Mast Votes ‘Yes’ to Open Government 5 Hours Into Shutdown
Bill Addresses Water Infrastructure, Veterans Affairs, Opioids, Disaster Relief
U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18) today voted ‘yes’ on a budget agreement after negotiating to including South Florida water infrastructure projects, improvements at the Department of Veterans Affairs, funding to address the opioid crisis, and resources for disaster recovery. The bill includes full funding to expedite completion of the Herbert Hoover Dike by 2022, as well as $4 billion for repairs at Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals, $6 billion to combat the opioid epidemic, and $90 billion in supplemental disaster relief. Earlier this week, Rep. Mast had informed Congressional leadership that he would vote ‘no’ on the package unless these priorities were addressed.
“The rehabilitation of the Herbert Hoover Dike has been ongoing for more than decade, and significant funding setbacks have meant that it wasn’t expected to be finished for yet another decade from now,” Rep. Mast said. “For the first time ever, we can say that this project is now fully funded at a level where it can be completed in four years instead of another 10. This is a major accomplishment for our community that clears the deck to now focus on other critical projects like the S.B. 10-authorized southern storage reservoir. A bipartisan group of Florida representatives fought hard for this money, and I was proud to help lead the way.”
The bill also reauthorized the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for an additional four years on top of the six years passed in January.