Handel Prioritizes National Defense, Fight Against Opioid Addiction

March 22, 2018 \\ Press Release
H.R. 1625 passes 256-167, gives troops their largest pay raise this decade

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Representative Karen Handel today voted to pass the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018. H.R. 1625 is a collection of 12 appropriations bills considered in House committees and on the House floor over the past year. The bill prioritizes military readiness, mental health funding, and resources to combat the opioid epidemic.

“H.R. 1625 funds the federal government through the end of the fiscal year and takes tangible steps to address our nation’s most pressing problems,” Rep. Handel said. “We’re giving local governments the resources to fight the opioid epidemic and strengthen mental health systems, and again prioritizing the number one responsibility of the federal government. Our military will see its largest year-to-year funding increase in 15 years, and our troops willreceive a well-deserved 2.4% pay raise.

“It is disconcerting to me whenever spending is increased in Washington without offsets. However, it is critical that we provide for our military and tackle problems like opioids and mental health. Ultimately, the federal budget process is broken, and it must be fixed. That’s why the Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform was created, and I look forward to helping the committee develop real and meaningful solutions to this process.”

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 also provides new funding for school safety services, building on the House’s work to ensure school districts have the resources they need to keep students safe.

Specifically, H.R. 1625 provides:

  • $4 billion to combat the opioid crisis and address prevention, treatment, and enforcement. That’s the largest investment to date.
  • Nearly $1 billion for mental health programs as authorized in the 21st Century Cures Act.
  • $37 billion for NIH - a $3 billion increase over FY17 - to fund additional research of cures for major diseases.
  • $3.1 billion for the US-Israel Memorandum of Understanding, and over $700 million for Israeli Missile Defense and anti-tunneling technology.  
  • $21.2 billion to bring our nation’s outdated infrastructure into the 21st century.
  • Additionally, H.R. 1625 reauthorizes the NICS Improvement Act, increasing records submission assistance for states, designed to strengthen and secure the background check system.