Thursday, U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, praised the Senate’s passage of the final conference agreement reached on HR5895. This is the first of three Fiscal Year 2019 minibus appropriations packages, which includes appropriations bills for Energy and Water Development, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and the Legislative Branch. The package also provides funding for the VA MISSION Act, Nuclear Security, and U.S. Capitol Safety. The House is expected to vote on the conference report later this week.
“Today I am proud to present my colleagues with the first dividends of their ongoing, bipartisan cooperation,” said Senator Shelby. “This conference report contains critical funding to help transition our nation’s veterans to the new health care program they deserve and have earned under the VA Mission Act. It funds nearly 200 construction projects that are very important to America’s military and provides resources to bolster American energy and secure our nuclear weapons stockpile. The bill also provides funding to develop and maintain water infrastructure projects across the country.”
“This is a far cry from where we were just a few months ago,” Sen. Shelby continued. “Along the way I have pointed out that we have steadily consolidated critical mass for a return to regular order in the appropriations process. Both Republicans and Democrats agree that our partisan disputes on a given issue should not paralyze this institution’s ability to carry out its most fundamental Constitutional responsibility: funding the government. Both parties see failure in this regard as harmful to our country as a whole – and both parties understand success in this regard benefits us all because it provides the stability and continuity that leads to security and prosperity.”
“I thank my colleagues for their hard work in making this aspiration a reality,“ Shelby stated. “If we continue to work together in a bipartisan manner we can successfully fund nearly 90 percent of the federal government on time through regular order – something Congress has not been able to do in many years.”
The final conference report was passed by a vote of 92 to 5.
The legislation provides $97.1 billion to take care of our nation’s veterans and fund military construction, $44.6 billion to support U.S. Department of Energy programs and critical infrastructure projects administered by the Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation, and $4.8 billion to maintain essential operations and security of the U.S. Capitol, Congress and support agencies.
Sen. Shelby is the Chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee. He is serving in his sixth term in the U.S. Senate. Prior to his election in 1986, Shelby was elected to four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and two terms in the Alabama Senate. Richard Shelby lives in Tuscaloosa.