Lowey floor statement on FY 2019 Defense Appropriations Act
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The bill reflects the collegial and bipartisan tradition of the Defense Subcommittee, providing ample funding for the needs of our armed services and intelligence community.
There are a number of provisions I would like to highlight:
- Service members receive a 2.6% pay raise, although I am concerned their civilian counterparts who work side-by-side with uniformed personnel will not see any increase.
- $752 million is dedicated to Congressionally-directed medical research programs that lead to breakthroughs on cancer, PTSD, Parkinson’s and more.
- $8.4 billion is directed to bolster cybersecurity initiatives, $100 million above the enacted level.
- And $500 million, the full amount in the MOU, is invested in the Israeli Missile Defense Cooperative Program.
The committee has taken its oversight responsibilities seriously to encourage greater efficiency, improve transparency, strengthen communication, and ensure the Department of Defense adheres to Congressional direction.
Unlike other spending measures considered this year, this bill is the product of an inclusive process that invests in bipartisan priorities and is free of poison pill riders. It was written within the funding levels agreed upon in the most recent budget agreement, skipping OCO-to-base gimmicks previously employed to skirt the capped funding levels.
I urge your support, and I yield back my time.