Congressman John Fleming cast a vote today to provide funding for ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Fiscal Year 2009 War Supplemental Appropriations Bill provides a total of $96.717 billion in emergency supplemental funding . The bill appropriates $81.3 billion for the ongoing war and intelligence operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and $15.4 billion for military construction, foreign assistance, flu pandemic preparedness, and a number of other spending items. This bill provides $11.817 billion, 14 percent, more than the $84.9 billion requested by the President. The bill also included an Amendment prohibiting funds from this legislation from being used to release a Guantanamo Bay detainee into the U.S., and placed requirements on the future transfer of such detainees.
"I was proud to cast this vote to support the men and women who are on the front lines in the fight for democracy and freedom. We need to stay the course and rely on the expertise of our generals in theater in determining when it is safe to begin troop withdrawal. This War Supplemental does not include benchmarks or timetables; it simply provides the necessary funding to accomplish the mission of defeating terrorism. Military families should not have to worry about their loved ones having the necessary resources to safely do their jobs."
The bill will now go to the Senate for final passage before being sent to the President's Desk, where it will be signed into law.
Highlights of the bill include:
$17.443 billion for Army, Navy, Marine and Air Force military personnel, including reserves. These funds pay for a myriad of military personnel expenses, including basic pay, housing, bonus pay for active duty, retention bonuses, and enlistment bonuses.
Ongoing Military Operations and Maintenance
$33.788 billion for the operations and maintenance of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and reserves. These funds pay for the ongoing war activities in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle Fund
$4.843 billion for the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicle Fund to provide for armor protected lightweight vehicles suitable for the rough terrain in Afghanistan.
Military Construction : Provides a total of $3.2 billion for military construction$900 million above the President's requestincluding the following:
$1.922 billion for Army, Navy, Marine, and Air Force military construction, including $596 million for child development centers and wounded warrior in transition facilities.
$1.086 billion for military hospital construction and $263 million to supplement the costs of new hospital construction to replace Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Congressman John Fleming is a Navy veteran and is a member of the House Armed Services Committee