Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) voted for the Fiscal Year 2018 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill, which was unanimously approved by the House Appropriations Committee. The bill included funding for a new Remote Piloted Aircraft Flight Training Unit facility at March Air Reserve Base.
“The bill approved today by the Appropriations Committee provides critical resources for our activity duty military as well as our veterans,” said Rep. Calvert. “I was pleased to support the $15 million provided by our Committee to construct a new schoolhouse at March Air Reserve Base to support the MQ-9 Reaper aircrew. The demand for of Remote Piloted Aircraft by our military will continue to grow, so this investment is essential to making sure March can meet the future needs of our Air Force. The bill approved today also helps meet our promise to our nation’s veterans, who deserve nothing less than first class care and treatment by the VA.”
(Provided by the House Appropriations Committee)
Oversight and Accountability – The legislation strengthens oversight and accountability at the Departments of Defense (DOD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) to ensure taxpayer dollars are being used to fully benefit our service members and our veterans. Several provisions are included to keep these agencies on track and to address problems that have wasted money and hurt critical services.
The bill also includes funding for new oversight offices in VA, as requested, to protect whistleblowers and provide increased accountability through investigation of poorly-performing managers and instances of inferior patient care. These offices will support the Secretary’s new authority to fire or demote poorly performing employees and to recoup pay, benefits and awards in cases of malfeasance.
Military Construction – The bill provides a total of $10.2 billion for military construction projects – an increase of $2.1 billion – 25 percent – above the enacted fiscal year 2017 level. Within this amount, $638 million is provided in OCO funding for projects in countries with ongoing U.S. operations. These funds will provide for the construction and maintenance of facilities to enable our military to fight current and emerging threats, to support increased troop levels, and to sustain services for military families. This includes operational facilities, training facilities, hospitals, family housing, National Guard readiness centers, barracks, and other important resources. In total, 215 military construction projects across the country and overseas receive funding in the bill.
Military Family Housing – The bill provides $1.4 billion to fund construction, operation, and maintenance of military family housing for fiscal year 2018. This is $131 million above the fiscal year 2017 level and the same as the budget request. The funding will ensure quality housing is sustained for all 1,388,028 military families currently served by the program.
Military Medical Facilities – The bill includes $737 million for construction and alterations for new or existing military medical facilities, an increase of $433 million above the fiscal year 2017 level. This funding will allow for continued support and care for 9.8 million eligible beneficiaries, including our wounded troops abroad.
DOD Education Facilities – The bill includes $249 million for essential safety improvements and infrastructure work at four DOD Education Activities facilities located within the U.S. and overseas.
Guard and Reserve – The bill includes $575 million for construction or alteration of Guard and Reserve facilities in 22 states, the same as the requested level.
Veterans Affairs (VA) – The legislation includes a total of $182.3 billion in both discretionary and mandatory funding for the VA, an increase of $5.3 billion above the fiscal year 2017 level. This funding will help address many of the problems currently facing the VA, and provide for better and increased access to care for our veterans.
Discretionary funding alone for VA programs in the bill totals $78.3 billion, an increase of $3.9 billion above the fiscal year 2017 level. Approximately $66.4 billion of this discretionary total was provided last year via advance funding in the fiscal year 2017 Appropriations bill.
These additional funds will provide resources for important priorities within the VA, such as suicide prevention, claims processing, homeless prevention and care, opioid addiction, and medical research.
VA Medical Care – The bill funds VA medical care at $69 billion – providing for approximately seven million patients to be treated in fiscal year 2018. Within this total, funding includes: $8.4 billion in mental health care services; $186 million in suicide prevention activities; $316 million for traumatic brain injury treatment; $7.3 billion in homeless veterans treatment, services, housing, and job training; $751 million for hepatitis C treatment; $50 million for opioid abuse prevention; and $250 million in rural health initiatives. This total also includes full funding of the President’s additional $2.6 billion request to meet higher-than-anticipated medical needs.
VA Electronic Health Record – The bill contains $65 million for the modernization of the VA electronic health record system, the same as the President’s request. This will ensure the swift implementation of the plan for the VA to use an identical electronic record system as the DOD. This will also ensure our veterans get proper care, with timely and accurate medical data transferred between the VA, DOD, and the private sector.
