Prior to adjourning for the August recess, the U.S. House of Representatives approved an amendment to the “Make America Secure Appropriations Act” (H.R. 3219) offered by Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY), a bill that will increase equine therapy funding for veterans by $5 million during FY2018.
In a statement released July 28, Congressman Barr expressed his pleasure over passage of the defense spending legislation. He stated that he is “particularly pleased that the final bill … expands the availability of evidence-based equine treatment for veterans who have suffered trauma while serving our country.”
Before the equine therapy provision becomes law, House and Senate lawmakers must convene a “conference” to negotiate final legislation for a vote in both chambers, and present the bill to the President for his signature. Because the House will not return to Washington until September 5, Congress will not be able to negotiate a final bill until the fall. Although the Senate currently plans to remain in session through August 11, their agenda remains uncertain.
Following failure of healthcare legislation, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has identified Federal Drug Administration (FDA) funding, Department of Defense (DOD) authorization legislation, and federal appointments as priorities for the next two weeks. Congress must pass final spending bills, or a continuing resolution, prior to the end of the current fiscal year on September 30.
To view a copy of Rep. Barr’s statement related to the equine therapy amendment, please see the following link: https://barr.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/barr-votes-to-enhance-national-security. If you would like more information about this bill or related issues in Congress, please contact Bryan Brendle at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202-296-4031.