Toomey Outraged Over Blocking of Vets Funding Bill

Member Group : U.S. Senator Pat Toomey


Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa) today voted for important funding to provide health services to our veterans, $1.1 billion to research and fight the Zika virus, and to establish an Air Force squadron of C-17s at the Pittsburgh IAP Air Reserve Station — the home of the 911th Airlift Wing.

Unfortunately, Senate Democrats blocked the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill which failed to get the 60 votes needed to end debate.

"It is absolutely outrageous that the Senate Democrats today filibustered and killed a critically important bill that increases federal funding for our veterans, allocates more than a billion dollars to fight Zika, and provides $85 million to help modernize infrastructure for Pittsburgh’s 911th Airlift Wing so it can host a C-17 squadron," said Sen. Toomey. "With summer mosquito season in full swing and Pennsylvania’s veterans rightfully calling for improved health care and other services, I can hardly believe that my Democratic colleagues are playing partisan politics and obstructing this bill. This commonsense legislation received bipartisan support in the House, and, if signed into law, would be a huge win for Pennsylvania, especially for our veterans community and Pittsburgh. Also, the level of Zika funding in this measure is the same as what my Democratic colleagues all supported a month ago. I hope they will reconsider their extreme partisan tactics, do the right thing, and help us pass this bill as soon as possible."

Previously, the Fiscal Year 2017 MilCon-VA Appropriations Bill passed on a bipartisan 89-9 vote in May, and it would increase funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) by nearly four percent. This would boost funding for health care services as well as provide resources to improve claims processing and prosthetic research.

The legislation also provides funds for an Air Force squadron of C-17s at the Pittsburgh IAP Air Reserve Station — the home of the 911th Airlift Wing. The 911th Air Wing supports more than 1,200 Reservists and 300 full-time positions. The arrival of the C-17s would bring about 300 additional full-time positions to the region and would permit the squadron to fly strategic missions, with larger payloads, anywhere in the world.

# # #