Senate Approves 2010 Defense Appropriations Bill
U.S. Sens. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., a member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, praised the Senate's passage of the 2010 Defense Appropriations bill late yesterday evening. The bill funds a number of important resources for our servicemen and women and their families, as well as Georgia-made weapons systems and a 2.9 percent, across-the-board pay raise for all military personnel.
"This bill provides funding for our men and women in uniform to carry out the responsibilities our nation asks of them, whether they are in Iraq, Afghanistan or the state of Georgia," said Chambliss. "It's only right that we support our military personnel and ensure that they have the resources necessary to carry out their missions."
"Georgia's military bases and defense systems manufacturers are critical to our national security and have played a key role in the global war on terrorism," Isakson said. "This funding is critical to ensuring that our men and women in uniform have the resources they need to protect our homeland and continue the fight for freedom around the world."
The Defense Appropriations bill also provides funding for the Military and Overseas Voters Empowerment Act ("MOVE Act"), which was introduced by Chambliss and Isakson and passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act in July, to ensure that all ballots cast by U.S. troops overseas are counted in elections. It requires all states to provide military voters with ballots no later than 45 days before an election. It also requires states to institute and maintain an electronic and fax system for sending voter registration applications and absentee-ballot applications.
"It's time we address the issues that have kept military and overseas absentee ballots from being counted," said Chambliss. "Our military men and women serving overseas at very least deserve to participate in the electoral process."
"Our men and women serving overseas are deployed in defense of freedom and democracy, and I'm very pleased the Senate has approved funding to ensure our soldiers are able to fully participate in our nation's democratic process," Isakson said.
Additionally, the Senate unanimously approved an amendment, introduced by Chambliss and cosponsored by Isakson, expressing its view that funding for re-engining of the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System, known as Joint STARS, should be appropriated in accordance with the president's budget request for fiscal year 2010. The amendment also expressed the Senate's view that the Air Force should proceed with planned efforts to re-engine Joint STARS aircraft, to include expending both procurement and research, development, test and evaluation funds.