U.S. House Approves Funding for FY2006 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Cole announced today the funds for military installations in Oklahoma's Fourth Congressional District that were included in the FY2006 Military Quality of Life and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 2528). There was over $29 million included for Ft. Sill, $31 million for Tinker Air Force Base and over $7 million for other facilities in Oklahoma. Congressman Cole worked to include these funds in H.R. 2528 that passed today in the U.S. House.
"These funds will go directly to Fort Sill and Tinker for priority projects already identified by the base. Our military instillations have shown tremendous strength during recent base closure announcements, and with these funds they will be able to continue to make improvements to their facilities," Congressman Tom Cole said.
The following projects were included in H.R. 2528 for Oklahoma's Fourth Congressional District:
- $3.15 million to build a fire station on base that meets air force safety requirements;
- $2.7 million for Rail Road Equipment Facility at Fort Sill;
- $24 million for family housing at Fort Sill;
- $11.96 million for 31st Combat Communication Squadron Operations Complex at Tinker Air Force Base;
- $20 million for the second phase of upgrades to the Building 3001 infrastructure.
Also included in H.R. 2528 for other facilities in Oklahoma:
- $1.172 million to replace the Composite Aircraft Maintenance Complex at Will Rogers Airport;
- $5.4 million for an Ammunition Container Facility at McAlester Army Ammunition Plant;
- $1.1 million for a High Explosive Magazine Instillation at McAlester Army Ammunition Plant.
The legislation passed in the house today also included an increase in funding for many veterans programs. Veterans Medical Service's funding was increased by $1.64 billion above last year's budget. Funding for mental health research was doubled, and for the first time ever, $2.2 billion was specifically appropriated for specialty mental health care. Also, veteran benefits were increased by $1.5 billion over last year, reflecting expanded benefits for Guard and Reserve personnel.
"Over the last five year, funding for Veterans Medical Services has increased by 40% and funding for the Department of Defense Health Program has increased by 65%. I will continue to work to put the needs of Americans men and women in uniform and our veterans at the forefront of our legislative agenda," Congressman Tom Cole said.
This legislation must now be considered by the Senate.