Disability Claims Processing Backlog – Reducing the disability claims backlog is essential to ensuring adequate compensation and care for the 312,000 veterans still wading through the VA bureaucracy to get a final decision on their claims. The bill will help speed this process and get these veterans the decisions they are awaiting by providing $50 million above the request to be used for digital scanning of health records and overtime pay. In addition, the bill continues rigorous reporting requirements to track each regional office’s performance on claims processing and appeals backlogs.
Construction – Major and minor construction within the VA is funded at $753 million. The bill provides the full request for the construction of major medical facilities, and expansion of cemeteries that are reaching capacity before 2022.
VA Mandatory Funding – The bill fulfills mandatory funding requirements such as: veteran disability compensation programs for 4.5 million veterans and their survivors; education benefits for one million veterans; and vocational rehabilitation and employment training for more than 145,000 veterans.
Advance Appropriations – The bill contains $70.7 billion in advance fiscal year 2019 funding for veterans’ medical programs – the same level as the President’s request. This funding will provide for medical services, medical support and compliance, and medical facilities, and ensure that our veterans have continued, full access to their medical care needs. The bill includes $107.7 billion in advance funding for VA mandatory benefit programs, as requested in the President's budget.
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) released the following statement in response to this morning’s shooting of Majority Whip Steve Scalise, Capitol Police officers and other victims:
“My thoughts and prayers are with my colleague Steve Scalise and the other victims of this morning’s horrible shooting. The brave and selfless actions of the Capitol Police officers saved countless lives. I pray these heroes will recover quickly from their injuries. I also want to express my appreciation for the quick response by the Alexandria police and paramedics, as well as those at the scene.
“Any attack on members of Congress is an attack on our democracy. The United States Congress is the finest legislative body in the world and its members will not be intimidated or cower in the face of threats of violence. All members, Republicans and Democrats, stand together in condemning this act of violence.
“Americans have a fundamental right to express their opinions, but committing acts of violence against elected officials is never acceptable. While I think most Americans understand that, we should have an even higher goal for our political discourse. I have always believed that we can disagree without being disagreeable. Let us take pause and remember that we are all united by our love for this country and all of the values that it stands for.”
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) voted along with a bipartisan majority (368-55) of the House of Representatives to approve a bill that will protect veterans by implementing new accountability measures for employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The measure, S. 1094, The Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act makes it easier to fire VA employees who fail to live to the standards required of those who care for our nation’s veterans. The legislation was previously approved by the Senate and now heads to the White House for the President’s signature.
“Fulfilling our promise to care for America’s veterans is one of my highest priorities in Congress,” said Rep. Calvert. “In far too many instances the VA has failed to uphold the standards of care and treatment that our veterans deserve. While there are many, many hard working and dedicated individuals at the VA, those who have fallen short must go – period. With the passage of this bill we take an important step towards ending a culture within the VA bureaucracy that is more committed to protecting itself than protecting the welfare of our veterans.”
The Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 would create a new streamlined and efficient process to remove, demote or suspend any VA employee for poor performance or misconduct with a concrete shortened timeline, while still protecting employees’ due process rights. It would also provide expanded protections for whistleblowers who highlight VA employee misconduct and would specifically bar VA from using this removal authority if the employee has an open whistleblower complaint/case with the Office of Special Counsel.
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) announced the 2017 U.S. Military Service Academy appointments from the 42nd Congressional District. As a Member of the House of Representatives, Rep. Calvert has the privilege of recommending a select group of highly qualified young men and women for admission to the Military Service Academies, which include: U.S. Military Academy (Army), U.S. Naval Academy (Navy and Marine Corps), U.S. Air Force Academy, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.
The following is a list of the candidates nominated by Rep. Calvert who have received and accepted an Offer of Appointment to a U.S. Military Service Academy, and will be part of the Class of 2021 entering in June of 2017:
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE ACADEMY
UNITED STATES MILITARY ACADEMY AT WEST POINT
UNITED STATES NAVAL ACADEMY
“These young men and women who have accepted an offer from one of the service academies have character, integrity, motivation and pride, and I was proud to nominate them,” stated Rep. Calvert. “I have no doubt that these students represent our region with honor and will serve our country well.”
Each appointee to the Military Service Academies will receive an education valued in excess of $350,000. Rep. Calvert’s appointments to the Military Service Academies are awarded on a strictly competitive basis through his Academy Nominations Selection Committee. The Committee evaluates and recommends each candidate based on their merits.
