August 4, 2010
Ander Crenshaw announced that the full House of Representatives approved the Fiscal Year 2011 Military Construction (MILCON) and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations bill (H.R. 5822). Crenshaw served as Acting Ranking Member and managed the bill for Republicans during House floor debate on Wednesday. H.R. 5822 now moves to the United States Senate for consideration.
The bill provides critical funding needed for military construction, including $2 million in planning and design funds for the continued nuclearization of Naval Station Mayport and $74.53 million for Marine Corps projects at Blount Island. The legislation also funds family housing for our troops and their families and other quality of life construction projects, and provides resources for the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Related Agencies.
Commenting on House passage of the bill, Crenshaw issued the following statement:
“This bi-partisan bill provides key resources to address the needs of our servicemen and women, our veterans, and our fallen heroes. I am honored to help guide the measure to final passage in the House and look forward to its passage in the United States Senate.
“At home and around the globe, our soldiers deserve key resources as they fight the war against terrorism and protect our national security no matter where they are. This bill moves us in that direction by including $2 million in planning and design funds for continued nuclearization of Naval Station Mayport and $74.5 million to expand the capability of Marine Corps Blount Island Command to handle equipment returning from Afghanistan and Pakistan.
“The Navy ruled that national security dictates that the East Coast have two nuclear aircraft carrier homeports - Mayport being one of them. With the Quadrennial Defense Review reinforcing that decision, the work shifts to funding the projects needed to make this base nuclear ready. I have fought for Mayport from day one and will continue to do so until the day a carrier sails in to homeport on the First Coast.
“At Blount Island Marine Corps Command, funds for expanding storage capabilities, overhauling equipment, and shipping will help make sure our Marines receive well-maintained equipment in a timely manner. These resources mean that Blount Island will be able to accept more equipment returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and service our pre-positioning ships and equipment more efficiently.
“For our veterans, my proposal to re-allocate $14 million to the Veterans Benefits Administration to allow the VA to retain 306 education claims processors was included in this final bill and will ensure that GI education benefits claims are processed quickly. We have all supported and lauded the benefits of the new GI education benefits bill, but we must be attentive to complaints from angry veterans who begin a semester in college only to have their tuition bill still unpaid months later.”