Jersey Veterans Briefed on Key Local Priorities in Defense Funding Bill Supported by Gottheimer

Bill Contains Key Resources to Support Service Members and Veterans, Fight Terror Group Discussed Gottheimer's Opposition to Some Bill Provisions including Border Wall

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GLEN ROCK, N.J., August 8, 2017 | comments
"I am in Israel this week seeing first hand our nations' collaborative efforts to defeat terror, stand strong against Iran, and strengthen America's national security. I am grateful to these local veterans for serving our country and meeting with my team to discuss the vital provisions in the defense appropriations bill I recently voted for," said Congressman Josh Gottheimer. "Our government's top priority must always be the security of our country and communities and having the backs of those who risk their lives to keep our families safe."
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Glen Rock, N.J. -- Today, staff representatives for Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) are meeting with local veterans to hear about their concerns and brief them on the important priorities that Gottheimer voted for in the defense appropriations bill that recently passed the House of Representatives, including key resources to fight and defeat terror, a much-needed pay raise for American troops, improvements for troop readiness, and support for veterans and a strengthened VA.

Gottheimer's Director of Veterans Affairs is meeting with local veterans in the Congressman's Glen Rock office where the group will discuss Gottheimer's support for resources to improve military readiness and the VA, provide mental health and traumatic brain injury treatment to veterans, resources to fight opiates, give a pay raise to the nation's armed services, and defeat ISIS and other terrorist organizations.

The legislation provided for the following:

  • Keeping our promise to veterans by funding the Department of Veterans Affairs for mental health services, suicide prevention, traumatic brain injury treatment, homeless veterans assistance, cancer research and treatment, and service dogs.
  • Requiring the President to submit a strategy to defeat Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and ISIS, and ensuring U.S. Special Operations Forces are funded and focused on protecting the U.S., and the world, from terrorist groups in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, and more. Defeating ISIS and fighting terrorism is one of the most important military missions.
  • Giving our Armed Forces a much-needed pay raise. The 2.4% increase is largest raise in 8 years.
  • Addressing a funding shortage for military readiness. By providing an additional $1 billion for readiness efforts, our troops will have the necessary equipment and training to be battle ready.
  • Taking care of those that sacrificed for us by extending the solvency of the veteran disability compensation programs that serves 4.5 million veterans and their survivors.
  • Resources critical to New Jersey priorities including:
    • Funding operations and maintenance requirements for every military installation in New Jersey, including $130 million to support the Armaments Research Development Engineering Center (ARDEC) at Picatinny Arsenal.
    • Promoting the Strategic Medical Asset Readiness Training (SMART) partnership that Hackensack Meridian Health and the U.S. Army Reserve recently initiated to train medical personnel for combat.
    • Caring for our veterans by funding New Jersey VA Medical Centers, including the new Sussex Community-Based Outpatient Clinic located in Newton. Additionally, the PTSD Clinical Team and Women’s Trauma Recovery Program at the Lyons Campus will receive full funding.
    • Offering a lifeline to current and retired service members affected by addiction. This bill providing funding for programs for opioid and addiction treatment and prevention programs at the VA and within DoD.

More details on this bipartisan legislation's provisions are available HERE.

While a number of Jersey priorities and national security programs are resourced in this funding measure, Gottheimer does not support every provision of the bill and voted to remove allocated resources for a wall along the nation's southern border, something he has said will not make our families or communities more safe while hitting taxpayers squarely in the pocketbook. Gottheimer supports common sense efforts to reform our immigration system. He is proud to defend Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and cosponsor the Encourage New Legalized Immigrants to Start Training (ENLIST) Act-- bipartisan legislation to help qualified undocumented immigrants who came to this country as children earn legal status through service in the U.S. Armed Forces. He also stood with mayors and police chiefs by voting against H.R. 3003, which would punish state and local law enforcement for prioritizing protecting public safety.

"I am in Israel this week seeing first hand our nations' collaborative efforts to defeat terror, stand strong against Iran, and strengthen America's national security. I am grateful to these local veterans for serving our country and meeting with my team to discuss the vital provisions in the defense appropriations bill I recently voted for," said Congressman Josh Gottheimer. "Our government's top priority must always be the security of our country and communities and having the backs of those who risk their lives to keep our families safe."

“I thank Congressman Gottheimer for always standing by New Jersey veterans and making sure our service members have the resources they need abroad and the support they need when they return home,” said David Pearson, Assistant Director of Veteran Services, Catholic Family and Community Services. “During today’s meeting, I look forward to hearing about his recent work on veterans issues and support for our priorities in supporting women veterans in our community.”

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