The funding bill for fiscal year 2018 is absolutely critical for rebuilding our military and getting our men and women in uniform the resources they need to do their jobs. But there are additional important priorities that the legislation accomplishes.
- Opioids. A national opioid epidemic has swept communities across the country. In October, President Trump declared it a public health emergency—and followed up with additional actions earlier this week. Almost every person knows someone whose life has been affected because of opioid abuse—and it’s getting worse. ER visits nationwide for suspected opioid overdoses rose an average of 29.7 percent from July 2016 to September 2017. In Wisconsin, they rose by a jarring 109 percent. This is why Congress has been working on this issue for years, including enacting the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act and the 21st Century Cures Act—but as Speaker Ryan said earlier this week, “Congress will not rest until we see results.” The FY2018 funding bill will provide nearly $4 billion—the largest allotment to date—in resources for opioid prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation. This is critical support that our communities need now.
- Infrastructure. Our nation’s infrastructure is in trouble. Our airports, highways, bridges, and tunnels do not reflect our capabilities as a modern, first world nation. This legislation will provide $21.2 billion to usher our nation’s outdated infrastructure into the 21st century. This has been a Republican priority for years, and this legislation will help us get to where we need to be.
- School Safety. Violence has no place in our schools. Last week, the House took action to prevent it with the STOP School Violence Act. The funding bill will fund that House-passed legislation and provide an additional $213 million to the Department of Justice, $1.9 billion to the Department of Education, and $205 million to the Department of Health and Human Services in resources to prevent violence in our schools and keep our children safe. As Speaker Ryan said last week, “If there is any place our children can feel safe, it should be our schools.” The funding bill will help our schools get the resources and technology they need to stop this kind of violence before it occurs.
- Military Pay Raise. Our service members make incredible sacrifices for our nation—we think they’ve earned a pay raise. That’s why this legislation will give them a 2.4 percent pay raise, their largest raise in eight years, along with the biggest year-to-year increase defense spending has seen in 15 years. It’s the least we can do to honor their incredible service.
And of course there's a lot more this bill does to address critical priorities. Find more fact sheets on the 2018 funding bill here.