WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senators Barbara A. Mikulski and Paul S. Sarbanes (both D-Md.) today announced that the Senate version of the 2007 Department of Defense spending bill includes $14.5 million for defense projects in Southern Maryland. The legislation, which passed the Senate Appropriations Committee today, funds the Department of Defense and will go toward research, development, test and evaluation programs, as well as weapons and equipment required for the U.S. Armed Forces.
"We need to do everything we can to support our troops - not just with words, but with deeds. Together, we can do better. These much needed funds will help our troops fulfill their mission both at home and abroad," said Senator Mikulski. "I will keep fighting to put money in the federal checkbook for U.S. troops and their families."
"We continue to work hard to ensure that Maryland's military installations and their personnel have the resources and capabilities necessary to carry out their critical missions and this funding helps in these endeavors," said Senator Sarbanes. "This bill also provides needed funding to enable our troops to have the most up to date equipment and research resources for them to successfully carry our their missions."
The spending bill includes more than $14.5 million in funding for defense projects in Southern Maryland, including:
$5.5 million for Energetics Technology Center/S&T Workforce Revitalization, a joint effort with the University of Maryland and St. Mary's County to develop an innovation workforce in Southern Maryland.
$5 million for the Patuxent River (Pax River) Naval Air Station Atlantic Test Range to upgrade communications technology.
$4 million for the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division at Pax River to upgrade and support network centric operations.
In the next step of the legislative process, the bill will move to the Senate floor for a vote, which has not yet been scheduled. Following the Senate vote, the House and Senate will meet in Conference Committee to work out the differences between the two versions of the bill. The Conference report will then be voted on by both Houses of Congress. Once passed by the House and Senate, the Appropriations bill will go to the President for his signature.
Senator Mikulski is a member of the Appropriations Committee and the Subcommittee on Defense. Senator Sarbanes is the senior Democrat on the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.
Most of Maryland's federal representatives also have a good track record on support of legislation in favor of veterans. The following table lists ratings (0 is worst, 100 is best) assigned by vote-smart.org that indicate the Congressman's support of the interests of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) group. According to the VA watchdog organization vawatchdog.org, support of the DAV is a good indicator of a Congressman's support of veterans overall. According to the DAV, they are the "foremost representative of the interests of disabled veterans and their families, their widowed spouses and their orphans before federal, state, and local governments."
U.S. Senate Paul S. Sarbanes (D) 92
U.S. Senate Barbara A. Mikulski (D) 92
U.S. House Wayne T. Gilchrest (R) 0
U.S. House C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D) 100
U.S. House Benjamin L. Cardin (D) 100
U.S. House Albert R. Wynn (D) 100
U.S. House Steny H. Hoyer (D) 100
U.S. House Roscoe G. Bartlett (R) 0
U.S. House Elijah E. Cummings (D) 100
U.S. House Christopher Van Hollen (D) 100