Moolenaar Votes For Legislation Supporting Michigan Veterans and the Great Lakes
Today, major bipartisan agreement broke out in Washington as Republicans and Democrats approved legislation agreed to by leaders in the House and Senate providing annual funding for the Department of Energy, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. The vote was 377-20.
The legislation provides these departments with funding for the federal budget year that begins on October 1 and runs through September 30, 2019. The Senate passed the legislation last night on a 92-5 vote. With House passage today, it now goes to the president and The White House has already signaled its support for the legislation.
Congressman John Moolenaar is a member of the House Appropriations Committee, which wrote the legislation. He supported this legislation through his work on the committee and he voted for it again today. He made the following statement:
"I have worked to make sure Michigan's priorities for our veterans and the Great Lakes receive the federal funding they need. This legislation includes more support for veterans in rural communities and helps all veterans who might be at risk from the opioid crisis. Recent reforms at the VA have led to increased accountability and the funding passed today will do more to help our veterans receive the care they deserve for serving our country.
"Today's legislation also has vital funding for harbor maintenance and a stronger focus on the urgent need to stop Asian carp. This will help protect the Great Lakes so Michigan residents can enjoy boating, fishing and recreation for years to come. "
Included in the Legislation
Support for Veterans
The legislation has more than $72 billion for medical care at the VA, including $8.6 billion in mental health care services; $206 million in suicide prevention outreach activities; $589 million for traumatic brain injury treatment; $400 million for opioid abuse prevention; and $270 million in rural health initiatives.
Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund
The legislation also approves $1.6 billion from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund to be used by the Army Corps of Engineers to dredge harbors and maintain breakwalls in Michigan and across the country.
Stopping Invasive Species
It also instructs the Army Corps of Engineers to present quarterly briefings to Congress on efforts to stop Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam near Chicago.
Department of Energy Research at Michigan State
The legislation includes $75 million in federal funding for the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams at Michigan State University.