WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) today expressed indignation at Democratic efforts to put vital military funding at risk by including Fiscal Year 2008 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations (MilCon-VA) in a “minibus” funding bill with the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education (Labor-H) Appropriations bill conference reports. President Bush had previously expressed he would sign the MilCon-VA appropriations bill, but veto the Labor-H appropriations bill. The Senate today voted on a procedural motion to separate the two bills, removing the MilCon-VA bill from the Labor-H bill.
“I am very disappointed in the politicization by Congressional Democrats of vital funding for our troops, veterans, and military construction. Democrats have stalled the critically important MilCon-VA bill for two months, refusing to bring the appropriations bill back to the floor and on its way to the President’s signature until it was unnecessarily attached to a domestic spending bill that will be vetoed.
“Our troops and veterans deserve better than these petty political games. This bill includes critical funding for troops and military bases across the country that should not be delayed, especially during wartime. I am proud of my Senate colleagues who voted today to separate these two bills as they were intended, removing the risk that funding in the MilCon-VA bill will be vetoed.”
On October 31, Sen. Inhofe and 43 other Senators signed a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) urging them to split the bills and pass stand-alone Defense and MilCon-VA appropriations bills before Veterans Day.
OKLAHOMA PROVISIONS INCLUDED IN THE MILCON-VA BILL:
- $7.0M for a Fuels System Maintenance Hanger at Vance Air Force Base
- $3.3M for a Multipurpose Machine Gun (MPMG) Range at Fort Sill
- $2.9M for a Modified Record Fire Range at Fort Sill
- $34.0M for a Consolidated Fuel O/H Repair & Test Facility at Tinker Air Force Base
- $2.0M for a C-17 Sheet Metal Composite Shop at Altus Air Force Base
- $87.0M for an ADA Brigade Complex, Increment 1 at Fort Sill
- $34.0M for an Armed Forces Reserve Center at Fort Sill
- $16.0M for an Armed Forces Reserve Center at McAlester Army Ammunition Plant
- $43.2M for an Armed Forces Reserve Center at Norman
- $15.0M for an Armed Forces Reserve Center at Vance Air Force Base
- $41.0M for an Armed Forces Reserve Center at West Oklahoma City
- $6.0M for a Training Aids Support Center at Fort Sill
- $87.0M for an ADA School Complex Increment 2 at Fort Sill
- $6.9M for an AFR Squad Ops/Life Support at Tinker Air Force Base
- $22.0M for Construction of a General Purpose Warehouse at the Defense Distribution Depot in Oklahoma City