06/14/2018 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/14/2018 11:57
Washington, D.C. - Yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee conducted a mark-up of the fiscal year (FY) 2019 Defense Appropriations Bill, which included Congressman Scott Taylor's amendment to expand access to child care.
The legislation funds the Department of Defense - including operations, readiness, equipment modernization, and health and quality-of-life programs for our troops and military families. Specifically, the legislation provides a total of $674.6 billion for the Department of Defense. This includes $606.5 billion in base discretionary funding - an increase of $17.1 billion above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level. The bill also provides $68.1 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO)/Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) funding. This funding level is consistent with the National Defense Authorization Act which was approved by the House last month, as well as the recently enacted budget agreement.
Congressman Taylor's amendment encourages the Department of Defense to improve and expand child care programs to reduce stress on military families and help with troop retention and readiness. The language encourages the Secretary of Defense to evaluate all options to expand child care opportunities by utilizing excess infrastructure as child development centers located in rural locations, and to explore partnerships with other federal agencies to coordinate joint accessibility to these development centers.
'After meeting with leadership from NASA-Wallops, Navy-Wallops, and NOAA, it is very clear that lack of access to child care in rural areas is affecting our efforts to recruit and retain talented employees. Our service members are more than just warriors, they are mothers and fathers working to raise the next generation of Americans. If our military installations do not support child care programs, then the health and well-being of our troops and our readiness capabilities are placed in jeopardy. This is especially true for service members and federal employees in rural locations across Virginia's Second District and the Eastern Shore, where access to child care programs is even more limited. Passing this amendment is good for businesses, our military personnel, and the communities where they reside. I am grateful for the bipartisan support from my colleagues who worked to include my amendment in the FY19 Defense Appropriations Bill,' said Congressman Scott Taylor.
Full text of Congressman Taylor's amendment:
The Committee supports continued efforts by the Department to improve and expand military child care programs. Providing this benefit helps to ease the stress placed on military families which positively impacts the readiness of our servicemembers. The Committee encourages the Secretary of Defense to evaluate all options which may further expand child care opportunities, including the utilization of excess infrastructure as child development centers (CDC) at installations located in rural locations. The Committee also encourages the Secretary of Defense to explore partnerships with other federal agencies to coordinate joint accessibility to CDCs.