For the first time since 2007, Congress has sent multiple appropriations bills to the president’s desk on time, prior to the end of the fiscal year. It includes critical resources for veterans and national security

Soon, the House will consider another minibus measure that funds the Defense Department as well as the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. (Read the bill.) This minibus makes good on big commitments this Congress has made, including rebuilding our military and fighting the opioid epidemic.

Rebuilding Our Military

This measure boosts base funding for our military by $17 billion, consistent with the recently enacted National Defense Authorization Act. It replenishes our military might with $148 billion for equipment procurement, including $24.2 billion for 13 Navy ships. These resources will also help boost our troop levels, meeting the requested 16,400 end-strength increase in our forces.  

And this minibus provides the previously authorized 2.6 percent pay raise for our service members—the biggest in nine years.

What’s more, if enacted, this will be the first time in 10 years that the Defense Department won’t have to start the fiscal year operating under a continuing resolution. For the Pentagon, stability and predictability are critical, and years of being subject to continuing resolutions contributed to a staggering readiness crisis. Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX) said in a statement, “This agreement breaks that cycle, shows Congress doing its job, and keeps faith with the men and women in uniform.”

Fighting the Opioid Epidemic

This minibus provides $3.8 billion in funding dedicated to fighting the opioid epidemic, an increase of $206 million. It includes resources for the State Opioid Response Grant through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration. This comes as Congress is nearing completion of landmark legislation to address the epidemic.

We are also increasing funding for the National Institutes of Health by $2 billion, boosting resources for several research initiatives, including Alzheimer’s research, research to develop a universal flu vaccine, and the Gabriella Miller Kids First Pediatric Research Program. 

Safer and Better Schools

This minibus boosts funding for special education, charter schools, and Pell Grants. It increases funding for grants that support school safety activities, including student mental health services and bullying prevention. And we are increasing funding for career and technical education programs by nearly $95 million, another step in our efforts to make it easier for students to get the skills and training they need to enter good-paying jobs.

For more background on this legislation, visit the Appropriations Committee site.