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Calvert Applauds House Passage of Defense Authorization and Appropriations Bills

Location: Washington, DC

Calvert Applauds House Passage of Defense Authorization and Appropriations Bills

Monday, December 19, 2005

WASHINGTON, DC - Representative Ken Calvert (R-Corona) was pleased to announce that his local priorities were included in the Fiscal Year 2006 (FY06) Department of Defense Appropriations Act, H.R. 2863, as well as H.R. 1815, the FY06 Defense Authorization Act; both of which were passed by the House of Representatives early this morning.

"As our nation continues to address current and future threats to our security, it is imperative that our Armed Forces are equipped with the resources they need to achieve their objectives," said Rep. Calvert. "By raising military pay across-the-board and increasing funds for other personnel programs, our troops will be provided the assets they need now and when they return home from the battlefield."

The FY06 Defense Appropriations Act provides $403.5 billion for military spending, which represents an increase of just over $12 billion from FY 2005. The bill also fully funds the 3.1% military pay raise, effective January 1, 2006, as well as an increase of $71 million for Family Advocacy, childcare programs, and assistance to military families.

Funding for the following projects/programs was requested by Rep. Calvert and included in the final appropriations bill:

* $2.0 million - Navy and Marine Corps Advanced Measurement Standards R&D. NSWC, Corona and similar installations participate in this program.

This program provides for the development of advanced measurement standards and metrology systems to support the Navy and Marine Corp programs testing. NAVSEA, Corona works with the National Institute of Standards and Technology to develop these standards.

* $1.5 million - March Joint Powers Authority Arnold Heights Reuse Project located at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, California.

Arnold Heights is a former military housing complex consisting of 558 single-story housing unites. The complex will be demolished to make way for economic development on the parcel which would bring an estimated 4,000 jobs to the area.

* $300,000 - Naval Sea Cadet Corps (NSCC) Program

This program defrays the costs for Cadets while promoting interest and skill in seamanship and aviation. Individual Cadet out-of-pocket costs can reach $500 per year. The NSCC youth program teaches Cadets, ages 11-17, that they must contribute to their community and country; as well as accept responsibility for their own actions. Summer training onboard Navy and Coast Guard ships and stations is a challenging training ground for developing self-confidence and self-discipline, promotion of high standards of conduct and performance, and a sense of camaraderie and teamwork.

Highlights of the Avian and Pandemic Influenza Preparedness

The FY06 Defense Appropriations Act also provides $3.8 billion for avian flu preparedness, 3.46 billion below the request. This amount funds roughly the FY06 portion of the Administration's request. These funds include:

* $3.3 billion for the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund to improve pandemic preparedness.

* Within that amount $350 million is provided for upgrading State and local response capacity, particularly the planning and exercising of pandemic response plans by State and local officials; $241 million for international activities, disease surveillance, vaccine registries, research, and clinical trials; and $50 million to increase laboratory capacity through the Centers for Disease Control.

* HHS is provided with flexibility to utilize the balance of the funds to support other core preparedness activities, such as expanding the domestic production capacity of influenza vaccine, developing and stockpiling of pandemic vaccine, stockpiling of antivirals and other supplies for the Strategic National Stockpile necessary for protecting and preserving lives in the event of an outbreak of pandemic influenza.

* The remainder of the funds are provided for international assistance, monitoring and tracking, and research and development.

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