FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 27, 2018
Defense Appropriations Bill with Carter Priorities Passes House
(Washington, DC) – Yesterday evening, the House passed the Defense Appropriations bill as part of a minibus package, which also included the Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations bill, and a continuing resolution to keep remaining parts of the government open through December 7, 2018.
“I’m pleased to join a bipartisan group of my colleagues in passing the Defense Appropriations bill,” Congressman Carter said. “As the representative of Ft. Hood, I see firsthand how damaging operating under a continuing resolution is for our men and women in uniform. With the passage of this bill, our Armed Forces will have the resources they need to be successful on and off the battlefield, and will get their funding on time, so they can plan for the future and address current needs. I pushed to include provisions in this bill which specifically address the needs of the warfighter on the front lines, taking the fight to our adversaries, be it ISIS extremists, Taliban warlords, or any of the myriad threats our military is poised to face on a daily basis. I want to thank Chairwomen Granger for her commitment to our troops and her teamwork in ensuring that several TX-31 priorities were included in this bill.”
The bill included several of Congressman Carter’s requests, including:
Rep. Carter represents Texas District 31, which includes Fort Hood, the largest active duty armored military installation in the free world. He serves as co-chairman of the Congressional Army Caucus and Chairman of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Appropriations.
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In December, Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and since then over 175 companies have announced pay raises, bonuses, additional benefits or new investments in the American economy. Over 3 million workers are seeing the effects of tax reform in their paychecks, including the employees of Charlie Bravo Aviation right here in Georgetown, Texas.
Here are just a few of the Texas companies that are reaping the benefits of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:
Recently, I joined my colleagues in introducing the Secure America’s Future Act. This bill addresses shortcomings along our southern border with 5,000 additional Border Patrol agents and authorizes border wall construction. This legislation also strengthens our interior enforcement efforts by increasing criminal penalties for deported criminals that return to the U.S., requiring the use of E-verify, and implements a biometric system at all ports of entry. It’s important that we address border security before addressing larger immigration reforms.
I also introduced the Justice Served Act in January. For the last decade, Congress has invested over $100 million a year to reduce the DNA backlog, but now funds are needed to prosecute these criminals based on results of DNA evidence. My bipartisan legislation will reform the Debbie Smith grant to allow funding to be used for prosecution purposes, hopefully getting dangerous criminals off the streets and giving peace of mind to the victims and their families.
Unfortunately, in January the federal government shutdown for three days due to Senate democrats’ reckless decision to put illegal immigrants above our military and low-income children in need. The Schumer Shutdown was completely irresponsible. During a government shutdown, our military men and women go unpaid. It’s completely ridiculous that our troops work without pay while Congress continues to receive their salary, so I requested that my pay be withheld for the length of the government shutdown. Luckily, Senate democrats came to their senses and voted to fund the government through February 8th.
I had the opportunity to travel with Speaker Ryan to see the devastation in Florida from Jacksonville to Miami and back to the Houston area. As Homeland Security Appropriations Chairman I’m charged with and given responsibility of funding the hurricane disaster relief. This process and my decisions continue to be extremely vital.
I also met with Killeen ISD students and administrators to discuss trade/vocational education and funding for our students at Fort Hood here in TX-31. In addition, I met with representatives from the National Stone, Sand, and Gravel Association in Cedar Park who work to support Texas transportation. I had an opportunity to discuss current issues and needs with constituents from Round Rock, Cedar Park, and Georgetown who work hard to help out our kids through our local Head Start centers.
The House passed important pro-life legislation this week that I cosponsored. This legislation will ban abortions after 20 weeks.
I’ve also introduced the Securing Energy Infrastructure Act, which establishes a pilot program to evaluate vulnerabilities in US energy security. My fellow co-chair of the House Army Caucus, Rep. Ruppersberger from Maryland, introduced this bill together and it shows a bipartisan commitment to defending our nation from security threats. Recently, the House passed the 2018 House Budget. The House Budget will balance the budget in 10 years, and put our nation on a path for responsible spending, and it unlocks the opportunity for pro-growth tax reform.
This past week the House passed the supplemental funding package to bring relief to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. It also helps those in California rebuild from the wildfires. There is still lots of work to do, but this is a first step help to communities in need.
Finally, the House passed legislation to name a border checkpoint after Javier Vega. Agent Vega made the ultimate sacrifice, protecting his family and upholding the law when attacked by two illegal aliens. I was proud to have worked with Rep. McCaul, Rep. Vela, Senator Cornyn, and Senator Cruz to get this important legislation passed. The Bill to rename a border checkpoint after him passed the House & the Senate this past week and is headed to the President’s desk!
The first six months of this Congress have been very busy. A few highlights include:
In just the past month, the House has been extremely busy, having passed all 12 appropriations bills out of committee and passing a combined national security funding bill by the entire House. Included in this bill is $1.6 billion for building a wall along our southern border.
The Make America Secure Appropriations Act provides funding for our defense programs, our veterans and includes my legislation providing for $1.6 billion for a wall along our southern borders.
