WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX), Chairman of the House Rules Committee, today released the following statement after voting to support the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2019, which included funding for the Department of Defense (DOD) and Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS), Education, and a continuing resolution to keep the government funded through December 7, 2018:
“Congress has now funded almost 80 percent of the government for Fiscal Year 2019 through regular order. While that may sound like 'Washington insider' talk, this actually means that Congress is finally making efforts to return to a responsible and informed method for allocating your hard-earned taxpayer dollars to fund our government agencies. This may seem like commonsense to folks who work in the private sector, but for over two decades Congress has failed to fully accomplish one of its most fundamental duties, allocating money. We're not at the finish-line yet, but I am encouraged to see the headway made by this Republican-controlled Congress to get our job done and ensure more of your money stays where it belongs; in your pockets.
"This package will fund the DOD, providing our warfighters with a well deserved 2.6% raise - their largest pay increase in nine years. Additionally, it supports our selfless military families by including $34.4 billion for the Defense Health Program. The package also includes a vital funding increase for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that I pushed for to advance research to cure devastating diseases like breast cancer and Alzheimer's. We're also continuing to fight the opioid epidemic sweeping our nation by providing $6.7 billion for preventative programs and treatment for substance abuse. From defending our nation to ensuring school safety, it is vital these agencies receive the necessary funding to provide stability and ensure they can carry out the projects they have been tasked with completing on behalf of the American people.
"Plain and simple, we do not need a costly and inefficient government shutdown, which would ultimately only accomplish one thing - hurting our men and women in uniform and leaving them without the necessary support to defend our nation. I look forward to the President swiftly signing this legislation into law and remain committed to working with my colleagues to improve this fundamental process."
Find more on the Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 6157 - Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2019 [Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act, 2019 and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2019] here.
Laura Peavey, Press Secretary