Washington, D.C. --Legislation funding the Federal Government thru March 23rd which includes a broader budget deal for funding in Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019 has passed Congress and was signed into law by President Trump this morning. The agreement is a significant step forward in bringing normalcy back to the annual appropriations process. The agreement will boost defense spending by $80 billion for Fiscal Year 2018 and $85 billion in Fiscal Year 2019, above the current spending caps. This additional defense spending is critical to meet the needs of our men and women in uniform to address their readiness and modernization challenges. The defense funding included in this budget agreement is identical to the significantly increased funding levels included in the already passed FY18 National Defense Authorization Act.
"As a defense community organization, we recognize the damage caused by the Budget Control Act of 2011, the resulting defense budget caps, and the short term spending measures have had on the Army", said Michael Reese, Chairman of Fort Polk Progress. "We appreciate the work of our Congressional delegation to secure this compromise budget measure that will finally address the negative impacts of Army downsizing, postponed construction, repair and maintenance, postponed modernization of equipment, and negative impacts on readiness. In particular, we appreciate the work of Congressman Abraham on the House Armed Services Committee, who has supported the critical authorization measures in the National Defense Authorization Act that will allow for much needed growth in Army end strength."
"The federal government's greatest responsibility is to provide for the common defense, but the government has failed to give our troops what they need to succeed", said Congressman Ralph Abraham. "This budget begins to correct that. I understand and share the concerns about debt because debt has consequences, but withholding resources from our military has consequences, too. I could never ask our men and women in uniform to fight for me knowing that I voted against them."
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry said, "Ralph Abraham is a staunch supporter of our men and women in uniform. That's clear from the passion he brings to our work together on the Armed Services Committee. We understand that this budget deal isn't perfect, but it is necessary to provide the long-term funding our military needs to plan, rebuild and respond to threats to our national security."
"As the Army begins to rebuild end strength, the Fort Polk Progress team will continue to advocate for the Army to take advantage of the increased range space, excess capacity of on base facilities, quality education opportunities and excess housing that provides tremendous military value for new mission growth at Fort Polk."
The Senate passed the measure by a vote of 71 to 28 and the House passed the measure by a vote of 240 to 186. The measure was also signed into law by President Trump this morning. The legislation now allows the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to finalize specific funding legislation for each department and agency of the federal government. Most importantly, the budget deal decreases the likelihood of further shutdown threats this year and next.