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) applauded the announcement by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that multiple projects in Riverside County were awarded funding in its fiscal year 2017 work plan.
“Funding for projects, like the Murrieta Creek and Santa Ana River projects, are critical to protecting lives and property from dangerous flooding,” said Rep. Calvert. “The Perris Desalter project is essential to securing a reliable water supply in our region. I have been a proud advocate for federal funding of these projects for many years because I know of their importance in the affected communities. I am grateful that the Corps of Engineers is dedicating resources to these projects and I look forward to additional federal investments in the future. I will continue to work with the local Riverside County sponsors of these projects until they are complete.”
The following Riverside County projects were included in the Corps of Engineers fiscal year 2017 work plan:
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) issued the following statement in response to the release of President Donald Trump’s fiscal year 2018 budget request:
“I welcome the release of the fiscal year 2018 budget and look forward to working with my colleagues on the Appropriations Committee throughout the appropriations process. The budget released today clearly emphasizes our national security and protecting our borders, which I believe are critically important. The budget also proposes some reductions for agencies that fall within the Interior Subcommittee’s jurisdiction. Those agencies perform important work, so the members of our committee will be faced with making some difficult decisions. As the appropriations process moves forward, I will work to provide our agencies with the resources necessary to fulfill their missions while also finding efficiencies to ensure taxpayer dollars are being used judiciously.”
Rep. Calvert serves as the Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior and the Environment, and as Vice-Chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) issued the following statement following the passage (217 to 213) of the American Health Care Act by the House of Representatives:
“My vote for the American Health Care Act fulfills a promise I made to voters to save them from the harmful effects far too many of them have experienced since Obamacare was enacted into law. The American Health Care Act lays the groundwork for delivering the health care system Americans deserve by dismantling one-size-fits-all Obamacare and puts in its place policies that will create sustainable, market-driven, patient-focused health care options.
Every day we see more evidence that Obamacare is collapsing. Americans weren’t able to keep the health plans they liked, lost access to doctors they preferred, experienced premium and deductible increases, and witnessed health care providers leave the marketplace in droves. Americans deserve real health care solutions and the peace of mind that comes along with those solutions.
Many of the constituents I have heard from believe we need to fix our broken health care system, but they are understandably concerned about access to affordable health care if they have a pre-existing condition. I share those concerns and want my constituents to know that the American Health Care Act does protect people with pre-existing conditions and puts in place a number of steps to maintain affordable access to care.
The American Health Care Act moves away from Obamacare’s Washington-driven health care system by empowering families with their own health care decisions, giving them the flexibility to purchase health care products that meet the specific needs of their family. Our bill protects the most vulnerable Americans by strengthening Medicaid while providing a stable transition to make sure the rug is not pulled out from anyone. Unlike Americans who receive health insurance from their employer, individuals who purchase health insurance on their own don’t receive a tax benefit when paying their premiums. Our bill fixes that inequity in our tax code by providing those Americans with an advanceable, refundable tax credit to help them buy insurance and create more competition in the insurance market.
It is important for all Americans to know that the passage of the American Health Care Act is part of a three-pronged process to improve our health care system. This bill is not a silver bullet. The Department of Health and Human Services will need to drastically reform the health care regulations that allowed Washington bureaucrats to make far too many decisions that should be made by patients and their doctors. Lastly, Congress must pass legislation that is not restricted by the budget reconciliation process to further improve our federal health care policies and increase choice, competition and affordability.”
Read more about the American Health Care Act by clicking HERE.
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) voted along with a majority (309 to 118) of the House of Representatives to approve the Fiscal Year 2017 Omnibus Appropriations bill that will provide discretionary funding for the federal government for the current fiscal year. Rep. Calvert serves as the Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior and the Environment, and as Vice-Chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.
“The funding bill approved today funds a number of important priorities for the country, California and the Inland Empire,” said Rep. Calvert. “As Chairman of the Interior Subcommittee, I’m especially pleased that we were able to fund increases in programs like the Diesel Emission Reduction Program, which clean our air by leveraging modest federal investments with state and private dollars. The bill also provides critical increases in resources for our military to improve readiness and training. I’m especially pleased that the bill provides our troops with a much deserved 2.1 percent pay raise for the military, instead of 1.6 percent that had been requested by former President Obama.
