House Armed Services Committee Member John Garamendi Applauds Passage of FY2019 Defense Appropriations Bill
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, Davis, Yuba City, CA) applauded yesterday’s passage of the Defense Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2019. The $675 billion piece of legislation, which was included in a broader omnibus bill, funds the Department of Defense pursuant to policy set in the National Defense Authorization Act, which Garamendi helped draft as a member of the House Armed Services Committee. It contains the largest pay raise for our men and women in uniform in nearly a decade, as well as funding for vital local priorities for Travis and Beale.
“This is the first time in a long time that Congress has sent a defense appropriations bill to the President’s desk on time, and it’s relieving that when it comes to our national defense, our Congress is working the way it should,” said Garamendi. “This bill gives our men and women in uniform a 2.6% pay raise, the largest in nearly a decade. Locally, it allots $35 million to modernize the air cargo handling system at Travis Air Force Base and supports the KC-46 mission, funding another 15 aircraft. For Beale, the bill provides $17 million to modernize and improve critical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets. Additionally, I’ve fought hard to get the Department of Defense to take the vulnerabilities of our GPS system seriously and move toward integrating a backup technology, and this bill provides additional funds to allow the Department to continue this important work. Globally, it provides $6.5 billion for the European Deterrence Initiative, a key program to bolster the strength of our European allies to counter the increasing military threat from the Russian Federation.”
“But I want to be clear about the stark choices we are facing. The Trump tax scam reduced federal revenue by $2 trillion, giving 83% of the proceeds to corporations and the super-rich. This piece of fiscal irresponsibility will result in deficits of $1 trillion a year or more, sharply increasing both our national debt and the cost to service it. As the $675 billion price tag of the defense piece of this bill makes clear, the day is coming where we will face a choice: either take on even more massive, unsustainable deficits, or face the erosion of our ability to project global military power.”
“Some people in Washington think the answer is cutting social security and health care. It isn’t. We can’t have tax cuts for the rich, a strong safety net, and a strong national defense. We can only pick two, and I know what my priorities are: our safety net and our national defense.”