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Culberson Statement on FY19 Department of Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Package

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Washington, September 26, 2018 | comments

 Washington, D.C. – Congressman Culberson (TX-07), Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS), issued the following statement after the House passed the Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 6157: Department of Defense and Labor, Health & Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act, 2019 and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2019.

“I’m pleased to support this vital package of bills to fully fund our military and make critical investments to support scientific and medical research. 

“The Constitution outlines our national defense as the federal government’s top priority. This package restores our nation’s military readiness and capabilities by investing $674.4 billion to rebuild our armed forces, restore military readiness, and support our warfighters. The bill invests in homeland missile defense and procures new ships, aircraft, and land vehicles. We also invest in cutting-edge research that will ensure our technology is always two steps ahead of our adversaries in the conventional, outer-space, and cyber warfighting domains. The funding increases will ensure the continued strength of our military and empower the great men and women that serve our nation. 

“This bill also provides a 2.6 percent pay raise for our servicemembers, the largest pay raise in nine years, including $143.2 billion for military personnel and pay. The Defense Health Program is funded at $34.4 billion to make certain that our troops, military families, and retirees receive the best health care possible and have access to cutting-edge medical treatments. This funding also supports research into developing treatment and finding cures for cancers, rare and orphan diseases including Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, traumatic brain injury, and other psychological conditions. It also provides funding for sexual assault prevention and response.

“My highest priority in the Labor-HHS bill is funding the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for scientific and medical research – both of which received significant funding increases in the bill. It’s critical that the researchers, scientists, and physicians receive the necessary funds to support their vital work to fight and cure diseases.

“We have also included more than $6.6 billion to fight and end the devastating opioid epidemic, which has touched every community in our nation, including Houston. This Congress is committed to fighting the epidemic on all fronts and has undertaken a comprehensive bipartisan effort to combat opioid abuse. This bill will fund treatment, recovery, and addiction prevention. 

“I look forward to President Trump signing these bills into law.”

Bill Highlights:

Defense Appropriations –

  • Provides a total of $674.4 billion in funding, which is consistent with the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019. It continues to rebuild the military with a boost of $17 billion above the fiscal year 2018 level in base discretionary funding.
  • Of the total, the bill includes $67.9 billion for ongoing Overseas Contingency Operations and Global War on Terror efforts.
  • Supports our warfighters by including the authorized 2.6% pay raise for our troops – the largest such pay raise in nine years.
  • Boosts troop levels – supports 1,338,100 active-duty troops and 817,700 Guard and Reserve troops and meets the requested 16,400 end-strength increase.
  • Cares for our troops, military families, and retirees by including $34.4 billion for the Defense Health Program.
  • Includes funding above the request for cancer research, traumatic brain injury and psychological health research, and sexual assault prevention and response.
  • Replenishes our military might by providing $148 billion for equipment procurement and $96.1 billion for research and development into new defense systems and technologies.

Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations –

  • Includes vital funding for the National Institutes of Health – $39 billion, an increase of $2 billion – for research to cure diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s.
  • Funds programs to protect against health pandemics and bio-threats, providing $7.9 billion for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and $2 billion to prepare for and prevent public health and social services emergencies with programs such as biomedical research, acquisition of medical supplies and vaccines, and hospital preparedness grants.
  • Saves taxpayers $50 million in future appropriations by creating the first Infectious Diseases Rapid Response Reserve Fund, where funds only become available for use in the event of a future public health emergency. 
  • Encourages economic growth with funding for job training programs and grants, Job Corps, and veterans employment services.
  • Prepares the next generation through education programs, including college preparation and Pell grant funding, special education programs, pre-school grants, charter schools, and state support and achievement grants.
  • Helps to combat the opioid epidemic by providing $6.7 billion, a historic level of funding, for programs that fight, treat, and stop substance abuse and support access to mental health services. This includes $5.7 billion for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a $584 million increase. This will fund activities authorized under the 21st Century Cures Act and other addiction and recovery programs. The legislation also provides increases for State opioid response grants and criminal justice programs such as drug courts.
  • Improves school safety by investing $1.5 billion in the Department of Education and HHS.

For more detailed information on these Appropriations bills, please visit:

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