Shelby, Inhofe, Wicker Push to Include Needed Funds for Defense Facilities in Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Senate Armed Services Ranking Member Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), and Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Ranking Member Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) today urged colleagues to support Amendment 2535 to H.R.3684, the “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,” which would address critical infrastructure needs to support our national defense. The senators highlighted that while the current legislation includes billions of dollars for all manner of infrastructure investments, it does not include resources for military infrastructure.
“Our military’s infrastructure issues have been piling up for years. We have a responsibility to address some of these needs, particularly in a package focused on improving the nation’s infrastructure. This amendment includes funding for maintenance and modernization projects at defense facilities across the services and makes necessary investments to optimize, improve, and rebuild critical infrastructure that that supports the U.S. Navy fleet. Further, the amendment provides funding for the Secretary of Energy to make investments related to nuclear maintenance, decommissioning, and decontamination. These are essential investments to support our national security mission – and ones that are lacking in this infrastructure package. We cannot continue to spend hand over fist on domestic priorities without investing dime one in our national defense,” stated Vice Chairman Shelby.
“Infrastructure goes beyond just roads, tunnels, and bridges – it’s also essential to our national defense. Military infrastructure has been neglected for decades, but especially so in the past 10 years. Because the legislation missed the opportunity to address these critical infrastructure needs, Senators Shelby, Wicker and I are introducing this amendment to fix that oversight. This won’t solve all the military’s infrastructure problems, but it would be a strong investment to take care of our highest priority needs, improve the living and working conditions of our service members and civilians, and ensure the military can meet its mission to defend the nation. These are bipartisan priorities that will help make our nation more secure now and into the future, and I hope all of my colleagues join us in supporting it,” Ranking Member Inhofe said.
“As Congress assembles a historic infrastructure bill, I am glad to work alongside Senator Shelby and Senator Inhofe to bring urgently needed resources to the facilities that support our national defense. Investing in U.S. shipbuilding and repair yards is especially critical to expanding our Navy and Coast Guard fleets to meet global threats,” said Ranking Member Wicker.
The senators’ amendment would create a Defense Infrastructure Fund containing $50.2 billion, including the following: $25.35 billion for shipyards; $4 billion for test and training ranges; $2 billion for high priority military construction projects; $1.5 billion for PFAS remediation; $4 billion for Facilities Sustainment, Restoration and Modernization; $3.85 billion for Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration infrastructure; $4.5 billion for military depots; $2.5 billion for ammunition plants; and $2.5 billion for 5G rollout to military bases.
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