Weekly Columns

Standing with President Trump to Make America Secure

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Washington, July 27, 2017 | Lani Short (202-225-6356) | comments

Today, House Republicans continued our work to keep the promises we made to the American people by passing a bill to fund one of our most important obligations: national security. The Make America Secure Act includes critical national security priorities, including the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs, and important energy and water infrastructure needs. This package of appropriations bills will provide funding for the largest military pay increase in eight years; includes the highest level of funding ever for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA); and halts red tape and regulations like the Obama administration’s flawed Waters of the U.S. Rule. The legislation also takes the first step towards fulfilling President Trump’s commitment to build a southern border wall.  

I have long said the first step to fixing our broken immigration system is regaining control of our borders, which is why I’m glad this legislation includes every penny that President Trump has requested for the wall. As a nation of immigrants, we should welcome those who choose to follow the rules to become productive and valuable citizens, but we cannot expect law-abiding citizens and legal immigrants to obey the law while allowing others to come here illegally with no penalty. By creating a physical barrier, we will further discourage individuals from trying to enter our country illegally and make clear that America intends to insist that everyone play by the rules, as the president has pledged to do.  

As Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, I am passionate about taking care of our active duty military, veterans and their families. The Make America Secure Act will provide the highest level of funding ever for the Department of Veterans Affairs with a 5 percent increase above Fiscal Year 2017 discretionary funding, totaling $78.3 billion. Overall, the legislation includes $182.3 billion for all veterans programs. This funding will help VA become more efficient and continue the path to reducing the VA disability claims backlog, jumpstarting the transition to an integrated electronic health record system and ensuring our heroes have access to the health care they have earned and deserve. These are just some of the many improvements Congress is working toward to improve the quality and timeliness of care that veterans receive both in and out of VA health care facilities.

I am also so proud that the Make America Secure Act includes a 2.4 percent pay raise for our military personnel, the largest troop pay raise in eight years. This will provide increased support for roughly 1,324,000 active-duty troops, and 822,900 Guard and Reserve troops. This legislation also funds medical care with full benefits for our troops, military families and retirees. To me, there is no duty more important as a member of Congress than supporting our national security needs, and that means ensuring the men and women who wear the uniform of this great nation have access to every resource they need, both during their active duty service and as veterans.

I would also note this legislation includes an increase in funding for the United States Capitol Police to assist in increased training, equipment and technology-related support items. We owe so much to the United States Capitol Police who work tirelessly day in and out to protect the people who visit and work in our nation’s capital, and - particularly in light of the recent Congressional baseball practice shooting – I’m glad this legislation will provide the resources they need.

I stand with President Trump and share his commitment to fight for a safer America for all, which is why I’m proud to support the Make America Secure Act

As always, feel free to contact my office if I can be of assistance to you or your family. 
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