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Herrera Beutler negotiates final funding bills


September 19, 2018

U.S. Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler, a select member of the joint House and Senate Appropriations Conference Committee, announced Thursday that the committee finalized a three-bill Appropriations “minbus” funding package yesterday.

The package includes three Appropriations bills negotiated by the joint conference committee: Military Construction & VA, Energy & Water, and Legislative Branch.

“I was honored to be part of the negotiation process and help secure key resources to better care for Southwest Washington military service members and veterans, and also provide funding for the Army Corps to continue working on harbor maintenance and navigation projects,” Herrera Beutler said. “It is paramount Congress swiftly passes this legislation so we will not miss a step in supporting national security efforts and critical water and energy resources.”

Highlights of the funding bills include:

• Military service members and veterans:

o Provides the VA with the largest dollar amount in history—$86.5 billion—the majority of which goes to funding VA medical care for 7 million patients, including mental health services, suicide prevention outreach, opioid abuse prevention, and rural veterans’ health initiatives

o Improves VA financial management to strengthen oversight and accountability to ensure taxpayer dollars are being used to best benefit our veterans

o Rebuilds infrastructure for our service members and their families for military construction projects, family housing, and national security projects

• Investing in water resources infrastructure:

o Directs $7 billion to the Army Corps of Engineers for projects including:

 Small, Remote or Subsistence Ports Navigation ($54 million)

 Construction at the mouth of the Columbia River ($23.5 million)

 Lower Columbia River channel maintenance ($47.2 million)

 Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund ($1.55 billion)


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