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Thornberry votes in support of defense appropriations bill
U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, voted today in support of the “Fiscal Year 2017 Defense Appropriations,” H.R. 1301, which appropriates nearly $577.9 billion in funding for national defense. The bill passed by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 371 to 48.
“By passing this bill with a strong bipartisan vote, Congress sent an important message to the men and women of the military as well as to allies and potential adversaries around the world. It is an essential first step to repair and rebuild our military. But it is not enough. We must follow it up with a supplemental appropriations bill and a FY 2018 funding level that fulfills the first responsibility of the federal government, which is to defend the country,” Thornberry said.
When combined with the funding provided in the continuing resolution supplemental enacted in December, defense funding for the 2017 fiscal year totals $584 billion.
Locally, the bill appropriates funding for national security facilities and programs such as training missions at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls. In addition, about $2.9 billion total is authorized for Bell’s V-22 Osprey and helicopter programs, including the procurement of 19 new Ospreys and 24 new AH-1Z / UH-1Y helicopters. Much of the work for those aircraft will be performed in Amarillo.
The bill also fully funds the 2.1 percent pay raise for service members authorized in Thornberry’s Defense Authorization Act that passed in December.
You can download video footage of Thornberry speaking on the floor of the House in support of the bill here.