Diaz-Balart Votes to Support Troops, Florida’s Defense Industry Jobs
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, issued the following statement the passage of H.R. 6157, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2019.
“I am proud to join my colleagues in voting to support our courageous troops and fiercely protect our national security. The Defense Appropriations bill includes funding to add ships, submarines, and aircraft, strengthening our fleets and military readiness around the world. It also increases funding for base operations, in a continued effort to rebuild our military. Additionally, we fully funded the Defense Health Program, delivering quality care to our troops, military families, and retirees. A 2.6 percent pay increase for our brave servicemen and women is provided in this legislation, the largest pay raise they have received in nine years.
“I congratulate Chairman Frelinghuysen and Subcommittee Chairwoman Granger on the passage of this legislation. I look forward to joining them and our Appropriations Committee colleagues in continuing to consider the remainder of our bills on the House floor in regular order.”
As a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, Diaz-Balart worked with his colleagues to secure the following funding in the fiscal year 2019 Defense bill:
- $674.6 billion in military spending--$19 billion increase from FY18 Omnibus to maintain the upward trend in readiness of our military
- 2.6% pay raise for the troops
- Adds 16,400 active duty, guard, and reserve troops to military-end strength
- $606.5 billion to support base operations, including those at U.S. Southern Command and Homestead Air Reserve Base
- $68.1 billion to continue Overseas Contingency Operations and Global War on Terrorism efforts
- Ensures military payments for families of deceased service members cannot be interrupted by future government shutdowns
- $145.7 billion for new equipment purchases and modernization
- $22 billion for 12 more ships for the Navy including destroyers and submarines, to continue our path to the optimal 355-ship Navy
- Aims to redirect the Navy to more evenly divide maintenance and overhaul work on our ships between private and public shipyards
- Over $37 billion for aircraft Department-wide
- 93 F-35 fighters for the Air Force, in addition to a host of other support aircraft
- $40 million for initial procurement of a Light Attack aircraft to augment our counterterrorism operations
- Upgrades to the Army’s Stryker armored vehicles and Abrams tanks and adds new Bradley fighting vehicles
- Over $90 billion for research and development, which will result in the new B-21 bomber, updated ballistic missile systems and continued progress in our space launch program
- $34.4 billion for the Defense Health Program, providing care to our troops, military families, and retirees.
- Includes $1.4 billion for defense-related medical research, including spinal cord injury, substance abuse disorders and trauma and psychological health
- $854 million to support the military’s drug interdiction and counter-drug activities
- Much-needed military support to allies and partners including Israel ($500 million) and Ukraine ($250 million)