Jaime Herrera Beutler negotiates final funding bills for VA, energy & water resources

As a select member of the joint House & Senate Conference Committee, Jaime helped secure the largest dollar amount in history to care for Southwest Washington veterans  The bill passed the House Thursday

“This bill provides critical funding to keep our waterways open for trade and also better care for our military service members and veterans,” Jaime said. “I’m pleased to have had a seat at the negotiating table where I worked to include these key priorities for Southwest Washington.”

The Senate passed its companion bill so now it will head to the president’s desk.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler, a select member of the joint House and Senate Appropriations Conference Committee, announced today that the committee finalized a three-bill Appropriations “minbus” funding package yesterday.

The package includes three Appropriations bills negotiated by the joint conference committee: Military Construction & VA, Energy & Water, and Legislative Branch.

“I was honored to be part of the negotiation process and help secure key resources to better care for Southwest Washington military service members and veterans, and also provide funding for the Army Corps to continue working on harbor maintenance and navigation projects,” Jaime said. “It is paramount Congress swiftly passes this legislation so we will not miss a step in supporting national security efforts and critical water and energy resources.”

Highlights of the funding bills Jaime helped secure for Southwest Washington:

  • Caring for Military Service Members and Veterans:

o   Provides the VA with the largest dollar amount in history – $86.5 billion – the majority of which goes to funding VA medical care for 7 million patients, including mental health services, suicide prevention outreach, opioid abuse prevention, and rural veterans’ health initiatives

o   Improves VA financial management to strengthen oversight and accountability to ensure taxpayer dollars are being used to best benefit our veterans

o   Rebuilds infrastructure for our service members and their families for military construction projects, family housing, and national security projects\

  • Investing in Water Resources Infrastructure:

o   Directs $7 billion to the Army Corps of Engineers for projects including:

  • Small, Remote or Subsistence Ports Navigation ($54 million)
  • Construction at the mouth of the Columbia River ($23.5 million)
  • Lower Columbia River channel maintenance ($47.2 million)
  • Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund ($1.55 billion)