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Cole Supports Passage of National Security Appropriations Bill

July 27, 2017
Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the passage of H.R. 3219, the Make America Secure Appropriations Act, 2018. The bill is a consolidated spending package that combines funding for the Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, Energy and Water and the Legislative Branch Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2018. It passed in the House by a vote of 235-192.
“This consolidated measure responsibly allocates funding for our nation’s highest priority – our military and national security,” said Cole. “It protects our active duty service members and our veterans, while strengthening our national defense to its highest readiness levels in eight years. Further, it demonstrates strong support for improved funding for our nation’s military facilities, from construction on the hospitals that our troops use to maintenance on our missiles and defense weaponry.
“Additionally, included in the final bill is my amendment directing the President to provide a strategy and a budgetary analysis for a new Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) no later than 30 days after passage. It has been 16 years since Congress has debated and voted on an AUMF. The last AUMFs passed by Congress gave the President authority to use military force against those responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks, and against Iraq. Some of the enemies with whom were are engaged, did not even exist 16 years ago. We owe it to our allies, our citizens and to the men and women on the front lines the reassurance that America is committed to fighting and winning these wars and not rely on an out of date AUMF.
“Also included is a $1.6 billion funding boost to begin construction on the border wall, a major priority of President Trump.”
Other key provisions in the Make America Secure Appropriations Act, 2018 include:
-Full 2.4% pay increase for military service members
-Full funding of the President’s request for the Department of Veterans Affairs at $73.8 billion
-Provision to prohibit the closure of Guantanamo Bay
-Authorizes the Administrator of the EPA and the Secretary of the Army to withdraw from the Waters of the U.S. rule
-Continues pay freeze for Members of Congress
“Congress has no more basic responsibility than providing the resources necessary to keep our nation secure. This legislation does exactly that by robustly funding our military, providing our soldiers and veterans with the training, equipment, and care they need and deserve, and by securing our borders and better enforcing our immigration laws. I’m proud to have played a role in crafting and passing this important legislation.”