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Congressman Gus Bilirakis

Representing the 12th District of Florida

House Advances Legislation to Support U.S. Military & Veterans

May 19, 2016
Press Release

This week the U.S. House of Representatives advanced legislation to help support our U.S. military and Veterans.

On Wednesday, the House advanced H.R. 4909, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), to advance vital funding and authorities for the United States Military.


Members of Congress held a press conference highlighting the passage of the NDAA

“This legislation is crucial in restoring strength and readiness to America's Armed Forces,” said Congressman Bilirakis. “This bill ensures that the men and women who serve have access to the resources they need to keep us safe. I am proud language from my bill, H.R. 2264, was included in this legislation to expand travel options for our heroes and help us further honor the sacrifices of 100% service-disabled Veterans.”

The NDAA authorizes important funding efforts and provisions including:

  • A 2.1% pay raise for servicemembers;
  • Over $2.5 billion to unfunded training and maintenance to include maximizing flight training hours for Soldiers and Marines, identified as critical needs by the military services;
  • $592 million to address war reserve shortfalls in critical munitions;
  • Expanding access to care;
  • Consolidating TRICARE options for servicemembers, their families, and retirees, and;
  • Ensuring quality health care by adopting the CMS core quality metrics.

Additionally, on Thursday, the House advanced H.R. 4974, the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, to provide funding for the VA, improve oversight efforts, and utilize taxpayer dollars efficiently and responsibly.

“As Vice Chair of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I have seen devastating shortfalls within the VA firsthand,” added Bilirakis. “Many local Veterans continue to reach out to my office for help with significant delays in care at the VA. The funding increase in this bill will go towards crucial reform efforts to help our nations heroes.”

H.R. 4974 appropriates funds for:

  • VA medical services to help care for over 7 million patients;
  • Hiring new staff, digital scanning, and paperless claims processing system to address the disability claims backlog;
  • Increased efforts to modernize the VA electronic health record system; and
  • Increased funding to support and care for 9.8 million troops and families at military medical facilities. 
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