WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today voted to pass the most recent minibus appropriations legislation. The bill includes two FY2019 government funding measures—the Department of Defense Appropriations Act and the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Act. The funding measure passed the Senate by a 85-7 vote.
“The Senate took care of business today, passing our eighth and ninth appropriations bills,” Senator Capito said. “These bills provide critical funding for a variety of important issues—including priorities from supporting the brave men and women who defend our country and workforce development to and advancing Alzheimer’s research and maximizing Pell grants for low-income students. I’m particularly proud of the resources I helped secure to combat the opioid epidemic through a wide range of programs and efforts. As a senator whose home state has been hit especially hard by the drug crisis, these resources will go to areas where they are most needed, like West Virginia. These bills are thoughtful, bipartisan measures, and I’m encouraged by the Senate’s continued progress in funding such critical priorities.”
Senator Capito spoke on the Senate floor earlier today to highlight a number of the West Virginia wins in the minibus. For a video of Senator Capito’s remarks, click here. Additional information on the two funding measures passed today is available below.
The FY2019 Defense bill includes:
- The biggest pay raise for our troops in nearly a decade.
- $900 million for the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account to modernize our reserve forces and ensure full interoperability with the active duty force.
- Increased funding for the National Guard’s Counterdrug Program, which has proven critical to fighting the drug epidemic in West Virginia.
- Funding for medical research in areas of greatest impact to service members, including research into eating disorders.
- Full funding for personnel and funding levels included in the National Defense Authorization Act the Senate passed.
- The largest investment in research and development, which helps keeps our fighting force the most technologically advanced in the world.
The FY2019 Labor-HHS bill includes:
- Funds for full implementation of the Childhood Cancer STAR Act, legislation Senator Capito introduced and the president recently signed into law.
- $2.3 billion for Alzheimer’s research, a $425 million increase, reaching the goal set in the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease.
- A $2 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), totaling since 2015 an increase in funding for NIH by $9 billion or 30 percent.
- $3.7 billion, an increase of $145 million for opioid abuse. Funds are targeted toward improving treatment and prevention efforts; finding alternative pain medications; workforce needs, especially in our rural communities; and behavioral health. Funding for opioids has increased by $3.5 billion, or nearly 1,300 percent, since FY2015. Senator Capito secured language to ensure that a $1.5 billion grant program takes into consideration the epidemic’s impact on individual states, not just population.
- A $250 million increase for Head Start, full funding for Community Health Centers, and continuation of increased levels of funding to reduce the Medicare appeals backlog.
- Funding for the Black Lung Clinic Program and the Mine, Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).
- A $100, or 1.6 percent, increase for the maximum Pell Grant award, to $6,195 for the 2018-2019 academic year. The bill also continues support for Year-Round Pell Grants.
- $30 million for the dislocated worker training initiative to provide reemployment and training assistance to dislocated workers in rural areas of the country hit hardest by the recession and recovering more slowly. $5 million of these funds are directed to support workforce training activities for individuals affected by an opioid use disorder.
- $160 million, an increase of $15 million, for training programs utilizing the flexible and effective apprenticeship model.
- $20 million for the Kinship Navigator programs. This program improves services available to grandparents and other relatives taking primary responsibility for children because the child’s parent is struggling with opioid addiction.
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