Rep. Calvert Votes for Robust Funding of Veterans Programs and other National Priorities
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) voted along with a bipartisan majority (377 to 20) of the House of Representatives to approve a three-bill Appropriations “minibus” funding bill. The package of bills includes funding for the Energy and Water, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Legislative Branch Appropriations bills for Fiscal Year 2019. Rep. Calvert served as a member of the joint House and Senate Conference Committee on the legislation.
“Approving legislation that funds our veterans, military construction, flood control, energy, and legislative branch programs before the end of the current fiscal year is a major step in returning to regular order,” said Rep. Calvert. “By providing significant funding for our veterans programs, Congress is upholding our commitment to those who sacrificed so much for our nation. As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee I am proud of the work we have done to provide necessary resources for important national priorities within agreed upon spending limits.”
By sending the three bill package to the President’s desk before the end of the fiscal year, Congress delivered on its promise to move towards a return to regular order.
Riverside County Priorities:
Santa Ana River Mainstem
$15 million was provided to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to continue work on the Santa Ana River Mainstem flood control project.
The bill included report language urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to update the cost-benefit analysis of the updated Murrieta Creek flood control project design:
Murrieta Creek, California. —The Committee is aware that the Corps has been working on a Validation Report to detail a re-scoped project for a more cost-effective flood protection solution while it proceeds with construction. The Committee urges the Corps to finish the Report, as the Corps turns over the completed elements of the project to the local sponsor and constructs Phase IIB of the project.
Bill Highlights (Provided by the House Appropriations Committee):
Energy and Water Appropriations:
- Supports a strong nuclear national security strategy with a total of $15.23 billion for the Department of Energy's nuclear weapons security programs, including the maintenance and readiness of the nuclear stockpile and Naval nuclear reactors.
- Increases funding for the nation's water resources infrastructure by directing $7 billion to the Army Corps of Engineers, an increase of $172 million, which will boost navigation and flood control improvements.
- Promotes economic competitiveness and energy independence by including $13.5 billion for energy programs, including protecting the safety of the nation’s electrical grid and investments in fossil and nuclear energy research.
Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations:
- Includes the highest dollar level ever for the Department of Veterans Affairs – $86.5 billion discretionary funding – an increase of $5 billion. This includes funds for new and expanded Mission Act programs, increases in mental health services, modernizing the VA’s health records system, and addressing the claims backlog.
- Provides resources for improved infrastructure for our service members and their families – $10.3 billion for military construction projects, an increase of $241 million, including:
- Upgrades to infrastructure for deterrence operations and unique training requirements to counter challenges posed by Russia and threats from the Middle East and Africa;
- Increases for infrastructure and facilities construction and improvements on U.S. military bases; and
- Housing for all 1,400,000 military families currently served.
Legislative Branch Appropriations:
- Bolsters the safety and security of the Capitol Complex for Members, staff, and the thousands of guests who visit every day by increasing funds for the Capitol Police and security infrastructure improvements.
- Provides funding for the Office of Employee Advocacy, which provides legal consultation, representation, and assistance on allegations, claims, and complaints under the Congressional Accountability Act.
- Opens the door for Congressional service to students and young people of all economic backgrounds by dedicating funds for paid internships.
- Continues the Member of Congress pay freeze.