Visclosky Statement in Support of the Conference Report for the Fiscal Year 2019 Defense Appropriations Act
Washington, DC – Below is the statement of Congressman Pete Visclosky in support of the conference report for the Fiscal Year 2019 Defense Appropriations Act, as prepared for delivery during the House floor consideration of the legislation.
I thank the Ranking Member for yielding.
Fiscal Year 2019 starts on October 1st and it is wonderful to be here in September considering a Conference Agreement on two additional measures.
I would like to commend Chairman Frelinghuysen and Ranking Member Lowey for bringing a semblance of regular order back to the appropriations process. Along with their Senate counterparts, they have managed to navigate an upset political situation that has completely stymied the process for years. When this two-bill package is signed into law, it will be the first time in 22 years that there have been five appropriations bills enacted before the start of the fiscal year. I wish we had seven more bills conferenced and ready for enactment, but it appears those will be deferred until December. I hope that maturity, bipartisan cooperation, and responsible governance will also apply to their consideration and prompt enactment. Timeliness is as important as final dollar determinations.
I would also like to recognize my Chairwoman, Kay Granger. She, along with the tremendous subcommittee staff, have conducted themselves in an incredibly bipartisan and collegial manner. As a result, this bill reflects the will of Congress and provides the necessary resources for our women and men in uniform.
Specific to the Department of Defense, this will be the first time in a decade that our military will not begin the fiscal year under a Continuing Resolution. The lack of predictable appropriations has been a major obstacle to the planning and execution of programs, military readiness, and morale. Having timely appropriations should improve and stabilize budgeting by the Department, the Services, our allies, and contractors. I expect this certainty will also allow the Department to better adhere to Congressional direction, to spend the funding as appropriated, to increase transparency for budget exhibits, and to improve the quality and timeliness of communication, as has been referenced on pages 8, 9, 10, and 21 of the House Report.
Again, I thank my colleagues and the staff. I look forward to completing the work before us and yield back my time.