WASHINGTON, DC -- Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a $145.4 billion comprehensive federal funding package that combines the fiscal year 2019 Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bills (H.R. 5895).
U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) voted for the bill, which includes a boost in funding for several key programs that impact Southern and Eastern Kentucky, including the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flood control projects, rural healthcare for veterans and support for military families.
"This bill enhances national security, provides for our veterans and military families, and invests in rural America," said Rogers, Chairman Emeritus of the House Appropriations Committee. "Specifically, it adds $10 million for broadband in Appalachia, $50 million for the Appalachian POWER initiative and funding to continue the vital work of flood control in our mountainous region of Eastern Kentucky. The bill also requires the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to continue efforts to reduce wait times for our veterans with medical needs and provides more opportunities for those suffering with a substance abuse disorder."
The Energy and Water portion of the bill totals $44.7 billion with a focus on national security efforts, including nuclear weapons activities, as well as energy and water infrastructure investments.
The bill provides $3.8 billion for the Legislative Branch, including annual funding for office operations for Members of the House of Representatives, support for agencies of Congress, security and police forces, services for visitors, as well as Capitol operations and maintenance.
The section regarding Military Construction and Veterans Affairs provides a total of $96.9 billion in discretionary funding, a $4.2 billion increase from the current level. The bill includes $921.4 million in Overseas Contingency funding.
Bill Highlights for Kentucky
- Appalachian Regional Commission - The bill provides $155 million for the Appalachian Regional Commission, including $10 million for an Appalachian broadband initiative and $50 million for the Appalachian POWER initiative.
- Lake Cumberland Water Reallocation Study - The bill prohibits the Army Corps of Engineers from carrying out any water-supply reallocation study at Lake Cumberland, preventing the Corps from assessing additional fees on local communities that access the lake for municipal water supply.
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nonstructural Flood Control Projects – The bill provides $18 million for these projects nationwide.
- Department of Energy Fossil Energy Research and Development – The bill provides $785 million for Fossil Energy research, which is $58 million more than the current level. This critical research ensures that coal will continue to be a part of our nation’s energy portfolio for generations to come.
- The bill repeals the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, which restricts property owners, and is damaging to coal extraction, farming and other dirt-moving industries in Kentucky.
- Veterans Electronic Health Records - The bill provides $1.207 billion for the Veterans Electronic Health Record, and it requires an ongoing Government Accountability Office (GAO) review of the development of the record.
- Substance Use Disorder - The bill cites long wait times for VA Substance Use Disorder treatment and requires a report on reducing these wait times.
- Rural Health - The bill provides $270 million for the Office of Rural Health, ensuring rural veterans are able to receive the care and benefits they earned through their service.
The bill now moves to the U.S. Senate for consideration.
For the floor amendments to the bill, please visit:
For the text of the draft bill, please visit:
For the draft bill reports, please visit:
Energy and Water –
Military Construction/Veterans Affairs –
Legislative Branch –