Senator Capito Supports Millions for Funding Initiatives for Veterans Programs

By Connect Clarksburg Staff | June 09, 2018

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today voted to advance two FY2019 government funding bills—the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriations Act and the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies (MilCon-VA) Appropriations Act. Both bills were approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee with overwhelming support and would provide resources for critical West Virginia priorities. Senator Capito released the following statement after participating in a markup of the legislation:


“Today, the Senate Appropriations Committee continued our efforts to move critical funding bills to the Senate floor as we move toward regular order in the appropriations process. It is important that we pass bills in a timely manner to help those who need important resources like those provided by the legislation we approved today.


“These bills include funding for research into veterans suicides, efforts to help veterans struggling with opioid addiction, and care for female veterans. They also address many of our country’s infrastructure needs by providing resources for transportation systems and grants programs that will benefit our highways, airports, and railways. West Virginians have shown we are committed to improving our infrastructure and caring for the brave men and women who have served our country, and I will continue to make sure that commitment is recognized at the federal level.”


The FY2019 MilCon-VA bill includes:


·        $400 million for opioid misuse prevention and treatment.


·        $525 million for health care specifically for women veterans.


·        $270 million for rural health initiatives.


·        $3 billion to reduce claims backlogs of veterans disability decisions on appeal and meet the demand for other benefit programs.


·        Continued support for a veterans agritherapy pilot program Senator Capito authored and has championed.


The FY2019 THUD bill includes:  


·        More than $3 billion for the Community Development Block Grant, a critical resource for many West Virginia cities.


·        Language mandating Amtrak to improve their communications and outreach efforts when making decisions such as those that impact the Hinton Railroad Days.


·        Report language directing Amtrak to provide at least one station agent in every state where it operates, which would save the presence of this capacity in Charleston.


·        Language in support of commuters in the Eastern Panhandle in encouraging “the Federal Transit Administration to work with states to help them maintain rail service providing commuter access to Washington, DC.”


·        A statement of disapproval for a proposed rescission of funding for the Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS), along with direction for the Federal Highway Administration “to work with relevant state departments of transportation in Appalachia to ensure that construction and repair projects are prioritized for roads of critical commercial importance in the ADHS.”


·        $1 billion for Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grants, previously known as TIGER grants.


·        Funding for Essential Air Service, Contract Towers, and Airport Improvement Grants.


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