Sunday, May 26, 2024

Cassidy, Kennedy: Louisiana Priorities in National Defense Funding Package secured

by BIZ Magazine

U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) released a statement following Senate passage of several key Louisiana priorities he worked to include in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Provisions Cassidy worked to secure include the vast majority of his SHORRE Act which includes numerous provisions to protect and restore our nation’s coastlines and rivers and provides billions for Louisiana water projects.

The NDAA already passed the House last week by a vote of 350-80, so it is on the way to the president’s desk to be signed into law.

“The NDAA ensures our service members and families have the resources and support they deserve. We also strengthen our defense against natural disasters with hurricane protections for Louisiana,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Thanks to Congressman Garrett Graves for partnering with me to invest in rebuilding Louisiana shorelines.”

“This year’s national defense bill contains important wins for Louisiana and America. As regimes in China and Russia grow more aggressive, Republicans have made sure that the U.S. will upgrade our ships and planes while giving our troops a much-deserved pay raise. We are also ending the Covid vaccine mandate for service members and reinforcing parents’ ability to review curriculum at DOD schools,” said Sen. John Kennedy’s (R-La.).

The NDAA authorizes $858 billion for national defense spending, which includes a 4.6% pay increase for service members. The bill also saves $11 billion through reforms made at the Department of Defense.

Provisions in the NDAA include:

  • $125 million to authorize the construction of a Weapons Generation Facility (WGF) at Barksdale Air Force Base
  • $61 million to authorize the construction of a new Joint Operations Center (JOC). The JOC is the command station for all of the training activities conducted at Fort Polk and the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC).
  • $35.36 million for the authorization of an Information System Facility. This project will upgrade mechanical and data-sharing systems at Fort Polk.
  • $1.65 million for planning and design work for an Army National Guard Readiness Center in Abbeville, LA.
  • $1.65 million for planning and design work for an Air National Guard Munitions Administrative Facility in New Orleans, LA.
  • $735 million to continue to support the Air Force’s B-52 program at Barksdale Air Force Base.
  • $41 million in military construction funding authorized for Fort Polk for the construction of a new Child Development Center
  • Establish 100% federal financing for the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet shipping channel
  • Secure $1.8 billion for Upper Barataria Basin is also for hurricane and storm damage risk reduction
  • Secure $2.2 billion in projects for Louisiana Hurricane Protection and Levee Improvements.
  • Establish 100% federal financing for the Lower Mississippi River Comprehensive Management Study
  • Authorized $1.245 billion for South Central Coast, Louisiana Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction funding
  • Make new investments to improve water and wastewater systems through the Corps Environmental Infrastructure Program.

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