Chairman Frelinghuysen Statement on White House Approval of the Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Appropriations Bill
The President today signed an Appropriations “minibus” funding bill which includes the Department of Defense (DOD), the Labor, Health and Human Services (LHHS) and Education Appropriations bills for fiscal year 2019, as well as a short-term Continuing Resolution (CR) to temporarily fund remaining government programs until December 7, 2018. The legislation is now enacted into law.
Notably, with the completion of this package, Congress will have approved 75% of all annual discretionary funding prior to the end of the fiscal year on September 30 – a critical step in returning to the regular federal funding process, and an achievement that has not occurred in over two decades. This is also the first time in over 20 years that Congress has passed a LHHS bill prior to the end of the fiscal year, and the first time in over 10 years it has passed a DOD bill prior to the end of the fiscal year.
House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen made the following statement on the legislation:
“The Republican Leadership in the House and Senate and the Appropriations Committees have strived to return to the regular order of passing government funding bills. With the signing of this package today, Congress will have enacted the majority of all discretionary spending for the year – 75% – prior to the end of the fiscal year, an accomplishment that hasn’t occurred in over two decades.
“Even more importantly, this legislation will provide for our national defense, including an additional $17 billion to continue to rebuild our military and ensure our warfighters are ready for any threat, as well as 2.6% pay raise for our troops. It also ensures continued investments in the health, safety, educational, and economic well-being of our nation.
“This budgetary progress, and the stability and predictability it brings to our Armed Forces and other agencies, is the fiscally responsible way to fund these federal programs on behalf of the American people,” Chairman Frelinghuysen said.
The legislation signed today also includes a short-term Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep the federal government open and operational until all the remaining Appropriations bills can be signed into law. This extension will run until December 7, 2018, and covers the areas of the federal government not covered by this minibus or prior Appropriations legislation that the President signed into law on September 21. Negotiations on the rest of the funding bills are currently ongoing.