House Passes Defense Bill Including Delaney Amendment to Benefit Veterans and Their Families
WASHINGTON – On Thursday the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5293, the 2017 Department of Defense Appropriations Bill, legislation that included provisions authored by Congressman John K. Delaney (MD-6) to double federal funding for Fisher House, a highly-rated non-profit that partners with the federal government to provide free lodging near hospitals for the families of veterans and active duty service-members who are receiving care.
The Delaney Amendment was cosponsored by Rep. Dingell (MI-12), Rep. Jones (NC-3) and Rep. Yoho (FL-3) and increases annual federal funding from $5 million to $10 million, helping Fisher House build new facilities to meet growing demand. The Delaney Amendment passed the House on June 15. The increase in federal support for Fisher House is fully offset by a reduction in the DOD Operations & Maintenance Account, an administrative overhead account which is not fully spent.
“Our amendment has a simple aim: helping America’s heroes be with their families when they’re in the hospital,” said Congressman Delaney. “A family’s support is good medicine and for decades Fisher House has been the prescription that works. No military family should face financial hardship or endure time apart simply because they don’t have the resources to stay near the hospital. As the budget and appropriations process moves forward, I will continue to work with my colleagues to see that additional funding for Fisher House becomes a reality - with more and more veterans needing long-term care, let’s work together and do what it takes to get more facilities built.”
In March, Delaney led a bipartisan letter signed by thirty House Members calling for increased federal support for Fisher House in the federal budget. Since taking office in 2013, Delaney has offered an amendment to increase funding for Fisher House each year. In 2013, 2014, and 2015 the House has passed amendments offered by Delaney during consideration of Department of Defense Appropriations to increase federal support for Fisher House.
As a public-private partnership, Fisher House builds facilities and then donates them to the United States government. Fisher House lodging is 100% free and offers families apartment-style accommodations, often within walking distance from hospitals. Since 1990, over 277,000 families have been served by Fisher House, which has an A+ grade from Charity Watch and a four out of four star rating from Charity Navigator.