Corker Votes for Defense Appropriations Bill
U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., today voted for H.R. 3326, the Fiscal Year 2010 Department of Defense Appropriations bill, which funds the ongoing military activities of the Department of Defense. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 88-10.
"This legislation provides critical resources our men and women in uniform need to conduct operations around the world -- particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan -- and to train for those missions here at home. It also includes funds to support the health and welfare of our troops and their families, assistance for service members transitioning to civilian life, and the repair and purchase of equipment needed to ensure the security of our nation and protect our interests globally," Corker said. "I'm particularly pleased about the 3.4 percent military pay raise and resources devoted to physical and mental health. We ask a great deal of our service members. They work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, through holidays, bad weather, and in conditions most of us can't even imagine, and increased pay and quality health care are two of the ways we can honor their sacrifices."
Key defense related provisions include:
A 3.4% across the board military pay raise and funds to maintain TRICARE, one of the best health care systems in the United States.
An end strength increase of 22,000 for the Army, bringing total end strength of all active forces to 1,425,000 -- a measure that will begin to alleviate the physical and mental strain on our forces.
An additional $1.5 billion for critical Guard and Reserve equipment shortfalls.
$120 million for Traumatic Brain Injury and psychological health.
Also attached to the bill are a series of temporary extensions for expiring programs including anti-terrorism provisions of the USA Patriot Act, federal unemployment benefits, the Highway Trust Fund, and the Medicare "doc fix," which delays a mandatory 23 percent cut in Medicare physicians' reimbursement payments.