Crenshaw Salutes Vigorous Veterans and Military Construction Funding Bill
Includes over $113 million for Jacksonville military construction projects
June 13, 2008
Contact: Jeremy Steffens (202) 225-2501
– Today, Congressman Ander Crenshaw and his colleagues on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (MilCon-VA) presented a record breaking funding bill for fiscal year 2009.
“I am honored to serve on this Subcommittee and proud we were able to put aside politics and do what’s right for the past and present members of our armed forces and their families. Today this Subcommittee showed its gratitude to our military personnel and veterans,” said Rep. Crenshaw.
The military construction portion of the funding bill contained over $113 million worth of projects for the NE Florida area including $3.4 million for an aircraft refueling project at NS Mayport that was added to the bill at Congressman Crenshaw’s request.
The other projects included for Jacksonville include: $12.9 million for Child Development Center at NAS Jacksonville; $14.9 million to upgrade Alpha Wharf at NS Mayport; $34 million to replace fuel tanks at the Defense Logistics Agency Fuel Farm on the St. Johns River; and $48.2 million for an Integrated P-8A Training Center at NAS Jacksonville (pending the Final EIS).
Rep. Crenshaw said, “A lot of hard work has gone into securing necessary funds for these critical projects in our community, and I pleased to have helped make it happen. Jacksonville won a huge victory with the approval of these projects.”
The bill also includes a Department of Defense (DOD) Homeowners Assistance Fund of $4.5 million to provide help to service members who are forced to sell their home and receive less than what they owe because of a deployment or permanent change of station move.
The Veterans Affairs portion is a 7% increase over last year’s enacted budgets and provides for an additional $1.6 billion for the Veterans Health Administration. These funds will allow the Department to increase access to services, ensure safer facilities and improve treatment including: $568 million to increase enrollment of Priority 8 veterans by 10 percent and $50 million more to increase the beneficiary travel reimbursement rate from 28.5 cents to 35 cents.
“This increase is a sign of the strength of the commitment that the American people have to providing for our nation’s bravest servants,” said Rep. Crenshaw.
“But while today was a good day, military leaders remind us that the war supplemental still has not been passed and its delay is putting vital operations and services to our personnel in jeopardy. I urge my colleagues on the other side to do as they did today, and take the election year politics out – and fully fund our troops,” said Crenshaw.