Today, Congressman Jim Bridenstine voted for the H.R. 3219, the Make America Secure Appropriations Act, which funds national defense, important US Army Corps of Engineers projects, and physical border security provisions, while cutting wasteful programs that ballooned during the previous administration. The legislation passed 235 to 192.
"The first responsibility of the Federal Government is national security. Today, the House of Representatives fulfilled that duty," said Congressman Bridenstine.
The Make America Secure Appropriations Act provides $659 billion for the Department of Defense, nearly $60 billion above the current year. This increase is necessary to restore our Armed Forces after the harm caused by the defense sequester. In addition, H.R. 3219 provides $14 billion for the Department of Energy's nuclear weapons security programs, an increase in funding that will modernize the United States' ability to deter and respond to any nuclear threat.
Bridenstine continued: "The bill also follows through on the President's promise -- and Congress' duty -- to secure our borders." H.R. 3219 provides $1.6 billion for physical barrier construction along the southern border, matching President Trump's budget request.
Congressman Bridenstine had several priorities incorporated in the bill, including the following. These priorities are accomplished by redirecting funds, not adding to the national debt.
Commercial Weather Data Pilot Program: Continues funding for a program to allow the Department of Defense to procure and evaluate data from commercial weather satellite companies. This has the potential to bring about a paradigm shift in how the DoD acquires weather data, reducing costs and improving information.
Army Corps of Engineers Studies: Requires the Corps to do studies, the first step in infrastructure renovation projects, on at least five projects where the benefits are related to flood and storm damage reduction. This means the Tulsa-West Tulsa Levee System, which is a national security issue due to its age and the energy infrastructure sited behind the levees, could qualify for one of these studies. The levees also protect many homes.