[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E832]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                               speech of

                             HON. RON KIND

                              of wisconsin

                    in the house of representatives

                         Thursday, June 7, 2018

       The House in Committee of the Whole House on the state of 
     the Union had under consideration the bill (H.R. 5895) making 
     appropriations for energy and water development and related 
     agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2019 and 
     for other purposes:

  Mr. KIND. Mr. Chair, I will vote against H.R. 5895, the Energy and 
Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, because the 
process failed to live up to the Majority's promise of regular order, 
didn't invest in Americans back home, and included controversial policy 
riders that have no place in appropriations bills. Rather than 
investing in Americans by fully funding critical domestic programs, 
this bill overspends on wasteful programs under the guise of national 
security. Further, it included controversial policy riders, which 
should be considered under their own merit-not hidden in a spending 
  I am particularly concerned about the additional money in the bill 
that is allocated for new weapons systems that may actually threaten 
our national security. In particular, the bill included new funding for 
nuclear weapons activities at the expense of critical defense 
nonproliferation accounts, while offering little evidence as to how new 
nuclear weapons could be used to improve national security.
  Despite voting against the bill, I am happy to see over $52 million 
provided to the VA to implement the Jason Simcakoski PROMISE Act. The 
funding will assist in increasing programs to help medical 
professionals and patients understand the risks associated with pain 
medication and examine alternative treatments. I am also encouraged 
that the bill included over $196 million for veteran suicide 
prevention, $5.6 billion for homeless veterans' treatment costs, and 
$270 million for rural health initiatives. These efforts will help 
address the opioid epidemic and give veterans and their families the 
tools they need and the accountability they deserve
  I understand how important it is to provide ample support for our 
military, which is why I recently voted in favor the National Defense 
Authorization Act. Supporting the brave men and women who defend this 
nation is of paramount importance; however, we should not be inserting 
partisan riders into our spending bills. I will continue to work with 
my colleagues to support our military and pursue fiscally responsible 
policies that invest in Americans.