Congressman Ander Crenshaw, a member of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, today (7/8) announced House passage of the Fiscal Year 2012 Defense Appropriations Bill -- legislation that contains key national defense and homeland security resources for the First Coast and initiatives around the globe.
The legislation passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday, July 8 by a vote of 336 - 87 and now moves to the Senate for consideration. In total, the bill contains $530 billion in non-emergency funding, an increase of $17 billion over last year's level and a decrease of $9 billion from the President's request. In addition, the bill contains $119 billion in emergency spending for defense activities related to the Global War on Terror.
Crenshaw issued the following statement following the bill's passage, highlighting particular initiatives at Naval Station Mayport and Naval Air Station Jacksonville:
"Around the globe, including key defense bases along the First Coast, the needs of our nation's military superiority, homeland security, and our men and women in uniform are addressed in this bill.
"If we want our Navy ships to perform at the highest levels and be ready to deploy at a moment's notice, we must complete 100% of required maintenance. Nowhere is this more important than at our ship repair industrial base at Naval Station Mayport. This bill contains an additional $365 million over the Navy's request to meet that demand.
"Additionally, the legislation provides a total of $107.6 billion -- $5.5 billion above last year for new equipment and upgrades to ensure that our military forces have the platforms, weapons, and other equipment they need to train and conduct successful operations. An example of this commitment - the bill includes $15.1 billion for construction of ten Navy ships, including four new Littoral Combat Ships and $5.9 billion for 32 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft (19 Air Force, 7 Navy, 6 Marine Corps).
"To continue the drive for the newest technology, this bill contains $73 billion for research, development, testing, and evaluation of cutting-edge ideas. For example, the bill fully funds the research and development for the P8-A Poseidon, the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) Unmanned Arial Vehicle (both units are due to be stationed at NAS Jacksonville) and the Navy Combat Air Vehicle.
"These are difficult economic times, and no department in the federal government is exempt from careful scrutiny. This bill identifies fiscally-responsible savings without sacrificing mission, readiness, future technologies, or the ability to protect the American homeland."