering oxygen levels in bodies of water.
Secured $100,000 for watershed management in the Rouge River and
$100,000 for environmental dredging of the Rouge River.
Pier. Secured $100,000 to complete feasibility study and
initiate plans and specifications for the Luna Pier shoreline
Black River. Secured $500,000 to complete plans
and specifications and initiate maintenance dredging of the Black
River in Port Huron.
Clinton River. Secured $10,000 in
operation and maintenance funding for the Clinton River.
River. Secured $100,000 for the Army Corps of Engineers to
conduct a greenway corridor study in Lansing.
Harbors. Helped secure millions of dollars for the operation and
maintenance of Michigan harbors.
Lake Superior State University.
Secured $720,000 for the Lake Superior State University Aquatic
Research Laboratory for research on aquatic biota and their
Review of Federal Great Lakes
Programs. Working with the General Accounting Office (GAO) to
review all federally authorized Great Lakes protection and
environmental restoration programs. As part of this assessment, GAO
will inventory all of the existing programs, their respective
purposes, the various agencies involved, their roles and
responsibilities for each of the programs, and report what overall
progress has been made under these programs.
University. Helped secure $450,000 for the Great Lakes Hydrological
Center of Excellence at Western Michigan University for the
development of watershed-scale methods to restore and maintain
stable, diverse and self-sustaining populations of fish and other
aquatic organisms, wildlife and plants.
National Alternative Fuels
Training Consortium. Helped secure $2.25 million for the
National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium. These funds will
help 20 member institutions, including Lansing Community College,
develop training curricula and materials for technicians who service
alternative fuels vehicles.
Energy Efficiency and Conservation
Programs. Worked with other Senators to increase funding for
renewable energy and energy efficiency programs such as
weatherization assistance, the state energy program and the Energy
Advanced Spacecraft Technology. Secured $7
million in funding for the development of solar panels that are
potentially cheaper, lighter and more efficient than current solar
arrays. Lighter weight solar arrays will drastically reduce the cost
of satellite launches. Unisolar Corporation, a joint venture between
Energy Conversion Devices and N.V. Bekaert S.A, of Auburn Hills,
Michigan, will participate in this program.
Observation Satellite. Secured $7.0 million in funding for this
program that will help develop near term solar cell technology for
satellite and other space applications. Unisolar Corporation of
Auburn Hills, Michigan, will participate in this program.
Silicon Substrates for Solar Cells. Helped secure $1.4
million in funding for this program to develop silicon substrates
for advanced solar cells. Work will be performed at DOW/Corning of
PARKS and FORESTS:
Range Lights. Successfully passed legislation to adjust the
boundary of Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore to include the
Munising Front and Rear Range Lights. The boundary adjustment was
necessary to complete the transfer of ownership of the Range Lights
to Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore.
Traverse City Area Public
Schools. Successfully passed legislation to allow Traverse City Area
Public Schools (TCAPS) to transfer land formerly owned by the Coast
Guard to the YMCA to develop a community recreation center and
swimming pool. In 1996, Senator Levin and Rep. Bart Stupak passed
legislation to transfer the Coast Guard property to TCAPS for use as
soccer fields. This bill allows TCAPS to modify the original
transfer language so that the YMCA can build a recreation center and
Keweenaw National Historical Park. Secured $395,000
for building rehabilitation and $600,000 for land acquisition at
Keweenaw National Historical Park.
Sleeping Bear Dunes
National Lakeshore. Secured $1 million for land acquisition at
Sleeping Bear Dunes.
Isle Royale National Park. Secured
$500,000 for the acquisition of replacement boats at Isle Royale
Ottawa National Forest. Helped secure $2.5
million for land acquisition for the Ottawa National
Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge.
Cosponsored legislation in the Senate to expand the Detroit River
International Wildlife Refuge. Helped secure $3.5 million for land
acquisition for the refuge.
Willing Seller Legislation.
Secured Senate passage of legislation that would have given clear
federal authority for land acquisition to protect critical resources
along three additional national scenic and historic trails,
including the North Country National Scenic Trail which runs through
National Wildlife Refuge System. Worked with other
Senators to obtain an increase in funding for the National Wildlife
Refuge System as it reaches its centennial in 2003.
