Capito Supports Critical Funding Measure, Secures Resources for West Virginia Priorities
Second FY2019 government funding agreement includes funds for military, health research, opioid crisis
WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today voted to pass a government funding agreement that includes two bills—the Department of Defense Appropriations Act and the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (LaborHHS) Appropriations Act. The measure also contains a provision to continue funding through Dec. 7 for departments and agencies not funded through other appropriations legislation before the end of the fiscal year, as well as an extension of the Violence Against Women Act. Senator Capito issued the following statement after the agreement passed the Senate by a vote of 93 to 7:
“We have made another major stride toward returning the appropriations process to regular order by passing this agreement. For the first time in more than 20 years, the Department of Defense will have a full year of funding and won’t have to operate under a continuing resolution. Our action today will help ensure our servicemen and women receive their largest pay raise in a decade and that our military has the resources necessary to defend Americans, our country, and our ideals.
“This funding agreement includes so many other important and notable investments, and I’m proud of the role I played in making sure it reflects West Virginia’s needs and priorities. The legislation we passed today continues an increase in funding for efforts to fight the opioid crisis, along with a critical caveat I authored to ensure states hardest hit by the epidemic—like ours—are given priority when it comes to funding. This bill also includes historic funding for Alzheimer’s research, implementation of the Childhood Cancer STAR Act, and support for our National Guard. There are many reasons this bill is good for West Virginia, and I have no doubt it will help strengthen efforts to make us safer and healthier.”
The FY2019 Defense bill includes:
- A 2.6 percent pay raise for our troops, the largest in a decade.
- Resources for the Defense Health program, which funds cancer research, traumatic brain injury and psychological health research, sexual assault prevention and research, and eating disorders research.
- $1.3 billion for the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account to modernize our reserve forces and fund the National Guard’s Counterdrug and Youth ChalleNGe Academy programs.
- Funding to remedy the situation in Martinsburg regarding the use of perfluorooctanic acid (PFOA) used by the Air National Guard and its impact on the water supply.
The FY2019 LaborHHS bill includes:
- A $2 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health.
- An increase of $425 million for targeted Alzheimer's research at the National Institute of Health (NIH), surpassing the $2 billion goal established for research.
- $3.8 billion for opioid funding, an increase of $206 million above FY2018. This level includes $1.5 billion for the State Opioid Response grant through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), resources to replace the sun-setting 21st Century CURES funds, and a 15 percent set-aside for the states impacted most by the crisis.
- An increase of $15 million for Department of Labor (DOL) Apprenticeship Grants.
- Funding for 21st Century Community Learning Centers, TRIO, YouthBuild, GEAR UP, Child Care Development Block Grants, Community Health Centers, NIH’s IDeA program, and MSHA.
- An increase for the Black Lung Clinic Program.
- Funding included for implementation of the Childhood Cancer STAR Act, Senator Capito’s bill to combat childhood cancer that President Trump signed into law earlier this year.
- Continued funding for year-round Pell Grants and increase to the maximum discretionary Pell award of $100. This increase, combined with the current maximum mandatory Pell award, brings the total maximum Pell Grant an eligible student can receive in the 2019-20 academic year to $6,195.
- Help avoids a potential government shutdown by providing a short-term Continuing Resolution through Dec. 7, 2018, until all appropriations bills can be signed into law.
- In light of the current recovery from Hurricane Florence, as chairman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Capito secured a provision in the measure which would make available an additional $8 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) if necessary. Combined with the approximately $25 billion already available in the DRF, this would make $33 billion available should the need arise.
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