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Congressman Cole Votes for Defense Authorization Bill, Amendment to Establish U.S.S. Oklahoma Memorial

May 25, 2005
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole voted for the Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006 (H.R. 1815) today that included an amendment that directs the Secretary of the Navy and the Secretary of Interior to move forward in the creation of a memorial for the U.S.S. Oklahoma. Congressman Cole was able to use his position on the powerful Rules Committee to have this amendment inserted into the bill.

As point person on powerful Rules Committee for all defense issues, Congressman Cole led the debate on the rule for this legislation. A rule must be passed before the actual piece of legislation is debatable.

"The language I was able to insert into the bill will get the ball rolling for the creation of a long-overdue U.S.S. Oklahoma memorial. This is a step in the right direction, in what will most likely be a long process," Congressman Tom Cole said. "With Memorial Day right around the corner, this is a way we can honor the men who served on the U.S.S. Oklahoma and ensure that their sacrifice is not forgotten."

The amendment, offered by Congressman Cole, was included in the manager's amendment. It directs the Secretary of the Navy in consultation with the Secretary of Interior to identify a location for the U.S.S. Oklahoma and then submit to Congress within one year a plan to establish a memorial to the U.S.S. Oklahoma.

The Defense Authorization Act also included $3.15 million for Ft. Sill to build a fire station on base to help better protect soldiers and equipment. The bill includes $10 million for Excalibur Life Cycle improvements. These funds will increase production quantities and create economic efficiencies for Excalibur artillery munitions. Congressman Cole was also able to secure $50 million over the President's request of $108 million for the non-line-of-site cannon (NLOS-C).

A request by Congressman Tom Cole to split NLOS-C from the development track of the Future Combat Systems was also included in the 2006 Defense Authorization bill.