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

2019-05-01 12:15

Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey (D-NY), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, delivered the following remarks at the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee's markup of its fiscal year 2020 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 committed to an orderly appropriations process that gets the people's business done on time.  We are turning the page on the shutdowns and showdowns that have defined the last two years.

The timeliness of this bill honors our commitment to servicemembers, veterans, and thousands of military families who sacrifice every day for our nation.   We are investing billions more to ensure they have the facilities needed to confront emerging threats, guaranteeing access to reliable family housing, and delivering healthcare, benefits, and assistance veterans have earned.

The Fiscal Year 2020 bill for Military Construction and Veterans Affairs provides historic levels dedicated to 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;
  • $581 million to ensure equitable access for women veteran specific care;
  • More than $3 billion for delivery of veteran benefits; and
  • $1.8 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 clearly demonstrates a strong bipartisan commitment to our veterans, servicemembers, and their families. 

116th Congress