Sewer Funding. Worked to secure
funding for Michigan communities to pay for necessary improvements
to municipal sewer systems in order to prevent discharges into our
rivers, lakes and streams. Senator Levin also helped to secure
funding for several sewer systems in Michigan, including $900,000
for Eastern Calhoun County; $900,000 for the City of Saginaw;
$900,000 for the Port Huron Combined Sewer Overflow project;
$450,000 for the City of Flint to upgrade the Pierson Road water
main system; $650,000 for Genesee County; $575,000 for Negaunee;
$1.2 million for the George Kuhn Drainage District in Oakland
County; and $1.35 million for the Evergreen-Farmington Sanitary
Overflow demonstration project in Oakland County.
Revitalization. Helped secure $900,000 for Detroit Riverfront
development. Also helped secure $800,000 for the Army Corps of
Engineers to continue its work along the Detroit River shoreline at
the Bates Street outfall; $150,000 for a feasibility study for
dredging contaminated sediments from the Detroit River; $150,000 for
the continuation of the Detroit River Master Plan study; $150,000
for continued studies of the Detroit River Seawalls; and $360,000
for the Detroit Water and Sewer Department for infrastructure
Brownfields Redevelopment. Introduced two
bills to help communities expedite the economic redevelopment of
brownfields, which are abandoned, idled or under-used industrial and
commercial properties, where expansion or redevelopment is
complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination. The
Brownfields Site Redevelopment Assistance Act would have authorized
the Commerce Department to engage in brownfields redevelopment
activities. The Brownfields Economic Development Act would have made
it easier for the Department of Housing and Urban Development to
give economic development grants to local governments. Although
neither bill passed in the 107th Congress, Senator Levin plans to
continue his efforts to address these issues.
Smart Growth Task
Force. As co-chairman of the Senate Smart Growth Task Force,
organized briefings for Senators and staff to educate them about
smart growth issues and legislation. Senator Levin cosponsored
numerous smart growth bills with Smart Growth Task Force co-chairman
Senator Jim Jeffords, I-Vt.
Secondary Education. Authored legislation with Senator Jim
Jeffords, I-Vt., that would have given welfare recipients the
opportunity to pursue two years of post-secondary education,
including community college, in an effort to boost their earning
potential and ensure that they will not return to the welfare rolls.
The Levin-Jeffords proposal was included in the Temporary Assistance
for Needy Families program, which was approved by the Senate Finance
Border Commuter Student Bill. Cosponsored legislation
to extend eligibility for student visas to part-time commuter
students who are Canadian or Mexican nationals after the Immigration
and Naturalization Service announced in 2002 that it would
discontinue its practice of allowing part-time students to cross the
border to attend school. Thousands of Canadian nationals commute to
the United States to attend schools part-time, and hundreds of these
part-time students commute to schools in Michigan. The legislation
also sought to enhance national security by ensuring that part-time
commuter students are tracked through the Student and Exchange
Visitor Information System, a system set up to make the federal
government aware of changes in a student's status that could affect
eligibility to remain in the United States. The bill was passed by
the Senate and the House and signed into law by the President.
University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public
Policy. Helped secure $2 million for the University of
Michigan's Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy to assist in
establishing an endowment.
of Detroit. Helped secure $600,000 for assessing, tracking and
improving Detroit's after school programs.
Grand Valley State University Teacher Academy. Helped
obtain $500,000 for a master teacher program designed to address the
unique needs of and demand for math and science teachers in urban
Saginaw Valley State University. Helped secure
$500,000 for equipment, wiring and computer upgrades at the Regional
Upper Great Lakes Educational Technologies, Inc.,
Marquette. Helped secure $400,000 for technology and support
costs to design, coordinate and implement Operation UP Link,
technology infrastructure for Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Oakland Community College, Bloomfield Hills. Helped
secure $250,000 for Combined Regional Emergency Services Training
(CREST). The CREST center is a 22 acre simulated city designed for
realistic, scenario-based training for first responders. Funding
will be used to develop a national curriculum for the training to be
conducted at the center.
Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Detroit. Helped obtain
$250,000 for the expansion of infant care and after school
Jason Foundation Funding. Helped obtain $2.5 million
in funding for the Jason Foundation for Education/Institute for
Exploration, which seeks to increase student aptitude in math and
science by using state-of-the-art educational technology to create
hands-on learning experiences.
