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ICYMI: Military leader says national emergency declaration poses an “unacceptable risk” for readiness and national security
WASHINGTON – Yesterday in a hearing of a powerful House Appropriations subcommittee regarding military construction requests, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) addressed the allocation of $9 million for a new Fire House at the Peoria Air National Guard in FY2019. This project came under threat of being cut due to the President’s National Emergency Declaration, which would potentially reallocate funds already appropriated but not yet under contract. Additionally, Congresswoman Bustos raised the concern of how the military plans to update aging infrastructure in military facilities like the Rock Island Arsenal — which has been around since the Civil War.
“The Peoria Air National Guard’s military construction project should not have to be placed on hold due to the president’s inability to uphold a key campaign promise that Mexico would pay for a wall on the southern border,” said Congresswoman Bustos, a member of the Appropriations subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs. “Having visited the facility in Peoria, I’ve seen the importance and need for this project firsthand. I was pleased to hear that construction should proceed as scheduled, and hope that the Administration will follow through on this important commitment. Another significant piece of our region’s strong tradition of service is the Rock Island Arsenal — where considerable contributions to the overall strength and readiness of our nation’s defense are made. Having up-to-date infrastructure is key to not only maintaining their high quality of work but also advancing it, which is why I’ll continue to support their efforts by working to ensure they have modern, safe and accessible facilities.”
Specifically, Congresswoman Bustos confirmed that the Department of Defense does not plan to pull from funds intended to be awarded this Fiscal Year after the funding was initially placed on the chopping block by the Trump Administration. Furthermore, Congresswoman Bustos asked how the military plans to ensure their facilities are current and what their prioritization process looks like to respond to infrastructure needs like those at the Rock Island Arsenal.
In September of 2018, Congresswoman Bustos helped pass legislation to secure the funding to construct the Peoria Air National Guard’s fire house. Additionally, she voted just last month to protect these dollars and terminate the president’s emergency declaration, which has posed an “unacceptable risk” to military readiness and our national security.
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