House Passes Energy & Water, VA Appropriations Measure

Sep 13, 2018
Press Release
(Washington, DC) – Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale) issued the following statement after the House passed H.R.5895, the Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act of 2019.
LaMalfa said: “This package is a good first step towards responsibly funding our government. It makes significant investments in water infrastructure, including $134 million for previously authorized – and much-needed – flood control projects, with $6 million provided for the Hamilton City J-Levee project. It also prioritizes care for our veterans by providing the largest-ever increase in funding for the VA and modernizing their systems and processes to help veterans receive the timely care they deserve. We aren’t cutting any corners when it comes to national security either, as critical investments are made to military and cyber security infrastructure projects in order to protect American lives and interests. I supported this funding measure, but there’s still plenty of work to be done in order to fund the remaining parts of our government in the coming weeks.”
Topline Highlights:
  • Energy and Water:
    • $15.23 billion for the Department of Energy's nuclear weapons security programs.
    • $1.95 billion for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation to keep nuclear materials from getting in the hands of terrorists and other enemies. 
    • $7 billion to the Army Corps of Engineers ($172M above FY18), including:
      • $3.2 billion for navigation projects and studies that will advance American competitiveness and export ability and improve the functionality of our ports and waterways, including $1.55 billion in funding from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund.
      • $2 billion for flood and storm damage reduction activities that will improve public health and safety in communities across the country.
      • $6 million for the Hamilton City J-Levee project.
    • $13.5 billion for the Department of Energy's energy programs to promote American energy independence – $554 million above FY18 – including:
      • $740 million for research and development to advance fossil energy technologies, which will help the country make greater use of our rich natural energy resources and keep down energy costs.
      • $1.2 billion for nuclear energy research, development, and demonstration activities.
  • VA:
    • $86.486 billion – $5.011 billion increase, the largest dollar amount increase ever.
    • $2.956 billion to General Operating Expenses, an increase of nearly $50 million over FY18 to continue to address the VA backlog, which has reached 369,892 according to the most recent report.
    • Advances $75.55 billion for VA health programs in FY2020, an increase of nearly $5 billion over FY2019.
    • VA mental health programs are funded at $8.618 billion, with $206 million specifically for suicide prevention.
    • Community Care
      • Funds $10.758 billion for FY2020 advance appropriations, increase of $2.3 billion from FY2019’s advance appropriations.
      • Funds an additional $1.25 billion above the President’s Budget Request for FY19 to help smooth the transition from VA Choice to VA MISSION Act, the new Community Care Program.
    • Directs the VA to stop using social security numbers, due to identity fraud concerns.
Bill summaries, courtesy of the House Appropriations Committee:
Congressman Doug LaMalfa is a lifelong farmer representing California’s First Congressional District, including Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou and Tehama Counties.