Madam Chair, thank you for yielding.
As we turn to the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs bill, I want to thank Chairwoman Wasserman-Schultz and Ranking Member Carter for the work they have done this year.
They have come together to address many critical issues that affect military installations and our nation’s veterans – reaching across the aisle to fund many projects important to our Members.
This bill funds the military construction priorities that were requested by the Department of Defense, and it helps improve family housing for the military.
This bill also ensures our nation’s veterans are given the care they deserve and makes certain our veterans have a dignified final resting place.
Unfortunately, as I said during the subcommittee markup, I am very concerned with the $12.5 billion dollars in emergency spending outside of the budget caps established last August.
Now is not the time to un-do a bipartisan, bicameral agreement that is less than a year old without buy-in from Members on our side of the aisle.
We all agree that veterans’ healthcare is a top priority. However, designating funding as an “emergency” is wrong at a time of record debt and deficits. This budgeting device simply frees up funds to be spent on lower priority programs in other bills.
In addition, I have concerns about some policy provisions in the text, such as those that set conditions on military construction projects.
With all sincerity, I want to work with you and my colleagues to resolve our differences as we move forward.
In closing, I want to thank the staff for their hard work on this bill.
Madam Chair, I yield back.
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