The House of Representatives today passed the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY 2019) Defense Appropriations bill by a vote of 359-49. The bill funds the Department of Defense – including operations, readiness activities, equipment modernization, and health and quality-of-life programs for our troops and military families. It also provides funds for several of Congressman Rutherford’s initiatives that are of particular interest to Northeast Florida.
Upon the bill’s passage, Congressman Rutherford released the following statement:
“I am very pleased that the House passed the FY 2019 Defense Appropriations bill,” said Rutherford. “This critical legislation builds on the progress we made in Fiscal Year 2018 by restoring our military’s readiness, supporting our men and women in uniform with the largest pay increase in nine years, and furthering Congress’s commitment to making America stronger and safer. As we continue to see global threats on the rise and our peer adversaries invest more and more in their own capabilities, I believe Congress has the responsibility to give our brave men and women in uniform the tools they need to protect our great nation and defend us and our allies around the world.
“I am especially proud that this legislation includes critical funding for Northeast Florida’s military installations and service members. Of importance to NS Mayport, this bill supports the Littoral Combat Ship program by procuring three more ships. This is in addition to the training and support facilitiesthat were funded in the Military Construction Appropriations bill, which passed the House earlier this month. With this bill’s passage, my colleagues and I in Congress are building on our support for this program and the health of our nation’s shipyards. Not only are the programs funded in this legislation in our national interest, they will bring economic opportunity and jobs to Northeast Florida for years to come.”
The FY 2019 Defense Appropriations bill provides a total of $674.6 billion for the Department of Defense, including key programs that are vital to both Northeast Florida and our entire military. This includes $606.5 billion in base discretionary funding – an increase of $17.1 billion above last year’s enacted level.
The bill includes several of Congressman Rutherford’s priority provisions, including 3 Littoral Combat Ships, 6 E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes, 10 P-8A Poseidon aircraft, 3 MQ-4C Triton unmanned aerial vehicle, and funding for Light Attack procurement, which is key for the potential procurement of the A-29 Super Tucano aircraft manufactured in Jacksonville.
The legislation also includes $144 billion to provide for 1,338,100 active-duty troops and 817,700 Guard and Reserve troops. The bill fully funds the increased troop count to 15,600 and the 2.6 percent pay raise for the military. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.