Columns

Blaine's Bulletin: Make America Secure Act

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Washington, July 28, 2017 | comments
This week, the House of Representatives passed the Make America Secure Appropriations Act. This package includes funding bills for four portions of our government – Defense, Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction/Veterans Affairs.
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This week, the House of Representatives passed the Make America Secure Appropriations Act. This package includes funding bills for four portions of our government – Defense, Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction/Veterans Affairs.

Providing for the common defense is the federal government’s number one responsibility, and I take this responsibility very seriously. The Defense appropriations bill includes a 2.4 percent pay raise for our troops, the highest in eight years. It restores readiness shortfalls by investing in key acquisition programs and makes critical investments to ensure our troops have the equipment and training they need to succeed on the battlefield. The bill also fully funds the building of the F/A-18 Super Hornets which addresses our critical strike fighter shortfall and supports 13,000 jobs in Missouri.

The Energy and Water appropriations bill protects funding for critical national and regional waterways in America. With much of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers in the 3rd District and after heavy flooding from earlier this year, I was pleased to see funding for energy and water infrastructure investments and flood and storm damage reduction included in this bill. In addition, included is a provision that allows the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to withdraw from the burdensome Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, which is an important action for Missouri farmers and ranchers. Time and time again, I have said that WOTUS is an attack on individual property rights and an encroachment on the rights of states to regulate the waters within their borders. I am pleased to see this provision to reverse the EPA’s wrongdoings from the previous Administration.

 The Legislative Branch appropriations bill includes increased funding for Capitol Police to update critical safety and enhanced security functions. One of the provisions I am most proud of  is the Military Construction/Veterans Affairs appropriations bill providing the highest funding level ever for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This funding will provide for the more than seven million VA patients who so bravely served our country and will help reduce the VA disability backlog.

Lastly, Americans have made it loud and clear that more must be done to prevent illegal immigration. President Trump committed to securing the border and reducing the presence of illegal immigrants in our country, specifically calling for the construction of a security wall on the southern border. I am pleased that this package includes funding for President Trump’s border wall request. Simply put, securing our southern border is about national security. We cannot allow unknown, potentially harmful individuals and illegal drugs to enter our country.

This legislation funds critical components of our government and includes a number of priorities that are important to Missourians, and Americans across the country. If you have any questions about this legislation or anything else that is happening in the House of Representatives, please do not hesitate to contact any of my offices. 

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