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I am honored to be the first Marylander and the first woman to serve as Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. The Committee's role is defined by the U.S. Constitution, which requires "appropriations made by law" prior to the expenditure of any money from the Federal treasury. The Committee writes the legislation that allocates federal funds to the numerous government agencies, departments and organizations on an annual basis.

As the Senator from Maryland and the Senator for Maryland, my job is to fight for the day-to-day needs of the people and the long-range needs of the country. As Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I'll be doing it from a seat at the table of one of the three major economic committees.

I'll fight for spending that reflects the values of protecting our country, meeting our national security needs while also meeting our compelling human needs. Protecting vulnerable populations including the elderly and children, while making investments in education, research and development and infrastructure that create jobs and prepare us for the future.

I encourage all my constituents to pursue federal grant opportunities. You can find more information about federal grants and how to apply for them at www.grants.gov and on my website at www.mikulski.senate.gov/constituentservices/grantassistance.cfm.