Fighting Terrorism by Curbing Money Laundering. Worked
to implement key Levin-authored anti-money laundering provisions in
the Patriot Act to stop terrorists from using U.S. financial
institutions to carry out illicit activities. Worked for strong
Department of Treasury regulations imposing a new ban on shell banks
sending funds through U.S. accounts and requiring U.S. financial
institutions to use enhanced due diligence before opening accounts
for high risk foreign banks.
Promoting Homeland Defense. Worked with Governor Tom
Ridge, Director of Homeland Security, and the Administration to
address needs at the Port of Detroit and Southeast Michigan,
including keeping the National Guard in place at federal expense.
They were due to leave in August but stayed in place longer in
response to Senator Levin's request.
Reverse Customs Inspections. Won passage of
legislation to authorize "reverse customs inspections" which are
necessary to ensure that potentially dangerous vehicles are
inspected prior to crossing our bridges and tunnels. Worked closely
with the U.S. Customs Service to develop legislation to address this
problem. Successfully included legislation in the FY03 omnibus
appropriations bill to give the Customs Service the authority to
establish "Integrated Border Inspection Areas," including reverse
Border Security Amendment. Cosponsored the Enhanced
Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act that passed the House and
Senate and was signed into law by the President in May. The act
established new programs to enhance our ability to identify
terrorists and other people who should not be allowed to enter the
United States and to ensure that visitors to the United States live
up to their responsibilities under our immigration laws. Senator
Levin authored two amendments: one ensures that Border Patrol agents
are properly trained to understand and enforce immigration laws and
the second requires the Department of Justice to report to Congress
how many aliens arrested entering the country outside a port of
entry fail to show up for their removal hearings. In November 2001,
Senator Levin chaired a hearing of the Permanent Subcommittee on
Investigations highlighting the problem. His amendment ensures that
Congress can track whether the situation improves.
Whistle-blower Protection. Lead sponsor of legislation
which would have strengthened laws protecting federal employees who
blow the whistle and inform Congress and the public of serious cases
of waste, fraud and mismanagement in government. In the past few
years, courageous individuals have stepped forward to blow the
whistle on significant lapses in our efforts to protect the United
States against potential terrorist attacks. Most notably, FBI Agent
Coleen Rowley alerted Congress to serious institutional problems at
the FBI and their impact on the agency's ability to effectively
investigate and prevent terrorism. Also, Michigan Border Patrol
Agents Mark Hall and Bob Lindemann risked their careers when they
alerted Congress to Border Patrol and INS policies that were
compromising security on our borders.
Border Personnel. Fought for increased staffing levels
of Border Patrol agents, INS and Customs inspectors along Michigan's
Northern Border. Funds that Senator Levin helped secure in 2001 and
2002 ensures that trained personnel and improved technology for
monitoring that began to be deployed in 2002 will continue to be
deployed in 2003.
Nanoemulsions for Decontamination. Secured $3.5
million to assist Nanobio Corporation of Ann Arbor, Michigan, with
the testing of a decontaminant that can possibly kill biological
agents such an anthrax.
Mustard Gas Antidote Research. Secured $2.1 million to
fund ongoing research on ways to mitigate the effects of mustard
gas, one of the first chemical gases used as a weapon. This research
is being conducted in part by faculty at the University of
Handheld Device for the Detection of Biological Agents in
Water. Secured $3.5 million in funding to develop a hand-held
water quality sensing device that will aid in the detection of
chemical, biological and pollutant agents in drinking water. When
completed, this project will enable the military and public health
officials to conduct real-time monitoring of water quality. Funds
from this program will be used by the U.S. Army's Tank Automotive
Research Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) located in
Combating Bioterrorism. Cosponsored legislation, which
has been signed into law, that strengthens our nation's ability to
combat bioterrorism attacks by protecting our national food supply,
developing new countermeasures and improving our federal
Congressional Resolution on Iraq. Sponsored
alternative congressional resolution which would have (1) urged the
United Nations to adopt a resolution requiring immediate,
unconditional inspections in Iraq and authorizing the use of force
by the U.N. member nations to enforce such a resolution; (2)
authorized the use of U.S. military force pursuant to such a U.N.
resolution; and (3) provided for Congress to stay in session to
consider a proposal on Iraq if the U.N. did not adopt such a
resolution. The Levin resolution would have promoted a multinational
approach to disarm Iraq, preferably peacefully, rather than a
unilateral, preemptive approach.
