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Mr. SCHNEIDER. Mr. Chairman, I rise to lend my support for the underlying bill we are debating today that addresses critical health care, housing, education, and unemployment needs for our soldiers who are deploying and our veterans who are returning from the battlefield.
The Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations measure is one of the most important pieces of legislation Congress considers annually. It provides the necessary funding to house, train, and equip our brave men and women in uniform, support our military families, and maintain our military base infrastructure. Put simply, no one should stand ahead of our men and women in uniform or our Nation's veterans when it comes to making Federal funding decisions.
Critical to this discussion is the priority placed on investments in medical care for our Active Duty servicemembers and veterans.
I appreciate that the committee continues the precedence set in past years of providing advanced appropriations for the VA.
Allowing for advanced appropriations provides a platform for long-term planning and investment in critical programs that meet the emerging needs of our servicemembers and military families.
I want to personally thank the committee for providing these resources that will allow our VA hospitals, including those in my district, to prepare adequately for the number of veterans returning home from deployment. This approach will provide flexibility to capitalize on emerging technology and treatments that will ensure our warriors here at home are receiving the very best health care possible.
As well, I would like to thank the committee for its important work to ensure that we are maintaining investment in our military installations. I applaud the inclusion of $35.8 million for the construction of housing units at Naval Station Great Lakes, located in my district. This funding will allow more servicemembers to receive the training they need, while not overburdening them with complicated, temporary housing conditions.
This forward-looking investment is one that illustrates how we can further utilize existing military infrastructure to achieve efficiencies in training and services. I want to again thank the committee for its work on this important bipartisan bill.
Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
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