WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today voted for H.R. 6157, which includes two appropriations bills funding the U.S. Departments of Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), and Education. Congress is now set to pass 5 of 12 annual appropriations bills, representing 75 percent of government funding, on time and through regular order.
“With Republican leadership in Congress and in the White House, we are now funding our national priorities in a responsible way and ahead of schedule,” Wicker said. “The Defense funding bill would advance our national security, build more ships, give our troops a pay raise, and expand Junior ROTC programs in rural areas. We also are working to meet the needs of the American people through strategic investments in education, apprenticeship opportunities, medical research, and rural health care.”
H.R. 6157 includes two funding bills for Fiscal Year 2019: Defense and Labor-HHS-Education. The bill will be considered by the House of Representatives next week before being sent to President Donald Trump, who is expected to sign it into law. Among other provisions, this legislation would:
- Continue to rebuild America’s military by increasing defense spending by $19.8 billion over last year’s spending level;
- Provide $24.2 billion for shipbuilding, including 13 battle force ships, in support of Wicker’s SHIPS Act, which made achieving a 355-ship Navy the policy of the United States;
- Give our troops a 2.6 percent pay raise, the largest increase in nearly a decade;
- Pay for expanding Junior ROTC programs to underserved areas, as required by Wicker’s JROTC Act;
- Strengthen K-12 computer science education programs and in-demand apprenticeship programs, such as the Mississippi Coding Academies, through a Wicker-sponsored provision;
- Fight the opioid epidemic with $3.8 billion in funding;
- Support health-care research by increasing funding for the National Institutes of Health by $2 billion, including a $425 million increase for Alzheimer’s disease research; and
- Expand access to health services in underserved areas by increasing funding for rural health-care programs by $27 million.