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June 13, 2023

Congressman David Trone Slams Retaliatory Cuts to Veterans, PACT Act Funding During MilCon Subcommittee Markup


June 13, 2023 

Contact: Sasha Galbreath, 

Congressman David Trone Slams Retaliatory Cuts to Veterans, PACT Act Funding During MilCon Subcommittee Markup

Today, Congressman David Trone, member of the House Committee on Appropriations, released a statement condemning Republicans’ devastating funding cuts to veterans, service members, and their families during the markup of the Committee’s Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Subcommittee Fiscal Year 2024 funding bill:

“It is abundantly clear that extreme House Republicans are seeking retaliation for the bipartisan debt ceiling agreement by literally shortchanging America’s veterans and their families.

“Last Congress, I was honored to help pass the Honoring Our PACT Act into law. The law includes my FASTER Presumptions Act to cut red tape and secure health care for the more than 3.5 million veterans who were exposed to dangerous toxins – like burn pits and Agent Orange – during active service. Today, Republicans are underfunding the PACT Act’s Cost of War Toxic Exposures Fund (TEF) by $14.7 billion. This is a disgrace.

“Beyond funding cuts, Republicans are also waging war on the diverse service members who only make our armed forces stronger. In this bill, they have demanded a prohibition on federal funds to implement executive orders related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

“As the appropriations process continues, I fully expect House Republicans to push full steam ahead on the Default on America Act’s $142 billion in cuts and leave millions of Americans out in the cold while doing so. 

“We expect to see the Housing Choice Vouchers under the Department of Housing and Urban Development cut by more than 25 percent, harming the more than 50,000 veterans who rely on those vouchers for housing. Cuts to the Department of Labor of more than 30 percent will eliminate job training for more than 4,200 veterans who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. I have always said we must invest in our servicemembers and veterans for better outcomes.

“As Maya Angelou said, ‘When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.’ It’s time to believe this is what the extreme Republican leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives stands for.”


The 2024 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies funding bill fails to honor our commitment to veterans, service members, and their families. The bill and its amendments:

  • Cut funding for critical military construction and backtrack on our promises to our service members and their families by cutting military construction by over $1.5 billion compared to the current level. Under this plan, Pearl Harbor – a symbol of American resilience – would be cut by $90 million, putting its shipyard upgrades behind schedule. Without a modern shipyard in the Pacific, fast attack submarines cannot be serviced and our national security and ability to defend against near-peer adversaries at sea is at risk. 30 percent of our military infrastructure worldwide is in poor condition; this bill does nothing to address recruitment and retention, and quality of life for our service members.  
  • Underfund the Cost of War Toxic Exposures Fund (TEF) by $14.7 billion, rejecting the dedicated, special funding agreed to on a bipartisan basis in the Honoring our PACT Act.
  • Transfer $4.5 billion from the Medical Facilities account to be transferred to the major and minor construction accounts outside of Medical Care, further subjecting veterans to medical care cuts.
  • Prohibits the VA from providing abortions and from flying the Pride flag at its facilities, a shameful attack during Pride month.
  • Provides $15.3 million for Democratic community projects, when over $400 million was requested, but it did support $279 million for Republican community projects – politicizing a process for military communities that are no less deserving. 

Congressman David Trone was elected to the House of Representatives in November 2018 to serve the 6th District of Maryland, which includes all or part of Montgomery, Frederick, Washington, Allegany, and Garrett Counties. Trone serves on the Appropriations, Budget, and Joint Economic Committees. In Congress, Trone is fighting to make progress on issues that matter to Marylanders, including the mental health and addiction crises, criminal justice reform, and funding for medical research.