Senator Lankford Applauds Final Passage of Three Appropriations Bills
WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today issued the following statement on Senate passage of the first appropriations conference committee report. The conference report passed by a vote of 92-5 and included the Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, the first three of the12 appropriations bills to pass the Senate in June 2018.
“I’m glad Congress is making progress to fulfill its duty to pass all appropriations bill before the end of the fiscal year and prevent another unnecessary government shutdown,” said Lankford. “This is the fastest pace the Appropriations Committee and the full Senate have worked to complete its funding bills since 1988. The conference report includes support for our Oklahoma military installations and veteran community, particularly the construction and renovation at the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center. I’m also happy to see that the bill includes funding for the simulator and depot maintenance for the KC-46A Tanker at Altus Air Force Base. I look forward to President Trump signing the first appropriations package into law.”
The Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (VA) division of the conference report provides $97.1 billion to support veterans’ health care and benefits, medical and prosthetic research, the National Cemetery Administration, VA information technology, and the VA Inspector General. The Energy and Water Development division of the conference report provides $44.6 billion to support the US Department of Energy programs, critical infrastructure projects administered by the Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation. The Legislative Branch division of the conference report continues the pay freeze for Members of Congress, which has been in place since 2009.
Conference Report Highlights:
- Bulk Diesel System Replacement, McAlester Air Force Base
- KC-46A Depot Fuel Maintenance Hanger, Tinker Air Force Base
- KC-46A Depot Maintenance Hanger, Tinker Air Force Base
- KC-46A FTU/FTC Simulator Facility, Altus Air Force Base
- Support for new surgical intensive care unit, Oklahoma City VA Hospital
- Congressional Pay Freeze—continues a provision to freeze the pay of Members of Congress, preventing any pay increases (including any cost-of-living adjustment)
- Planning Assistance to states—provides the Army Corps $9 million to help states evaluate their long-term water resources needs in an effort to prevent or mitigate future disasters
- Levee safety—directs the Army Corps to design and execute a plan for meeting existing levee safety requirements
- National Nuclear Security Administration—protects taxpayer resources by requiring the NNSA to evaluate the cause of substantial cost overruns for large projects that have become common within the agency in order to prevent them in the future
- Army Corps of Engineers—requires the Army Corps to compile a list of properties that are held by the Corps but do not provide any value for the Corps’ mission
On the Appropriations Committee, Lankford serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, and he serves on the following Subcommittees: Energy and Water; Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies; Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies; State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs; and Homeland Security.
Lankford also serves on the Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform, a bi-partisan, bi-cameral panel tasked with proposing a set of solutions to significantly overhaul the budget and appropriations process for the better.