Press Release

Rep. Cuellar Supports Recovering Troops in FY19 Appropriations Bill

Providing millions in medical assistance, research, therapy and more

Washington, | Olya Voytovich, DC Press Secretary (202-226-1583); Leslie Martinez, District Press Secretary (956-286-6007), June 13, 2018

WASHINGTON- Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) included language and funding in the U.S. House of Representative’s fiscal year 2019 Defense Appropriations bill that helps support troops through medical assistance, cancer research, and therapy to help facilitate recovery after serving in the military. This bill passed full committee markup today and is scheduled to move for a vote on the House and Senate Floors this summer.

Helping Wounded Troops

Congressman Cuellar helped secure $45 million in funding that directs the Department of Defense (DoD) to invest in advanced wound healing technology. Specifically, this money will fund the Joint Warfighter Medical Research Program (JWMRP), which funds medical research and technology with the goal of providing wounded service members with lifesaving care within the first hour after an injury occurs, reducing the number of battlefield casualties. (See attached bill language)

Curing Infectious Diseases

The bill directs language for treating service members with both acute and chronic infectious wounds acquired in military combat. Funding will be allocated towards the Military Infectious Diseases Research Program, which manages research for the DoD on naturally occurring infectious diseases with a focus on protecting troops through the development of vaccines, drugs, and diagnostics. This language also encourages the Department to explore solutions for life threatening battlefield complications such as sepsis and other infections through the use of telemedicine and other technologies. (See attached bill language)

Fighting Rare Cancers

Congressman Cuellar included language that directs the DoD to conduct more extensive research of rare cancers affecting our Armed Forces.  Military personnel are uniquely exposed to carcinogens that may increase the risk of certain cancers. As a result, those who serve in the military face unusually high incidence rates of more than two dozen cancers, over half of which are considered rare. This language will directly assist cancer research at a variety of medical centers, including the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, to help deliver enhanced cancer treatment for all service members and their families. (See attached bill language)

Therapy Dogs for the Wounded

In the bill, the congressman helped secure $10 million, a $5 million increase from FY18, to fund therapeutic service dog training for wounded veterans. These service dogs have proven to be effective aides for military services members wounded in combat and require assistance after returning home.  The service animal training program is a world-class program and furthers the congressman’s commitment to caring for the men and women who fight for this country. (See attached bill language)

“I want to ensure that the men and women of our Armed Forces have the resources they need to properly recover after they proudly serve our country,” Congressman Cuellar said. “The language that I helped include will increase funding in this year’s Defense Appropriations bill, supporting critical medical research programs that protect our troops from infectious diseases and deliver enhanced cancer treatment for all service members and their families.”

Congressman Cuellar added, “I would like to thank my fellow Appropriators, Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chairwoman Granger and Ranking Member Visclosky, for helping me secure these funds. This money will aid our military in recovery, ensuring that they return to leading healthy lives.”