Congressman Tim Murphy (PA-18) released the following statement on passage today in the House of Representatives of the FY13 Department of Defense Appropriations Act (H.R. 5586). Murphy worked with his colleagues to include legislative language in the bill to prohibit the Pentagon from spending any taxpayer dollars on the retirement or transfer of aircraft from the 911th Airlift Wing and 171st Air National Guard.
"Our nation faces emerging threats across the globe, which is why our service members must have the necessary tools to do their jobs effectively and protect their fellow citizens," said Congressman Tim Murphy. "With passage of the DoD Appropriations Act, we've taken critical steps toward keeping our country safe and ensuring our military is prepared for engagements in the future. Our region's military families should be especially heartened to know that this legislation blocks the Pentagon from closing down the 911th Airlift Wing. Even with passage of the House bill, our efforts are not finished, and I'm going to keep working to save the 911th -- one of the most accomplished and cost-effective bases in the country."
Background on the Legislation:
The FY13 Defense Appropriations bill provides $518.1 billion for the Pentagon's base budget, the same as the fiscal 2012 level. The measure also provides about $87.7 billion for overseas contingencies, including operations in Afghanistan, and cuts aid to Pakistan.
Section 8116 of the FY 2013 Defense Appropriations bill freezes the proposed retirement or transfer of all Air Force aircraft, including the C-130s at 911th. The bill would also stop the Pentagon from removing four KC-135 refueling aircraft from the 171st Air National Guard station. The House has already approved a companion defense planning bill, the FY2013 National Defense Authorization Act. That legislation also stops the Air Force from moving forward with C-130 aircraft retirements planned in the upcoming fiscal year.
Rep. Murphy also supported an amendment from Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) to prevent the Pentagon from imposing a new enrollment fee on TRICARE, which is an insurance plan for military families.
For more information, visit Murphy.House.Gov/911th.