Friday, December 13, 2019

Lucas comments on House passage of Defense funding measure


House Fulfills Constitutional Duty: Providing for Common Defense

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Conference Report for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation authorizes funding for our nation’s armed services and retirees as well as a number of Oklahoma’s military installations.

“For nearly 60 years, Congress has shared a bipartisan commitment ensuring that our nation’s military has the resources it needs to defend American families. Today’s passage of the NDAA was one of the final steps towards ensuring our Armed Forces have the resources they need to protect our nation, said Congressman Lucas.

Lucas continued, “This legislation includes critical provisions providing for our nation’s common defense as well as a 3.1% pay raise for our troops, ample resources to continue to rebuild readiness and develop emerging technologies, and it establishes the United State Space Force as the sixth branch of the military. Also included in the report is a repeal of the so-called “Widow’s Tax”, an unfair offset that has plagued the spouses of our fallen heroes for far too long.

I’d like to express my sincere appreciation for Senator Inhofe’s work in negotiating this agreement. As Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee he was essential in crafting a compromise that reflects our nation’s values and makes our country safer. Oklahoma is fortunate to have such a steadfast advocate leading the Armed Services Committee.”

Notable Provisions Related to Bases in Oklahoma’s Third District

The Conference Report provides increased funding and procurement of three addition KC-46 aircraft, bringing the total FY20 procurement to 15 KC-46 aircraft. Altus Air Force Base is programmed to receive 8 KC-46 aircraft and will provide training for all KC-46 pilots and boom operators.

The Conference Report included language that supports procurement for the T-X advanced pilot training system, replacing the T-38 trainers. Pilots, including those at Vance Air Force Base, currently train on T-38 aircraft.

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