Brady Has U.S. Military’s Back “Because They Have Ours”
Supports budget with Texas disaster aid for Hurricane Harvey; Repeals ObamaCare rationing board
by Kevin Brady on February 13, 2018 at 12:40 PM
I strongly supported passage of a two-year federal budget that makes a massive leap in rebuilding America’s armed forces while delivering almost $90 billion in disaster relief for Texas and all American families and communities hard hit by Hurricane Harvey and other major disasters in 2017.
The bill includes more tax cuts, crucial help to eliminate the backlog of veterans cases, and funding for community health centers.
The bill also slashed an ObamaCare slush fund and permanently repealed the unpopular Independent Payment Advisory Board—the board established by President Obama to ration healthcare for seniors by giving unelected bureaucrats the power to withhold Medicare payments to local doctors and other healthcare providers.
I released the following statement after President Trump Signed The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 into law:
This bill has good parts and bad, but in times like this you either stand with President Trump and our U.S. military or you don’t. I chose to vote ‘yes’ to rebuild America’s depleted military at a time when the world is more dangerous than ever. And every opportunity I get to fund our veterans, repeal key ObamaCare provisions and deliver crucial Harvey disaster assistance to my families, which this bill does, my obligation is to support it.
As a conservative I don’t like the extra spending either. Here’s one way to cut spending: I strongly urge the Senate to immediately vote on the House-passed bill that puts Medicaid on a budget and saves over $800 billion – that will reduce the deficit for decades to come.
The agreement funds the government at current levels through March 23, 2018. In addition, the legislation delivers on key Republican priorities such as:
1. It Provides Long-Delayed Disaster Relief Resources Including: FEMA disaster relief funding, which provides direct housing assistance, home repairs and public assistance grants to assist with repairs of roads, utility work, school and public buildings; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers funding for high-priority studies for risk reduction from future floods and hurricanes, constructions of those projects and dredging of federal navigation projects; and Department of Housing and Urban Development funding to repair homes, support small businesses and rebuild infrastructure while mitigating future flood damage.
The agreement also includes a one-year extension of critical tax provisions that I championed which helps communities by creating a deduction for personal casualty losses and eliminating its 10% threshold requirement, granting penalty-free access to retirement funds, and encouraging charitable giving from Americans across the country.
2. It Rebuilds our Military: This agreement delivers on the promise to fully fund the military at the levels in this year's National Defense Authorization Act, as requested by Defense Secretary James Mattis. This legislation includes critical funding for mission readiness, missile defense, securing space, protecting Israel and a much needed pay raise.
In 2017, we lost 80 service member lives due to accidents and training incidents -- nearly four times as many lives killed in combat. With better training and equipment, these deaths could have been prevented. By passing legislation, we will help bring our military into the 21st century and save lives.
3. It Includes Meaningful Healthcare Provisions and Repeals Parts of ObamaCare: The agreement ensures children have healthcare by extending the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for a total of 10 years. Funds Community Health Centers (CHCs), which provide needed medical services to medically underserved and rural areas. CHCs play an integral part in patient care by providing both preventative services and continuity of care for patients. Funding for these facilities maintains their infrastructure, employment, and abilities to fully serve the community. This legislation extends funding for Community Health Centers by an additional two years with FY18 funding at $3.8 billion and FY19 at $4 billion.
It cuts spending from an Obamacare slush fund called the Prevention and Public Health Fund. In addition, the bill repeals the infamous Independent Payment Advisory Board from Obamacare, better known as IPAB. Importantly, the bill also address Medicare, by further means-testing premiums in Medicare Parts B and D for high-income seniors. This is the kind of common-sense structural reform that advances long-held Republican principles to save and strengthen Medicare for the long haul.