“Make no mistake, this is not a bill that Nancy Pelosi would have written. In total, the bill includes a $1.5 billion increase in funding for border security, including more agents and tools to stop illegal activity. Combined with the Trump administration’s elimination of the misguided ‘catch and release’ policy, this funding will help further curtail the flow of illegal immigration across our borders. We also rejected calls to increase the D.C. bureaucracy at agencies like the EPA, which we hold to its lowest staffing level since 1989, and prohibit a number of job-killing regulations.”
Some of Rep. Calvert’s key priorities included are:
INTERIOR AND ENVIRONMENT
ENERGY AND WATER
COMMERCE, JUSTICE, SCIENCE, AND RELATED AGENCIES
LABOR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) is pleased to announce his 25th Annual Academy Night event for high school students in the 42nd Congressional District who are interested in attending one of the U.S. military academies.
Academy Night features presentations from the U.S Air Force Academy, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
When: Tuesday, May 2, 2017
6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Where: Ortega High School Conference Center
520 Chaney Street in Lake Elsinore
Students will learn about the admission requirements and the congressional nomination process, and will have the opportunity to meet with representatives from each academy, members of Rep. Calvert's Academy Nominations Selection Committee, and his congressional staff – all of whom will be more than willing to help the students throughout the application process.
For more information about Rep. Calvert's military academy nomination process please click here.
The 42nd District encompasses the western edge of Riverside County including the cities of Eastvale, Norco, Corona, Lake Elsinore, Wildomar, Canyon Lake, Menifee, Murrieta and a portion of Temecula.
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) issued the following statement on Syria:
“The military strikes ordered by President Trump were an appropriate and measured response to the horrific chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime on Syrian civilians, including children. Unlike the previous administration, President Trump has now made it clear by his actions that the use of chemical weapons to brutally murder innocent people will not be allowed to continue without consequences. The entire civilized world has a clear and compelling interest to uphold this principle.
Congress must work closely with President Trump, Defense Secretary James Mattis, and our other national security officials to further develop and implement a strategy to confront the many challenges in Syria, as well as the actions by Russia, Iran, and other nations that have aided the Assad regime in its unacceptable behavior. I am hopeful that President Trump’s strong leadership and decisive actions will send a clear signal to dangerous regime’s across the globe that the days of meaningless ‘red lines’ and phony international agreements are over.”
2269 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Ken Calvert, a lifelong resident of Riverside County and 17-year small business owner in the restaurant and real estate industries, represents the 42nd Congressional District of southern California. Calvert was born on June 8, 1953 and attended neighborhood public schools, graduating from Corona High School in 1971. He attended two years at Chaffey College, in Alta Loma, and then enrolled at San Diego State University, where he graduated in 1975 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. Ken is a Protestant and is involved in several local community volunteer organizations.
The 42nd District encompasses the western edge of Riverside County including the cities of Eastvale, Norco, Corona, Lake Elsinore, Wildomar, Canyon Lake, Menifee, Murrieta and a portion of Temecula. Rep. Calvert was first elected to the House in 1992 and was part of the historic “Contract with America” class in 1994 that swept the House to Republican control for the first time in 40 years.
In the 113th Congress, Rep. Calvert continues to serve on the House Appropriations Committee where he is the Chairman of the Interior and the Environment Subcommittee. Rep. Calvert is also a member of the Defense Subcommittee and the Energy and Water Subcommittee. He also serves on the House Budget Committee. Rep. Calvert was also selected to serve as the Chairman of the California Republican Delegation.
Rep. Calvert has been the California Republican Delegation’s voice on the House Steering Committee, which determines House Republican committee assignments, since 2003.
In the 113th Congress, Rep. Calvert’s legislative priorities includes: enacting pro-growth policies that will help our struggling economy; reducing our national debt; reforming our tax code; supporting our military around the world and supporting the mission in Afghanistan; strengthening our borders and making the use of E-Verify mandatory for all employers in the U.S.; creating long-term solutions to California’s energy and water problems; working towards the implementation and funding of new transportation corridors vital to Riverside County’s future; reducing the time it takes to build infrastructure projects by making common sense, bi-partisan reforms to our environmental laws; and, much more.
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