Congressman Thomas J. Rooney

Representing the 17th District of Florida

Rooney Autism Amendment, Defense Appropriations Passes

Jun 16, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Tom Rooney (FL-17), a member of the House Appropriations Committee and Chairman of the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, issued the following statement after the FY2017 Defense Appropriations bill was approved by the House of Representatives today by a vote of 282-138.

“My wife and I are both Army veterans, and we have many friends and family members who are currently serving at home and overseas. This funding bill is necessary to keep our country safe and to take care of our soldiers and their families. This bill makes sure that our troops have the training and equipment they need to complete their missions, while giving them the peace of mind that their families have the support they need at home.”

“The threats to our nation are increasingly complex, unconventional and not confined by borders – a terrifying reality evidenced by the terror attack committed by a U.S. citizen within our borders in Orlando, FL. The United States must be adequately prepared and our military sufficiently funded to stop the expansion and campaign of violence of the Islamic State, including attacks inspired by the organization, and maintain the readiness and capacity to deter the constant threat of global terrorism, a nuclear ambitious Iran, and an aggressive Russia.

Funding requests submitted by Rooney that were accepted in the final 2017 bill include:

  • $9.8 million to support the deployment of all 10 Army National Guard Cyber Protection Teams which will enhance federal and state cyber security operations.
  • $30 million to fund advanced stages of research and development focused on finding a cure for spinal cord injury and paralysis, toward which significant strides are being made at the University of Miami.
  • $5 million to establish a Lupus Medical Research Program within the Department of Defense to help meet the needs of the 1.5 million Americans living with lupus.

Other important highlights of the bill include:

  • Proper funding for Overseas Contingency Operations and the Global War on Terrorism to provide the necessary resources for personnel requirements, operational needs and readiness levels.
  • Fully supports military readiness by providing the necessary platforms, weapons, and other equipment our military needs to train, maintain the force, and conduct successful operations.
  • Gives our troops a 2.1 percent pay raise instead of the 1.6 percent as requested by the President.
  • Fully funds the Defense Health Program to provide care for our troops, military families, and retirees.

Also included in the bill was a Rooney amendment that will provide increased assistance to military families who have a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).