U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) announced passage of robust appropriations bills to fund America's national defense and support military families at MacDill Air Force Base and across the country. H.R. 2740 and H.R. 3055 passed this week and include a boost in pay for our service members as well as provisions to correct substandard on-base housing and strengthen the care our veterans have earned and deserve. U.S. Rep. Castor also insisted that funds meant for investments in our troops and national security are not diverted to the President's border wall.
"Tampa is a patriotic community, and I was proud to champion a 3.1 percent boost in military pay for service members at MacDill Air Force Base and across the services," U.S. Rep. Castor said.
"Our service members and their families at MacDill Air Force Base deserve on-base housing that is safe, clean, and free from mold and shoddy construction. I successfully pressed for a new Tenants Bill of Rights for military families and greater accountability for private housing contractors. Thanks to the MacDill military families who worked with me and other colleagues who spoke up to make these important changes," U.S. Rep. Castor continued.
U.S. Rep. Castor has been outspoken on the need to improve substandard on-base housing with mold and other construction issues. She provided testimony to the U.S. House Armed Service Committee on the issue, and pressed to hold contractors accountable and make military families whole when their lives are disrupted. She has also met with military families and neighbors who have been affected by unsafe and unhealthy conditions, toured on-base housing and has been briefed on efforts to hold contractors accountable.
H.R. 3055 also provides $80.4 billion in medical care for our veterans, including:
$9.4 billion in mental health care services;
$1.9 billion in homeless assistance initiatives;
$582 million for gender-specific care for women;
$397 million in opioid abuse prevention.
The appropriations bills include $3 billion to reduce the disability claims backlog and ensure adequate compensation and care for veterans.
"After years of GOP led shutdowns and showdowns that hollowed out federal investments in America and Americans, I am proud to have led the House Democratic Majority in passing H.R. 2740 and H.R. 3055. In addition to strong support for our nation's defense, our service members, their families and our veterans, these appropriation bills address priorities of my neighbors like creating jobs, ensuring a quality education for all our children regardless of ZIP code, medical research to discover cures and driving down the cost of health care," U.S. Rep. Castor concluded.
U.S. Rep. Castor's Tampa Bay district includes MacDill AFB and is home to U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), two of the Armed Forces' most important military command outposts. MacDill AFB's 6th Air Mobility Wing is the centerpiece of the U.S. Air Force's Global Vigilance, Global Reach, Global Power mission with its essential functions of aerial refueling and airlift. James A. Haley Veterans Hospital, one of the busiest Veterans Hospitals in the nation serving over 90,000 veterans every year, also calls her district home.