Rutherford Votes to Continue Rebuilding our Military
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 6157, legislation that allocates funding to the Departments of Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019. The measure, which passed the Senate last week, now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law. Upon passage of the bill, Congressman John Rutherford released the following statement:
“This bill demonstrates our ongoing commitment to rebuilding our military and supporting our brave men and women in uniform,” said Rutherford. “The funding in this bill addresses many of our readiness challenges, gives our troops the largest pay increase in nine years, and combats rising global threats. Completing this defense appropriations legislation before the new fiscal year begins - something Congress has not accomplished in ten years - also gives our military the certainty it needs to stay focused on its missions.”
“I am especially proud that this legislation includes critical funding for Northeast Florida's military installations and service members. Of importance to NS Mayport, this bill supports the Littoral Combat Ship program by procuring three more ships. With this bill’s passage, my colleagues and I in Congress are building on our support for this program and the health of our nation’s shipyards. Not only are the programs funded in this legislation in our national interest, they will bring economic opportunity and jobs to Northeast Florida for years to come.”
The FY 2019 Defense Appropriations bill provides a total of $674.4 billion for the Department of Defense - $17 billion more than last year - funding military operations, readiness activities, equipment modernization, and health and quality-of-life programs for our troops and military families.
The bill includes several of Congressman Rutherford’s priorities that are important to our national security and Northeast Florida, including 3 Littoral Combat Ships, 6 E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes, 10 P-8A Poseidon aircraft, 3 MQ-4C Triton unmanned aerial vehicle, and funding for Light Attack procurement, which is key for the potential procurement of the A-29 Super Tucano aircraft manufactured in Jacksonville.
The legislation also includes $144 billion to provide for 1,338,100 active-duty troops and 817,700 Guard and Reserve troops. The bill fully funds the increased troop count to 15,600 and the 2.6 percent pay raise for the military.
Additional highlights of the bill:
- Combatting the Opioid Crisis – This legislation includes $6.6 billion in resources to combat the opioid crisis and fund mental health services. President Trump has declared the opioid crisis a national emergency, and this measure invests billions in treatment, prevention and law enforcement efforts to stop the spread of these dangerous drugs and help families and communities get the assistance they need.
- Protecting our Students – This measure includes $1.5 billion to increase student safety and well-being at school.
- Investing in Research for Cures - The measure directs $39 billion to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for its efforts to research and develop new treatments, therapies, and cures for diseases such as Alzheimer’s and cancer.
- Helping Areas Damaged by Hurricane Florence – The bill makes $8.8 billion in assistance available to the Carolinas for relief from the impact of Hurricane Florence.
- An Investment in Education – This bill makes investments in education for all Americans, including $10.1 billion for Head Start to ensure that all children have the opportunity for early education, increase in Pell grant funding, and $12.4 billion in special education funding.
- Training Americans for the Jobs of Today – This bill includes $1.9 billion for career and technical training for adults, and $300 million to help veterans transition back into the workforce.