Nuclear Weapons. Led efforts to prevent precipitous
action to develop new nuclear weapons by rejecting a House proposal
to repeal the current ban on research, development and production of
low-yield nuclear weapons; prohibiting the expenditure of funds to
develop nuclear-tipped missile defense interceptors; and requiring
the Secretary of Energy to specifically identify any funds requested
for new or modified nuclear weapons.
Concurrent Receipt. Helped enact enhanced special
compensation for military retirees with 20 or more years of service
who incurred a qualifying combat-related disability, despite a veto
threat from the Administration.
Environmental Programs. Helped enact provisions to (1) authorize
agreements between the Department of Defense (DOD) and non-federal
entities to create environmentally-friendly buffer zones in lands
adjacent to military installations; and (2) strengthen DOD's program
for the acquisition of procurement items that are environmentally
preferable or made with recycled materials. Helped prevent enactment
of House proposal to roll back the applicability of the Endangered
Species Act to DOD installations.
Military Pay. Helped enact an across-the-board pay
raise of 4.1 percent, with an additional targeted pay raise for
mid-career personnel that will result in pay raises ranging from 5.5
percent to 6.5 percent. Helped establish a new Assignment Incentive
Pay of up to $1,500 per month to encourage service members to
volunteer for hard-to-fill assignments.
Acquisition Reform. Led efforts to ensure better
oversight and management of missile defense programs; continue
management improvements for the $50 billion of services contracts
awarded by the Department of Defense every year; and require DOD to
establish new internal controls to address problems with the abuse
of purchase cards and travel cards by military and civilian
Testing of Weapons Systems. Helped enact initiative to
address budget shortfalls and organizational shortcomings in DOD's
test and evaluation infrastructure that have led to inadequate
testing of major weapons systems.
Financial Management. Led effort to enact a provision
addressing DOD's inability to produce reliable financial information
by requiring the development of a comprehensive financial management
enterprise architecture and deferring non-critical spending on new
financial systems until the enterprise architecture has been
Advanced Vehicle Technology.
- Secured $11.9 million for base funding for the 21st Century
Truck program carried out by the National Automotive Center. The
21st Century Truck program offers the potential to reduce
dramatically the fuel use and emissions of medium and heavy trucks
and will accelerate development and fielding of advanced,
state-of-the-art information and mobility technologies into the
military's land warfare systems.
- Secured $3.5 million for development and testing of hybrid
platforms under the Commercially Based Tactical Truck program, a
cost-shared program with industry focused on development of a
commercial vehicle that could replace a portion of the existing
high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle fleet.
- Secured $5.25 million for development of lithium ion
batteries, in-hub motors and high-power density inverters for
hybrid electric technology.
- Secured $3.5 million for the Improved Materials and
Powertrain Architectures for 21st Century Trucks program to
develop advanced lightweight materials, advanced manufacturing
processes, and advanced design architecture that will lead to a
reduction in vehicle weight and cost, corrosion control and
vehicle shape optimization for military vehicles.
- Secured $2.5 million for the National Automotive Center
Standardized Exchange of Product Data program to develop
technology to reduce the costs of maintaining the Army's existing
combat and combat support vehicles through computerized management
of product data required for component fabrication.
Cell Initiative. Initiated and secured funding for a $23 million
initiative to boost federal funding for stationary and vehicle fuel
cell technology that can be used for military purposes. This
initiative will help in validating fuel cell technologies, in
addressing storage and infrastructure issues, and in bringing down
the overall cost. The initiative includes –
million for a stationary power demonstration program for proton
exchange membrane fuel cell technology, which will demonstrate
fuel cell stacks ranging in size from one to 20 kilowatts at U.S.
million for the DOD fuel cell rebate program that will expedite
the introduction of fuel cell systems by providing grants of up to
$1000 per kilowatt to offset the high initial costs associated
with purchase of the system.
million for a new cost-shared vehicle fuel cell program at DOD.
The program will identify and support technological advances
necessary to develop fuel cell technology for use in DOD vehicles.
The program will include development of vehicle propulsion
technology and fuel cell auxiliary power units as well as pilot
demonstration of such technologies. The program will also focus on
technology to address hydrogen storage issues and to develop a
hydrogen fuel infrastructure.
