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Cole Applauds Passage of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2017

March 8, 2017
Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1301, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2017 by a vote of 371-48. This bill will provide the funding for the Department of Defense and related programs authorized through the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2017.
Overall, the bill provides $577.9 billion for our nation’s defense, including $516.1 billion in discretionary funding and $61.8 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations and the Global War on Terrorism funding. Further, it is $5.2 billion over the Fiscal Year 2016 current enacted levels.
“Congress has no higher priority than providing for the national defense through a well-trained, well-equipped military,” said Cole. “This legislation will help start the restoration of our defense capabilities which had been allowed to diminish under the previous administration. With growing threats of terrorism and increased aggression by several nations which are hostile to the United States, a larger, more robust military is critical to maintaining order and preserving peace.
“There are a number of key provisions within the bill that benefit service members in Oklahoma and across the country,” continued Cole. “It will provide $215.3 billion for readiness programs, halting the drawdown of troops and increasing end strength. Of importance to Oklahoma, it provides key funding for the Air Force’s KC-46A Tanker program at Tinker and continued Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) of the Army’s Paladin PIM. The Paladin PIM program extends the operational reach of Army artillery and allows for coordinated and operative fires to support dismounted and mounted troops and is the Army’s premier artillery piece.
“Further, our service members and their families will receive the much deserved benefits that they need. The bill will provide for a 2.1% increase in pay for troops and will improve access to quality health care.
“America should always maintain the military force necessary to protect our nation, and we should always make sure the men and women we rely on to do so have the best training and best equipment available. I am proud to support the passage of this Defense Appropriations bill, and hope that it sets a standard for future defense appropriations legislation,” Cole concluded.