U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement after the House passed legislation to fully fund the Department of Defense for the remainder of fiscal year (FY) 2018, extend funding for community health centers for two years, and keep the government open:
“For too long, our troops have been forced to operate under a cloud of uncertainty because long-term military funding has been stuck in the Senate. This bill gives our armed forces the resources necessary to keep us safe. It’s time to give our men and women in uniform the tools, training, and support they need – as well as the pay raise they’ve more than earned.
“Community health centers play an essential role in serving our most vulnerable neighbors, which is why I’ve worked to renew funding for these health care providers. This bill extends funding for two years so Hoosiers who rely on community health centers continue to have access to quality, affordable health care.
“The faster we can place vulnerable children in stable homes through foster care and adoption, the better chance they will have to thrive and succeed. This bill includes legislation I introduced to eliminate unnecessary paperwork in interstate adoptions and foster care placement to reduce excessive delays and help children lead better lives.
“The bill we passed will keep our nation safe, help Hoosier families, and keep the government open, and I hope the Senate does the responsible thing and quickly sends it to the president’s desk.”
The House passed the Further Extension of Continuing Appropriations Act of 2018 (H.R. 1892), which provides funding through March 23, 2018, by a vote of 245 to 182.
Full-Year Military Funding
The bill includes $659.2 billion for the Department of Defense through the end of FY 2018 to provide the military with the resources, tools, and training necessary to keep the nation safe. The funding includes a 2.4 percent raise for servicemembers – their biggest pay increase in eight years – as well as an increase in active duty, national guard, and reserve forces.
The House has previously passed defense funding for the full fiscal year consistent with the FY18 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), including passage last week of H.R. 695, but the legislation has been repeatedly blocked in the Senate.
Community Health Centers
The bill extends funding for community health centers for two years. The Community Health Center Fund supports thousands of community health centers nationwide, including local providers like HealthLinc, Indiana Health Centers, and Heart City Health. These centers take an innovative, patient-focused approach to ensure vulnerable Hoosiers and those in underserved areas have access to quality, affordable health care.
Walorski supported the CHAMPIONING HEALTHY KIDS Act (H.R. 3922) when it passed the House in November. This legislation included funding for the state Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), community health centers, and other important public health priorities.
Congress passed a long-term reauthorization of CHIP in the short-term funding bill President Trump signed into law on January 22, 2018.
Helping Children and Families
The bill includes bipartisan legislation Walorski introduced to speed up the process of placing children with foster families in other states. The Modernizing the Interstate Placement of Children in Foster Care Act (H.R. 2742), which would help states move to an electronic system for interstate foster care placement in order to reduce the delays and costs of paperwork. It passed the House in June 2017 by voice vote.
The bill also includes the Social Impact Partnerships to Pay for Results Act (H.R. 576), legislation sponsored by Walorski to support innovative, evidence-based solutions through social impact partnership programs that deliver results.
Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.