McSally Delivers Major Victories for Arizona in Military Construction Bill
Las Vegas, Nevada – Today, President Trump signed into law, legislation to fund military construction and the Department of Veterans Affairs for Fiscal Year 2019. This legislation provides support for critical housing, infrastructure, and facilities for U.S. military forces and their families, as well as increased funding for veterans’ health care and benefits. In Congress, Representative Martha McSally co-sponsored the VA MISSION Act, which President Trump signed into law earlier this year. Today’s appropriations bill includes funding for many programs that Representative McSally fought for in the VA MISSION Act.
“This legislation provides the funding we need to keep the promises we’ve made to our veterans and provides more than $86.5 billion – the largest annual dollar amount ever – for the Department of Veterans Affairs. The vast majority of this funding will go toward improving medical care for our veterans, but it also will support things like speeding up claims processing for the 450,000 veterans who have been waiting for years to receive the benefits they’ve earned,” said Congresswoman McSally. “This bill also funds 174 military construction projects across the country and overseas – projects that strengthen our national security, enable our military to complete their missions successfully, and support our military families with quality schools, housing, and other services. With the help of President Trump and his administration, this Congress is doing its job to honor our veterans, support our troops, and protect the homeland.”
At Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, this bill provides $15 million to replace an Aerospace Ground Equipment (AGE) facility which dates back to the Vietnam era. This project will ensure that millions of dollars-worth of equipment — as well as the soldiers and maintainers that work on that equipment — are protected from harsh weather conditions.
At Luke Air Force Base, this bill will provide $40 million for two construction projects to ensure that F-35 maintenance and operations can be completed in a covered, safe environment.
In addition, this funding bill:
- Funds VA medical care at $72.3B – providing for 7M patients to be treated in FY19, including:
- $8.6B for mental health care services
- $206M for suicide prevention outreach
- $400M for opioid abuse prevention
- $270M for rural veterans’ health initiatives
- Supports a strong nuclear national security strategy with a total of $15.23B for the Department of Energy's nuclear weapons security programs – $560M above FY18 levels, including:
- $11.1B for Weapons Activities ($458M above FY18) to maintain the strongest possible nuclear deterrence posture and address critical infrastructure maintenance needs
- $1.79B for Naval Nuclear Reactors ($169M above FY18) to support our Navy's nuclear-powered fleet, including the Columbia-Class Ballistic Missile Submarine
- $1.95B for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation to keep nuclear materials from getting in the hands of terrorists and other bad actors
- Fortifies U.S. energy infrastructure against cyber and other attacks, including $120M for research and development to strengthen the security of our electric grid, and supporting the Administration's efforts to focus resources on addressing these threats