It includes increased funding for the men and women of our military, giving them their largest pay increase since 2010, as well as increasing the number of troops and their readiness. It also includes funding for specific projects I requested for Fort Hood including modernization of equipment and upgrades for living quarters, as well as supporting our veterans by increased funding to the Department of Veterans Affairs by 5 percent.
Additionally, the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act that outlines the priorities for national security and our military. This bill includes many items important to Ft. Hood and the overall TX31 community. Including specific items I fought for including an accelerated time frame for equipment modernization in the Army. I was also able to secure increased troops for our Army, remanufactured and new Apache helicopters, and new unmanned aerial vehicles. This legislation also provides for a 2.4 percent raise for the men and women in our military, the largest pay raise for our military in the past eight years.
The House also passed and I supported a bill that tightens economic and political sanctions on Iran, North Korea & Russia. As we all know, the rogue regimes of these nation states continue to pose a growing threat to the United States.
The House also passed and I supported many bills that will lead to improvements at the VA. Of note, a bill that will allow the VA Secretary more flexibility to remove low performing employees passed and has now been signed by President Trump.
I also supported and the house passed the Forever GI bill to expand benefits to the National Guard, Reservist and Purple Heart recipients.
June was a busy month in Washington, DC as House Republicans passed a number of bills important to Texas District 31 (TX-31). What is important to us in TX-31 was important to the country this month as we passed bills supporting our Military, our Veterans, protecting our Border, and expanding our children’s educational opportunities.
As the Representative of the largest heavy armored post in the free would, funding our military is of the utmost importance to me and our communities in Central Texas. Through Committee passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and Defense Appropriations bills I was able to secure increased funding to modernize our combat vehicles, provide new Apache helicopters, and new unmanned aerial vehicles. These types of investments at Ft. Hood will allow our men and women to continue to be the most dominant force on the battlefield. Overall, these bills allow us to increase defense funding by almost 12 percent ($68.1 billion) over FY17. Additionally, we were able to increase soldier pay by 2.4 percent, the largest pay increase for our troops since 2010!
Veterans will always be a top priority so I was thankful to be part of a Veterans FIRST bill. The legislation provides a 5 percent increase in funding (totaling a more than 300 percent increase in VA funding since 2004) to provide the VA the ability to provide better care and services for our Veterans. In addition, we provide a 25 percent increase in funding for military construction (Family Housing, Barracks, Hospitals, Training Facilities).
With my support, the House passed, and the President signed into law the Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protect Act. Creating an accountability system to encourage the VA to restructure their organization to develop a culture to help the Veteran first. This bill gives the Secretary of the VA more flexibility in removing and disciplining employees for poor performance and misconduct. When I called the FBI to investigate the Temple VA it was due to the lack of service our Veterans were receiving and overall employee failures. Following the investigation, reforms have been put into place, but this action by Congress and the President will allow for further reforms, and ultimately improved services and care our Veterans earned and so deserve.
This week I am also finalizing my Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill which provides $44.3 billion for homeland security programs. This is an increase of $1.9 billion (roughly a 5 percent increase) over FY17 levels. Through this bill, we are providing the resources to begin building a wall along our southern border, enhancing our existing border security infrastructure, hiring more border patrol agents, and funding detention operations to hold those awaiting deportation.
In a continued effort to further provide security for all Americans, I supported, and the House passed, two bills (HR. 3004, Kate’s Law and HR 3003, No Sanctuary for Criminals Act) that strengthen penalties against criminal illegal aliens and cut federal funding to those jurisdictions that do not cooperate with federal immigration authorities. These bills are another step in helping to keep all Americans safe.
Also, a bill I authored, the Protection of Children Act, passed out of the Judiciary Committee and should get a vote of the full House soon. This bill protects children from being trafficked across our borders by closing asylum loopholes in our immigration laws and strengthening placement standards when unaccompanied minors cross our border. For years the cartels and human traffickers have been exploiting our asylum laws, and my bill puts an end to that dangerous practice.
Last month we also stood up for greater educational opportunities for our students. Our region is one of the fastest growing in the nation, and one of the best places to find a job. However, as we continue to prosper, there are growing needs for qualified workers in trades and technical careers. I am a proud member of the CTE Caucus and a strong supporter of the House passed reauthorization of the Perkins act. This is legislation that encourages participation and broadens opportunities in the Career and Technical Education fields. There are many careers in the trades that pay very well, and are in need of qualified workers. I will continue to push for more outreach, and opportunities in CTE.
I look forward to continuing to fight for all Central Texans, including our military, their families, and our Veterans.
“Congressman Carter does not condone Trump’s behavior and finds his comments from 11 years ago disgusting. The American people through the primary process came out in droves to support Donald Trump, and Congressman Carter believes in the American people. Congressman Carter will continue to support Mr. Trump. He said we cannot afford another four years of the liberal, progressive policies of Obama and Clinton. We certainly cannot afford Clinton to take over the Supreme Court with liberal, anti-constitutionalist appointees. That would be disastrous to our nation for generations to come, he said.” -Spokeswoman for Congressman John Carter