Chairwoman Lowey Statement at Full Committee Markup of FY 2020 Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Funding Bill

2019-05-09 11:41

Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey (D-NY), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, delivered the following remarks at the Committee's markup of the fiscal year 2020 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies bill:

I thank Chairwoman Wasserman Schultz and Ranking Member Carter for their work on this bill. And I thank the subcommittee staff for their efforts to navigate member requests and formulate the product we have before us.

House Democrats are leading the way to fight for the people, and our appropriations bills reflect these values.  After years of austerity, we are investing in the American people with targeted spending to secure our nation, honor our veterans, and give all Americans a better shot at a better life.

The bill before us honors our commitment to servicemembers, veterans, and thousands of military families who sacrifice every day for our nation.   We are making significant investments to ensure they have the facilities needed to confront emerging threats, guarantee access to reliable family housing, and deliver health care, benefits, and assistance veterans have earned.

The Fiscal Year 2020 bill for Military Construction and Veterans Affairs provides significant funding to ensure world-class veteran programs.  Included among these are:

  • $9.4 billion for life saving mental health programs;
  • $840 million in groundbreaking medical and prosthetic research;
  • $582 million to ensure equitable access for women veteran specific care;
  • More than $3 billion for delivery of veteran benefits; and
  • $1.9 billion for homeless assistance programs.

The bill also provides $10.5 billion for construction of critical military infrastructure and desperately needed improvements to military family housing, and $2 billion in critical hurricane disaster relief.  In addition to these investments is a provision ensuring we protect these vital military construction resources from misappropriation for the President’s wasteful border wall.                                         

Again, I thank the Members of this subcommittee and staff for your unwavering dedication.  I also want to express my appreciation to the many Members who invested their time and effort to submit appropriation requests.  This bill clearly demonstrates a strong commitment to our veterans, servicemembers, and their families, and is deserving of bipartisan support. Thank you.

116th Congress