McCaul Statement on Funding Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Michael McCaul (TX-10), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the below statement following the passage of H.R. 1625 Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018.
This legislation funds FY18 at levels consistent with the Bipartisan Budget Agreement and NDAA. This bill prioritizes funding for our national defense and non-defense priorities, including law enforcement, nuclear security, NIH, transportation and rural infrastructure, veterans care, and to combat opioids.
Congressman McCaul: “As Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, I am all too familiar with the grave threats facing our nation. That is why we must continue to provide the resources to best protect the American people from the constantly-changing threat landscape at home and abroad. Today’s bill does just that – it allocates funds to improve our national defense and provides critical investments to defend our homeland. Specifically, we are fulfilling our pledge to rebuild our nation’s military by delivering the largest increase in defense funding in 15 years coupled with the largest pay raise for our service men and women in eight years, while also starting the construction of the wall on our southern border. In addition, we took vital steps today to help Texans recover after Harvey, prevent future natural disasters from wreaking havoc on our communities, bolster school safety, intensify our fight against the opioid epidemic, and fortify America’s crumbling infrastructure.”
Below are some of the specifics included in H.R. 1625:
- Defense: Consistent with the NDAA, $659.6 billion is funded for our national defense, $61 billion over last year, and is critical to rebuild the readiness of our military.
- Also key, is that our troops receive a 2.4% pay raise.
- Border Wall: $1.571 billion is included for border wall assets and infrastructure. This includes 25 miles of new levee wall in TX, 8 miles of new bollard wall in TX, and $196 million in border technology. This is an important investment to secure our Southern Border.
- TSA: $7.2 billion total for TSA; $167 million for procurement, including $64 million for accelerated acquisition and deployment of Computed Tomography Technology to boost aviation security technology.
- Law Enforcement: funding increases to give more tools to help the men and women who protect Americans on a day-to-day basis.
- Increases funding for 100 immigration judge teams.
- Fully funds the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
- Veterans: $81.5 billion for the VA to provide the necessary modernization to reduce backlogs and fulfill unfunded requirements.
- Infrastructure: Over $21 billion for America’s infrastructure to repair our nation’s bridges and roads.
- NIH: $37 billion for NIH, a $3 billion increase over FY17 to fund additional research and development.
- Opioids: $4 billion to combat the opioid crisis and address prevention, treatment, and enforcement.
- School Safety: Over $2.3 billion in new funding for mental health, training, and school safety efforts to keep our kids and schools safe.
- The bill also provides local schools law enforcement, school personnel, and students with the tools they need to proactively prevent any threats to schools.
- Maintains all provisions to preserve Second Amendment rights.
- National Flood Insurance Program is extended through July 31, 2018.
- Funds FEMA’s disaster relief account (DRF) at a total of $7.9 billion and provides $249.2 million for Predisaster Mitigation grants.
- Reauthorizes the NICS (the National Instant Criminal Background Check System) Improvement Act. This will ensure federal and state authorities comply with existing law and accurately report relevant criminal history records to NICS so we can better prevent criminals and domestic abusers from obtaining firearms.
- Taylor Force Act – cuts off assistance that directly benefits the Palestinian Authority unless the PA takes credible steps to stop acts of violence and end payments for acts of terrorism.