Feasibility Study – Military Hybrid Vehicle Systems.
Authored legislation requiring a Defense Department-wide effort to
develop military hybrid vehicle systems by directing the Under
Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics to
conduct a study of the feasibility of converting to an all-hybrid
fleet, looking specifically at 1) the feasibility of converting 10
percent of the non-combat defense fleet to hybrid vehicles by fiscal
year 2009; and 2) the feasibility of converting to all hybrids for
non-combat and combat vehicles over a longer period.
Michigan Military Construction Projects. Led efforts
to secure funding for the following military construction projects
- $16.9 million for a state-of-the-art Multi-Unit Readiness
Center in Lansing. This facility will meet the growing needs of
the Michigan Army and Air National Guard.
million to replace the current Joint Dining Facility at Selfridge
Air National Guard Base in Mt. Clemens. The current facility,
which was built 43 years ago, does not meet the needs of the 127th
Wing, Michigan Air National Guard and the 927th Refueling Wing,
U.S. Air Force Reserve.
million for the construction of a vehicle maintenance shop at W.K.
Kellogg Airport in Battle Creek. This new facility will nearly
double the size of the base's existing maintenance facility. The
current facility's size requires that repairs on many vehicles,
including fire trucks and snow plows, be conducted outside.
million for added perimeter defense at Selfridge Air National
Guard Base. This funding will be used for perimeter fences and
monitoring devices, which will enhance security at the
Advanced Coatings Research. Helped secure $1.1 million
in funds that will assist the Army Tank-automotive and Armaments
Command's (TACOM) program studying advanced coatings which limit
corrosion on military vehicles. Corrosion is one of the major
factors in the deterioration of legacy weapons systems. Eastern
Michigan University of Ypsilanti, Michigan, is a leader in
developing solutions to address this problem.
Fastening and Joining Research. Secured $1.3 million
in funds that will assist TACOM's efforts to conduct research into
fastening and joining technology which is used in Army vehicles.
This program would enable TACOM to pursue university partnerships to
address the failure of fasteners, a cost on the Army's legacy
Objective Force Cost Module. Secured $3.6 million for
the Objective Force Cost Module, a computer module that will assist
efforts at TACOM, in Warren, Michigan, as they develop the Army's
next generation weapons system.
Advanced Thermal Management System. Helped secure $1
million in funds that will enable Engineered Machined Products in
Escanaba, Michigan, to continue its work in automotive thermal
management that it has conducted with the TACOM's National
Rapid Prototyping. Secured $1.4 million in funding for
this program that would enable TACOM and an university partner
together to work on developing the rapid prototyping of vehicle
Michigan Roads and
Updating and Improving Michigan Airports. Worked to
keep Marquette's Sawyer Airport in the Federal Aviation
Administration's Military Airport Program (MAP) for an additional
two years. MAP provides financial assistance for military airfields
being converted to, or that have been converted to, civilian or
joint-use airfields. Sawyer has been in the MAP program for five
years and has received millions of dollars from the program. Senator
Levin is a longtime supporter of the program and amended the
legislation reauthorizing the FAA to make the former K.I. Sawyer Air
Force Base eligible to apply for MAP funds in the first place.
Senator Levin has secured over $14 million in FAA funding for Sawyer
Airport since 1997.
Economy Standards for New Vehicles. Successfully led the fight
in the Senate to defeat legislation containing overly stringent fuel
economy standards that would have disadvantaged domestic automakers.
Crafted an alternative that would have ensured that the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration take into consideration key
factors when issuing any new fuel economy standards, such as the
impact on U.S. employment and safety; technological feasibility; the
cost and lead time necessary for new technologies; and the effect
that near-term expenditures to meet increased fuel economy standards
will have on the resources available to develop leap-ahead advanced
technologies. The alternative also would have increased funding for
research and development of advanced technology vehicles and
required the federal government to purchase advanced technology
vehicles for fleet use, so that the purchasing power of the federal
government could be leveraged to provide a market for advanced
Cell Research and Development. Helped secure $2 million for the
NextEnergy fuel cell demonstration project in Michigan, which
focuses on fuel cell research, hydrogen safety testing, and
developing industry standard and certification systems.
