Congressman Rooney supports passage of H.R. 5895

Provides needed funding for SWFL water quality, Military, and Veterans

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Congressman Rooney supports passage of H.R. 5895, September 13, 2018 | Chris Berardi (202-897-7700) | comments

Washington, D.C.- Today, Congressman Francis Rooney voted in support of H.R. 5895, the Energy & Water, Legislative Branch, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act. This legislation supports our Southwest Florida community by providing $67.5 million for Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) projects and $96 million for Herbert Hoover Dike repairs. The bill also provides resources to strengthen our military and care for our veterans.

 

Congressman Rooney stated, “Today’s appropriations bill is a victory for our community in two ways. First, it provides greater resources for CERP projects, including the EAA Reservoir, that will allow for more water to move south from Lake Okeechobee and reduce releases into the Caloosahatchee. Second, it helps our veterans by increasing accessibility and speed of care. We will continue to build upon these achievements.”

 

Background: In addition to supporting area water projects, the legislation also:

 

  • Provides $6.84 billion to fund the Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works program.  These funds support $1.54 billion from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund, exceeding targets from the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 for the fifth year. 

 

  • Ensures that veterans receive the health care they have earned and deserve under the VA MISSION Act.  To that end, the bill provides $1.25 billion more than requested for the VA Medical Services and Medical Community Care accounts. 

 

  • Provides $10.3 billion – $241 million above the FY 2018 level – to facilitate maximum readiness and warfighting capability by funding 167 construction projects on military bases within the United States and around the globe.

 

  • Provides $1.1 billion for the Veterans Electronic Health Record system and management to improve the efficiency and quality of veterans’ health care.

 

  • Speeds up Veterans Administration claims processing by providing an additional $46 million above 2018 funding levels to hire additional staff and convert paper files to digital. 

 

  • Continues the prohibition on a cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) for Members of Congress, which has been in place since 2000

 

Joined with $206 million recently appropriated by the House, a total of $514 million will be set aside to complete the Herbert Hoover Dike repairs by 2022 instead of the end of the decade. Every year saved completing these repairs is a year that harmful releases into our ecosystem will stop sooner. Congressman Rooney has successfully fought for funding to complete CERP projects, united the Florida delegation and personally brought House leadership to Southwest Florida to see the watershed first hand.  Now we are seeing results here, as well - a record $115 million set aside for CERP in the FY2019 budget.

 

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