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 three different bills—the Energy and Water Appropriations Act; the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies (MilCon-VA) Appropriations Act; and the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act. The measure passed the Senate by a vote of 92 to 5.
“By passing this agreement, we have taken a major step forward in returning regular order to the appropriations process, allowing us to fund important programs and priorities more effectively and responsibly. I am even more proud that the funding provided will be so consequential to West Virginia interests. From a record level of funding to help support and care for our veterans through the VA and resources to implement the VA MISSION Act to an increase for fossil energy research and development, these bills include many resources I’ve advocated for that I know will directly benefit West Virginians. ”
The FY2019 Energy and Water bill includes:
- $6.84 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers, which includes construction at Bluestone Lake Dam and Operations and maintenance at places such as Stonewall Jackson Lake, Tygart Lake, and the Kanawha River Locks and Dams.
- $740 million for Fossil Energy Research and Development, an increase from last year. This includes support for the work of the National Energy Technology Lab in Morgantown, both through funds for their research and operations and in language prohibiting any consolidation or closing of the facility.
- Continued commitment to the development of an ethane storage hub in central Appalachia.
- An increase in funding for the critical work of the Appalachian Regional Commission, with emphasis on their work toward economic development and broadband deployment.
The FY2019 MilCon-VA bill includes:
- Funding to implement the VA MISSION Act to ensure our veterans receive the health care they have earned and deserve.
- $400 million for opioid misuse prevention and treatment.
- $520 million for health care specifically for women veterans.
- $270 million for rural health initiatives.
- Increased funds to reduce claims backlogs of veterans disability decisions on appeal and to meet the demand for other benefit programs.
- Continued support for a veterans agritherapy pilot program Senator Capito authored and has championed and the Huntington VA has begun working on.
The FY2019 Legislative Branch bill includes:
- Increased funding for the Capitol Police—both for personnel and equipment—to help keep the Capitol complex safe for members, staff, and visitors.
- A continued freeze in funding that prohibits Members of Congress from receiving a cost-of-living adjustment in FY2019.
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