Hurd Continues to Support Big Wins for Veterans, Energy Sector and Bexar County

September 13, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representative Will Hurd (TX-23) voted with his colleagues on both sides of the political aisle today to support funding for military construction, veterans’ affairs, and energy and water related projects for the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY2019). This conference version of the funding package includes similar wins from the House version of the package which Rep. Hurd supported in June, including:

  • Ensuring over seven million veterans receive medical care during FY2019, by including VA medical care funding of $72.3 billion, including $270 million for rural veterans’ health initiatives, $8.6 billion for mental health care services, and $206 million for suicide prevention research;
  • Including $1.1 billion to modernize the VA’s electronic health record system to provide seamless care to veterans as they transition from military service;
  • Streamlining current VA resources so that the VA can resolve claims for the more than 450,000 veterans who are waiting for the compensation; and,
  • Providing $10.3 billion, an increase of $241 million above FY18 levels, for construction of military facilities, including military family housing, medical facilities, facilities to support troop readiness and safety, and infrastructure upgrades needed for deterrence operations and anti-terrorism efforts.

Also included in this package, due to Rep. Hurd’s continued advocacy and work with local leaders, is $25 million expected to be designated for Mission Reach reimbursement in San Antonio, a United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) project to prevent San Antonio River flooding and restore natural plant and animal habitats. Money to complete the project was loaned to the USACE by Bexar County, and reimbursement will allow the County to complete additional projects that benefit the community, such as San Pedro Creek Culture Park. With this expected $25 million, Mission Reach has been allocated a total of $41.2 million in reimbursement since Rep. Hurd has been in Congress. This bill also ensures that USACE prioritizes additional resources into their new start projects, which San Antonio’s Mitchell Lake falls under, so that students and bird enthusiasts can continue enjoying this unique migratory bird sanctuary for years to come.

Rep. Hurd also has consistently expressed the urgency for energy innovation initiatives that will create more jobs in Texas, a new paradigm for efficient power cycle applications and natural gas development that is safer, more efficient and environmentally sustainable. As a result of Hurd’s advocacy, the following was included in the package:

  • $16.7 million for the Supercritical Transformational Electric Power (STEP) Project, charged with improving the performance and efficiency of existing and new electric power plants, ultimately lowering energy consumption and emissions.

“This important funding package is critical to providing our veterans with the resources and care they’ve rightfully earned. I am also proud to secure funding for Mission Reach each year so that San Antonio River Authority can continue their transformative ecological, cultural and economic improvements for our city,” said Hurd, whose district includes Mission Espada, part of the San Antonio Missions National Historic Park. “I am glad to help get this bill over the finish line and will continue to work with my colleagues across the political aisle to deliver real results for the good folks of the 23rd District of Texas.”