Funding for New Buses and Transit Infrastructure in
- Helped secure $1 million for buses and bus facilities for
transit authorities in smaller Michigan communities that did not
receive specific grants.Helped secure
additional bus and bus facility funding including: $2 million for
Marquette County Transit Authority; $3.5 million for Oakland
County SMART bus; $1 million for Lansing Capital Area Transit
Authority; $2 million for Flint Mass Transportation Authority;
$1.25 million for Ann Arbor Transportation Authority; $1 million
for Port Huron Blue Water Area Transit; $500,000 for Saginaw
Transit Authority; $2.9 million for Kalamazoo Transportation
Center; $500,000 for Jackson Transportation Authority; $500,000
for Traverse City Bay Area Transportation Authority; $850,000 for
Detroit Area Regional Transportation Authority.
- Helped secure $938,000 for Grand Rapids Reverse Commute
Program and $1.05 million for the Flint Job Access Program.
- Helped obtain $1.5 million for Great Lakes Intelligent
Transportation Systems (ITS) which encourage using advanced
technologies to improve traffic flow and increase transportation
safety; $1 million for Flint Mass Transportation Authority ITS
program; $250,000 for Macomb County ITS integration; $4.8 million
for Oakland County Smart Corridor and Emergency Routing
- Helped secure $200,000 for the Detroit Airport Rail
- Helped secure $2 million for Cherry Capital Airport in
Traverse City for terminal construction.
- Helped obtain $2 million for Oakland Airport for noise
Other Transportation Related Funding for Michigan.
- Helped secure $350,000 for Detroit streetscape improvements
on Woodward Avenue, Broadway and Washington Boulevard at the main
entrance plaza to the Cobo Center.
- Helped secure $200,000 for the Living Wall project in
Farmington Hills to construct a noise barrier of vegetation
between residential housing and I-275 using sound deadening
- Helped secure $1.475 million for repairs to Baseline Road
which services many rural districts in Isabella County.
- Helped obtain $500,000 to support pavements research at the
Institute for Aggregate Research at Michigan Technological
University in Houghton.
Automobile National Heritage Area. Helped obtain
$500,000 for the Automobile National Heritage Area which interprets
and preserves the automobile history in Michigan. The funds will be
used for exhibits and support.
Preserving Michigan's Agricultural
Resources and Family Farms
Emergency Agricultural Assistance. Cosponsored
emergency agricultural assistance for farmers who suffered
agricultural disasters in either the 2001 or 2002 crop year. The
FY2003 omnibus appropriations bill included this disaster assistance
package which will assist Michigan farmers including cherry, grape,
corn, apple and bean growers who suffered devastating crop losses in
the past year.
Assistance for Michigan Apple Growers. Led effort to
ensure that $94 million in apple market loss assistance was included
in the 2002 Farm Bill. This assistance will greatly assist Michigan
apple growers who have suffered significant crop losses in the past
several years. Also helped secure $495,000 to support research to
help protect future crops from fireblight.
Assistance to Michigan Cherry Growers. Helped obtain
$160,000 for a research project at Michigan State University known
as the Armillaria Task Force. Armillaria is a disease that renders
soil unable to sustain fruit trees. It is found in stone fruit
regions worldwide, but losses are greatest in North America. There
is no known method to control the disease.
Specialty Crop Purchase Program. Worked to ensure that
a new specialty crop purchase program was authorized in the 2002
Farm Bill. The Farm Bill authorized $1 billion for this program that
will help fruit and vegetable growers while providing nutritious and
delicious food products to schools, food banks and other important
Assistance Program (TAP). Worked to reauthorize TAP in the 2002
Farm Bill. This program provides 75 percent of the cost of replacing
trees that were damaged or lost due to natural disasters and has
been helpful in assisting Michigan farmers whose trees have been
killed by disease or weather related disasters. Tree loss and
destruction can be financially devastating for growers, and this
program helps to replace lost trees and renew the farmers'
operations after natural disasters.
Eradicating Bovine Tuberculosis in Michigan. Helped
win approval for $14.895 million for bovine tuberculosis (TB)
eradication efforts in Michigan and Texas and $348,000 for bovine TB
research at Michigan State University.
