Today, Alaska Congressman Don Young voted in support of the two-year, bipartisan budget agreement and issued the following statement:
“After weeks of negotiations, Congress has passed a budget agreement that meets many of the needs of the country and it is particularly good news for Alaskans. This bill secures funding for our military to ensure that they have the necessary resources to continue keeping our country safe and carrying out their missions. I worked closely with Members of the House Leadership, my colleagues on the Appropriations Committee and Senators Murkowski and Sullivan to ensure that funds for military construction projects were included so that the Eielson Air Force Base could stay on schedule to prepare for the beddown of the F-35A Joint Strike Fighters. Due to the short construction season, this was an incredibly time sensitive priority and will ensure our nation’s full operational capability in the Pacific.
This bipartisan agreement also makes significant investments that will improve the quality of care our veterans receive, address our crumbling infrastructure, provide 2 years of funding for community health centers – which are crucial to Alaskans – as well as combat opioid abuse and drug addiction. There is an additional 4-year extension for the Children’s Health Care Program (CHIP), Denali KidCare as we know it in Alaska, which gives the program 10 years of certainty and is the longest authorization in its history. These are major victories for both our state and the country.
While there is still work to do, I believe that the legislation Congress passed today will deliver relief to local communities and make sure that our military can effectively rebuild and address the security of our nation. We will continue to work on developing more long-term funding solutions.”
- Includes a 2.4% pay raise for our troops.
- Allows for an increase in troop numbers for Active, Reserve and Guard.
- Compared to current law spending caps, the agreement increases defense discretionary funding by $80 billion in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 and $85 billion in FY 2019 vs. an increase in non-defense domestic discretionary of $63 billion in FY 2018 and $68 billion in FY 2019.
Health Care Funding
- Extends funding and updates policies for various health care programs – securing $7 billion and a two year extension on funding for Community Health Care Centers
- Funds special diabetes programs including the Special Diabetes Program for Indians through 2020
- $6 billion over two years to bolster the ongoing fight against opioid addiction and substance abuse through funding grants, prevention programs, and law enforcement to assist vulnerable communities across the country
- $2 billion in funding for two years for the National Institutes of Health
- 4 years of additional authorization for CHIP – securing the program’s funding for 10 years