Congressman Sires supported passage of H.R. 5856, the Defense Department Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2013, which passed the House of Representatives by 326 to 90. The bill would provide $519 billion for the Department of Defense budget in FY 2013, as well as funding for overseas military operations.
"One of the most critical aspects of this bill is the assistance it provides to our troops and their families. In particular, this bill increases the pay raise for the troops, strengthens health care services for troops and their families, and provides $2.3 billion for family support and advocacy programs," stated Congressman.
Specifically, H.R. 5856 would provide all service members a pay raise of 1.7 percent, as well as an increase in the basic allowance for housing and the basic allowance for subsistence. This bill would also provide $33.9 billion for Defense health care programs for our troops, their families, and retirees. In addition, this legislation would increase funding for cancer research, medical facility and equipment upgrades, Traumatic Brain Injury and psychological health research, and suicide prevention outreach programs. Furthermore, H.R. 5856 also improves schools for military families by including $270 million to replace schools owned by local educational authorities or the Department of Education that are located on military installations.
"Providing assistance to both our troops at home and abroad is the least we can do to show our admiration for all they do to protect our country and livelihood," expressed Congressman Sires.