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Congressman Tom Cole

Representing the 4th District of Oklahoma

Funding Bill Maintains Resources for Active-Duty, Veterans

April 30, 2015
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2029, the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2016. With $76.6 billion in total discretionary spending, this legislation provides funding for current and ongoing infrastructure and support projects for active-duty military as well as programs, assistance and benefits for our nation’s veterans.

Of particular importance to Oklahoma, the legislation funds construction projects at Fort Sill Military Post, Tinker Air Force Base, Altus Air Force Base and the Oklahoma Air National Guard stationed at Will Rogers Airport. At Fort Sill, that includes $56 million for barracks renovation and $13.4 million for a training support facility. At Tinker AFB, that includes $12.9 million for an air traffic control tower and $37 million for KC-46A tanker depot maintenance. 

“The special call of duty to defend our country demands courage and sacrifice both during and after service in the military,” said Cole. “Not only is this required of those who answer the call, but military families are also directly impacted by an immediate family member’s decision to serve. As a grateful country, we owe these brave individuals and their families the best possible care from the moment they commit to serve onward. I am very pleased that the legislation passed today shows bipartisan commitment to improving and upgrading the resources available to active-duty service members and ensuring that veterans receive the care they were promised in a timely manner.”

In response to mismanagement at the Department of Veterans Affairs, the legislation helps fulfill the care promised to veterans. The bill recommends funds for staff to process the massive backlog of benefits claims and encourages modernization of the health records system and construction projects to better answer the demand. 

“After the mismanagement at the Department of Veterans Affairs that resulted in extended wait times for veterans seeking care, it is critical that our veterans not be treated in this fashion ever again. This bill provides the resources to ensure that appropriate solutions are implemented and that veterans who need care receive it in a timely manner,” concluded Cole.

Cole is a member of the House Committee on Appropriations. Both Tinker AFB and Fort Sill are located in the Fourth District of Oklahoma. 

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Contact: Sarah Corley (202) 225-6165