Conservation Programs. Worked to successfully increase
spending in the 2002 Farm Bill for important programs such as the
Conservation Reserve Program, the Farmland Protection Program and
the Wetland Reserve Program. Senator Levin cosponsored the new
Conservation Security Act (CSA) which was authorized in the 2002
Farmers to Africa. Worked to authorize funding for the
USDA's Farmer-to-Farmer program which assists farmers in Africa and
the Caribbean Basin. The Farmer-to-Farmer program seeks to partner
American agricultural expertise with farmers in developing countries
and emerging democracies.
Other Agricultural Projects.
- Secured $6.17 million for a USDA Cooperative State Research
Education and Extension Service (CSREES) project to develop
advanced technologies for hardwood utilization. Michigan State
University (MSU) is one of the institutions participating in this
multi-state research consortium.
- Secured $239,000 for a USDA CSREES project to develop
improved fruit practices at MSU and $435,000 for a USDA CSREES
project regarding sustainable agriculture research at MSU.
Exposing Corporate Misconduct. As Chairman of the
Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Governmental Affairs
Committee, led Congress' most in-depth examination into the collapse
of Enron. Senator Levin's investigation exposed how Enron used
complex financial transactions to dishonestly report better
financial results than the company actually experienced, thereby
misleading investors, employees and others who suffered substantial
Levin investigation exposed actions taken by the Enron Board of
Directors and major U.S. financial institutions that failed to halt,
and in some cases helped, Enron's dishonest accounting. In July,
Senator Levin issued a bipartisan report which found that the Enron
Board of Directors had failed to safeguard Enron shareholders and
had contributed to the company's collapse. This report proposed a
number of actions to revamp boardroom oversight and curb insider
dealing and dishonest accounting.
Levin chaired hearings in July and December showing that Citigroup,
J.P. Morgan Chase, Merrill Lynch and other major U.S. financial
institutions were designing, participating in and profiting from
complex financial transactions explicitly intended to help Enron
engage in deceptive accounting or tax strategies. Senator Levin
issued a second bipartisan report detailing some of these
transactions and calling on federal securities and bank regulators
to stop U.S. financial institutions from aiding and abetting
Levin's work on Enron encouraged Citigroup and J.P. Morgan Chase to
establish new programs to prevent their firms from participating in
deceptive accounting. Senator Levin is continuing to work with
federal regulators to ensure such reforms are
Preventing Future Corporate Misconduct. Authored a
Shareholders Bill of Rights and won passage of several of its
provisions in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act
increases criminal penalties for securities fraud, strengthens
government controls to stop dishonest accounting, and clarifies the
duty of corporate boards to ensure honest financial reports. Senator
Levin helped win improvements in how accounting rules are
established, new rules stopping auditors from auditing their own
work, stronger authority for the Securities and Exchange Commission
to bar wrongdoers from working at U.S. public companies, and a ban
on companies issuing multi-million loans to corporate executives.
Investigating Gasoline Price Spikes. In June 2001,
following the second straight springtime gasoline price spike in
Michigan, initiated an in-depth investigation into retail gasoline
prices and why prices at so many Michigan stations appeared to go up
and down together. In April 2002, Senator Levin issued a 400-page
report and held hearings detailing how U.S. retail gasoline prices
are set. The report showed how oil industry mergers, refinery
closings, and increasingly "tight" gasoline supplies had increased
market concentration and given some refiners sufficient market power
to reduce gasoline supplies and increase gasoline prices. Other
factors leading to higher prices and spikes in the Midwest included
regional pipeline limitations, price variations from different
fuels, and the practice of "parallel pricing" in which retailers
looked to competitors to set gasoline prices.
Levin urged the Federal Trade Commission to scrutinize future
proposed oil industry mergers for their impact on market
concentration and on U.S. gasoline prices, storage and
transportation. Senator Levin also initiated an investigation into
crude oil prices that affect not only gasoline, but also pricing for
home heating oil, jet fuel, diesel fuel and other key commodities
important to consumers.
Election Reform. Won passage of an amendment to the
Help America Vote Act of 2002 that allows Michigan to maintain its
successful system for provisional voting which permits voters to
sign an affidavit and vote right away, even if they aren't listed on
the voting rolls. The Help America Vote Act authorizes $3.9 billion
to states for grants to improve voting systems. The Congressional
Research Service has estimated that Michigan will be eligible for up
to $103.8 million of this funding.