By a vote of 267-151, the United States House of Representatives today approved a measure to fund federal government operations through the end of the 2013 fiscal year. Congressman Tim Murphy, who supported H.R. 933 (the Department of Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act) released the following statement:
"The bill avoids a government shutdown, maintains spending cuts already enacted into law, and supports our veterans and troops by giving the Defense Department the flexibility needed -- and requested by our military leadership -- to keep our country safe. It also provides full funding to veterans' programs."
The $982 billion government funding measure gives the Pentagon authority to target funds to high-priority programs and sign contracts for new initiatives -- something that is prohibited under a continuing resolution. Beyond addressing defense and providing full funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs, the legislation also carries over appropriations plans from last year for the rest of the government through September.
The legislation also contains critical language needed to retain within the Air Force 32 air cargo planes such as the C-130s stationed at the 911th Airlift Wing in Moon Township. In January, House and Senate lawmakers enacted an annual defense bill requiring the Air Force to retain 32 air cargo planes initially targeted for retirement. H.R. 933 provides resources to keep those planes in service. To determine where those planes should go, the Secretary of the Air Force tasked Lt. Gen. Moeller with convening a working group to study the issue and make recommendations. Rep. Murphy has led delegation efforts to ensure the planes are placed at the 911th. A decision on the base's fate is expected in the next few weeks.