Appropriations Bill Advanced by Gonzales Includes $94 Million in Funding for TX-23 Military and VA Priorities
Congressman Tony Gonzales (TX-23), a member of the House Appropriations Committee, voted to advance the FY24 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. Funding included in the legislation would span across Texas’ 23rd Congressional District from San Antonio to El Paso. The funding package includes $20 million to complete a child development center at JBSA-Lackland Air Base and $74 million to construct a new rail yard at Fort Bliss. These investments are essential for maintaining the resiliency of our military supply chains and taking care of our military families.
In addition to the funding allocated for South and West Texas, Congressman Gonzales fought to secure $6.4 billion for VA IT systems, $164 million for State Extended Care Facilities grants, $3.1 billion for VA homeless assistance programs, and $715 million for opioid treatment and prevention efforts for veterans across the United States. The package would also fully fund veterans’ healthcare programs, which include veterans’ benefits and VA programs. The Congressman also secured accompanying report language that recognizes the importance of refurbishing barracks to the Army’s standards for improving servicemembers quality of life, urges the Air Force to prioritize funding for maintaining Air Education and Training Command facilities, and encourages the VA to strengthen public-private partnerships for providing mental health care.
“It is within our best interest to take care of our veterans and our families,” Congressman Gonzales said during the hearing. “We need to remove the politics from what is happening. There is a lot of politics that is happening in this building, that's normal…but we cannot let politics seep into the MILCON-VA Committee. It is so important for our veterans.”
The House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies is responsible for appropriating funding for the following entities:
- DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
- Military Construction, Army, Navy (including Marine Corps), Air Force (including Space Force), Defense-wide, and National Guard and Reserve Forces
- Military Family Housing Construction and Operation and Maintenance, Army, Navy (including Marine Corps), Air Force (including Space Force), and Defense-wide
- Department of Defense Base Closure Account
- Chemical Demilitarization Construction, Defense-wide
- Department of Defense Family Housing Improvement Fund
- Homeowners Assistance Fund
- Military Unaccompanied Housing Improvement Fund
- NATO Security Investment Program
- DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
- RELATED AGENCIES
- American Battle Monuments Commission
- Armed Forces Retirement Home
- U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
- Civil, Cemeterial Expenses, Army
For a full summary of the bill, click here.
To watch Congressman Gonzales' opening statement from the hearing, click here.