A Boost for Our Nation’s Veterans and Military

After passing multiple continuing resolutions throughout the past year, Congress has finally fulfilled its duty to the American people to fully fund the federal government for the remainder of the 2018 Fiscal Year. This is a significant accomplishment in the progress to return to regular order in the appropriations process. For too long, we have kicked the can down the road and failed to keep our government funding up to date. This habit was damaging and costly to federal programs and agencies, and especially to the military. Fortunately, Congress recently passed the Bipartisan Budget Deal, which was a positive step in the right direction to support the final omnibus legislation passed last week. Although no side of the aisle got everything it wanted, the Fiscal Year 2018 omnibus reflects a broadly supported compromise, with strong legislative wins for our military, veterans and national security.

It is Congress’ responsibility to the American taxpayer to fully fund the federal government each fiscal year. The Fiscal Year 2018 omnibus will enhance our nation’s economy, protect its health, improve its national security and most importantly, deliver a robust military. This spending bill is gives the military its largest investment in 15 years, and will lift the military out of the harmful sequester. It provides $654.6 billion in both base funding and Global War on Terror and Overseas Contingency Operations funding – a $61.1 billion increase from Fiscal Year 2017. These funds will help bolster key programs that support troop training, equipment and facility maintenance, improving technology, research and development, and most importantly, fill any readiness shortfalls. Furthermore, the money will boost troop numbers so the U.S. has a larger, more robust military and able fighting force. It also supports the well-being of our troops by allowing a 2.4% pay raise and $34.4 billion for the Defense Health Program that will care for our troops, their families and retirees.

 

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