DEWINE ANNOUNCES FUNDING FOR TANKS AND HUMVEES IN FINAL SUPPLEMENTAL BILL
U.S. Senator Mike DeWine, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced the inclusion of $503 million for the Army's M1 tank program in the conference report to the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill. The M1A2 System Enhancement Package (SEP) tanks received $300 million in funding restoration, and are produced and tested at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center (formerly the Lima Tank Plant). Funding for the M1A1 Abrams Integrated Management (AIM) Program was restored to $103 million and the M1A1 Tank Urban Survivability Kit (TUSK) Program received $100 million in funding in the final version of the bill.
"The M1A2 Sep is the best equipment available for our warfighters, and the restoration of funding means our Nation's brave men and women will have the necessary protection and survival capabilities in the field," said Senator DeWine. "All of these programs are essential, we must give our troops the resources they need to accomplish their mission."
Hours before the FY06 Emergency Supplemental Request was submitted to Congress in February, the U.S. Army was forced to reduce its procurement request. As a result, funding for the M1A2 SEP tanks was eliminated. Without the funding Senator DeWine helped secure, a break in production would have occurred resulting in layoffs or a reduction of work across the country, including the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima. This break would have affected jobs in Ohio, Alabama, Michigan, California, Florida, Indiana, Idaho, Arizona, Texas and Pennsylvania.
After the Supplemental Request was submitted, Senator DeWine immediately engaged in discussion with Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, requesting the Subcommittee restore the tank funding in the Supplemental Appropriations bill. Senator DeWine then took the lead, writing two letters with his colleagues to the Appropriations Committee in support of funding restoration. The Committee included the funding in the Emergency Supplemental bill that they sent to the Senate floor for consideration.
Senator DeWine was also instrumental in securing an additional $480 million in funding for up-armored Humvees in the bill. This brings the total funding for the new purchase of new up-armored Humvees for troops in the field in Iraq and Afghanistan, to $890 million. Senator DeWine continues to promote additional funding for these Humvees, which are up-armored in Fairfield.
"Level I and Level II up armored Humvees are truly the best protection for our troops serving overseas, that's why I am pleased the Emergency Supplemental includes this critical funding," added Senator DeWine.
The final bill must now pass the Senate and the House before it goes to the President for his signature.