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Government shutdown averted | Congress approves spending bill that provides billions to military

The bill will bring billions of dollars to the Hampton Roads military community.

WASHINGTON — Five months late, Congress has approved a budget for the federal government.

Late Thursday night, the Senate passed the $1.5 trillion spending package, which means there will not be a government shutdown as was feared.

The bill will bring billions of dollars to the Hampton Roads military community.

RELATED: Here's what's in the $1.5 trillion budget Congress just passed

"We are grateful to be able to have an appropriations bill signed into law, and not have to live under the threat of yet more continuing resolutions," said Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby.

For the military, the measure provides a pay increase of 2.7% for troops and Department of Defense civilian personnel and funds a $15 minimum wage for DoD civil servants.

The bill provides $26 billion for shipbuilding.

That includes more than $2.3 billion for the three Ford-class aircraft carriers under construction at Newport News Shipbuilding, as well as $2.4 billion for the shipyard's refueling and overhaul of the USS John C. Stennis and USS George Washington.

The bill also includes $6.3 billion for work on Virginia-class attack submarines, and $4.7 billion for Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines, which Newport News builds in a partnership with General Dynamics Electric Boat.

The bill adds $264 million for the Navy's Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program that includes Norfolk Naval Shipyard.

The bill also provides $1.4 billion in funding to improve military housing, $119 million for food assistance efforts for military personnel and their families, and $97 billion for medical care at the VA.

In addition, the legislation adds $151 million for DoD's sexual assault prevention and response programs, an additional $486 million for environmental restoration activities including $210 million for costs associated with PFA "forever chemicals" cleanup, such as the firefighting foam that was used at Fentress Field and Oceana.

Other highlights include $6 million to fund Centerville Turnpike improvements in Virginia Beach.

RELATED: Navy Secretary 'extremely confident' in sailors deployed to the Med

There is $2.5 million to pay for the construction of a new mental health hospital at Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters in Norfolk.

And the measure allocated $199,000 to support a gun violence intervention program in Portsmouth.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia) said, "This was a major victory for the Commonwealth."

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