Stalled Defense Bill Would Have Positive Impact in Nevada

 

Stilling on President Donald Trump’s desk is a $700 billion defense bill awaiting his signature that could benefit military installations and personnel in Nevada, but funding for these programs could remain unknown due to a 2011 budget law.

The Senate and House passed this bill which included $634 billion for Pentagon programs as well as $66 billion to help pay for the Middle East and other area combat operations.

But due to the 2011 law, the authorizing of the bill for defense relies on a spending bill.

Trump urged those in Congress to increase the military spending and called for additional funds for weapons and programs within his budget.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that the lower 2011 spending cap is “insufficient and unacceptable.” The senator urged President Trump to sign the $700 bill.

The bill will help with Nevada’s four military installations which include: Creech Air Force Base, Nellis Air Force Base, Naval Air Station Fallon and the Hawthorne Army Depot. Stationed as active-duty personnel in Nevada are 10,295 (as of May 2016) this includes 9,129 airmen. Reservists within the state are totaled to be 7,713 as well as 1,472 civilian workers who support those at military installations.

Including a proposed 2.4 percent pay increase for troops, included in the bill is authorization for 90 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, used at Nellis Air Force Base, addition of $10 million to the Department of Defense Cyber Scholarship Program to attract personnel to cyber missions at Creech Air Force Base and create a public-private partnership between the Air Force and the Nevada National Guard to cut costs in upgrading the C-130H aircraft for guard use.

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