With Critical Bustos Provisions Included, Defense Appropriations Bill Heads to House Floor for Final Passage
WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) helped pass a strong Defense funding bill out of the powerful House Appropriations Committee that includes numerous local priorities. This piece of legislation will now head to the House floor for final passage. Congresswoman Bustos included language to benefit men and women in uniform, civilian employees of the military, expand manufacturing work at the Rock Island Arsenal and improve aircrafts at the Peoria Air National Guard.
“From the Rock Island Arsenal to the Peoria Air National Guard to aerospace manufacturing in Rockford, the strength of our nation’s defense runs right through the heart of our region,” said Congresswoman Bustos, a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense. “Today’s legislation makes that clear by providing our servicemembers with the highest quality resources needed for military readiness. I’m proud to fight for our men and women in uniform and the world-class workforce behind them.”
Our region carries a strong tradition of service, which is why Congresswoman Bustos fought to include major provisions in this bill to ensure our servicemembers are well equipped to carry out their duties.
At the Rock Island Arsenal, the newly established Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence plays a major role in ensuring our Army’s manufacturing capabilities are top-notch, while also being a key local economic hub. In addition to securing funding for long-term enhancements and potential future projects at the Arsenal, Congresswoman Bustos fought to include language that commends the Army on the creation of the center and also directs the Department of Defense to identify additional activities that will benefit from the unique capabilities the center has to offer. Furthermore, Congresswoman Bustos included a provision to continue current projects carried out by the Arsenal’s Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center (JMTC) and lay the groundwork for future projects. Specifically, the bill includes funding to continue JMTC’s conversion of Humvees into ambulances, as well as new funding for converting Humvees into service trucks or Shop Equipment Contact Maintenance (SECM), which hold tools and equipment needed to repair damaged vehicles on the battlefield. JMTC would be highly competitive for carrying out the new SECM manufacturing work.
Additionally, the many civilian employees across our region deserve fair treatment and recognition for their work to support our national defense. That’s why Congresswoman Bustos secured a provision to ensure service contracts are in full compliance with Department of Defense regulations and congressionally passed guidelines.
Finally, Congresswoman Bustos secured $79 million in funding for engine enhancement packages for C-130H aircrafts – like those in operation at the 182nd Air National Guard squadron in Peoria – so they are operating with state-of-the-art equipment.
Other priorities of Congresswoman Bustos that were funded in the bill include:
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE – This bill provides an increase of $15.8 billion more than the fiscal year 2019 enacted level.
MILITARY PERSONNEL – This legislation includes a 3.1 percent military pay raise. It also addresses quality of life and safety issues in the military by providing an additional $70.7 million in upgrades to childcare facilities and $297 million in funding for the Department and Services’ Sexual Assault Prevention and Response programs.
OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE – The House Appropriations Committee provides $1.055 billion above the president’s request for key readiness programs. These funds go toward preparing our forces, including the National Guard and reserve, for combat operations and other peacetime missions.