WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) applauds passage of the fiscal year 2018 Department of Defense Appropriations Bill, which has now passed three times in the U.S. House of Representatives since July 2017. The legislation provides $659.2 billion for Defense, including a 2.4% pay raise for U.S. troops. Rogers spoke on the House Floor today urging the Senate to approve this critical funding for our military.
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the fiscal year 2018 Department of Defense Appropriations bill. Although I am proud to support this critical legislation, I will say that I am disappointed to be here yet again, speaking in support of the Defense Appropriations bill as we again seek its passage in the House.
"Despite Chairman Frelinghuysen’s herculean efforts to complete all 12 bills on time, and passing several packages that included the defense bill, the Senate has failed to act. We recently saw the effects of this, when the government shutdown and put great stress on the backs of our service members and their families.
"Mr. Speaker, it is time that we push aside the partisanship, and do what is right for our country’s national security by passing this bill. While it certainly represents the outcome of many hard choices, it prioritizes funding where our troops need it most. It wisely invests in readiness, training, maintenance and the procurement of new equipment and technology to ensure that our troops are prepared for the tasks before them.
"I am pleased that this bill takes care of our troops and their families at home, by granting them a long awaited 2.4% pay raise. Our nation has been at war for nearly two decades, and our service members have put their lives on the line to ensure we can live our way of life. This raise represents just one small way for us to honor their service.
"Mr. Speaker, they say that the third time is the charm, and I hope that this holds true. After the House passes this bill, I urge the Senate to do so as well so that the President can sign this bill into law. According to the Constitution, it is the Congress’ responsibility to provide for our common defense. This bill does just that. I urge my colleagues to vote “yes,” and I yield back the balance of my time."
The legislation heads to the U.S. Senate again for consideration.