WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, released the following statement regarding defense funding included in the FY2016 Defense Appropriations Bill, which he voted for and which passed out of committee earlier today.
“I fought for a seat on the Appropriations Committee – the one committee that controls how our government spends taxpayer dollars – so I could make sure that Connecticut taxpayers see their hard earned money returned to our state. I’ve listened to the needs and concerns of residents all across Connecticut and have worked hard on their behalf, and today, the payoff is big. I voted for the Defense Appropriations Bill because it will directly protect and grow Connecticut’s defense manufacturing industry and the hundreds of thousands of jobs it supports across our state. This bill recognizes Connecticut’s contribution to America’s national security by investing in our state-of-the-art submarines, helicopters, and jet engines and adding hundreds of millions of dollars to the local economy. It provides more Blackhawk helicopters, F135 engines, and research and development of new submarines critical to manufacturing in towns like Groton, Middletown, and Stratford. It will also expand access to behavioral health counseling for our servicemen and women and implement a well-deserved pay raise for our troops who put their lives on the line each and every day.
“I continue to believe that we must do everything in our power to aid our allies in the fight against ISIS, which includes recognizing that the presence of American combat troops cannot solve every problem. That’s why I pushed for my amendment to prevent the U.S. from sending ground troops to engage in the fight in Iraq or Syria. Unfortunately, that amendment did not pass, but I will continue calling for a vote in Congress.
“The appropriations process is a long one, and no bill can be considered in a vacuum. I support today’s bill in large part because it matches the President’s budget request and all that it will do for Connecticut, but I will remain opposed to appropriating money on the floor until the Senate addresses the draconian sequestration spending limits that hamper our ability to invest in America’s future.”
The FY2016 Defense Appropriations Bill supports the following programs in Connecticut:
- Added $1 billion for the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account
- Added 4 JSF F-35 Air Force aircraft above the President’s request
- Added 6 JSF F-35 aircraft for the Marine Corps above the President’s request
- Supported the President’s Budget for Ohio Class Submarine Replacement/Advanced Nuclear Power Systems
- Supported the President’s Budget for Virginia Class Submarine
- Support the President’s Budget for the Virginia Payload Module
- Supported the President’s Budget for F135 Component Improvement Program (Navy)
- Supported the President’s Budget for F135 Aircraft Engine Component Improvement Program (Air Force)
- Supported the President’s Budget for UH-60 Blackhawk M Model (Multiyear procurement)
- Supported the President’s Budget for the Executive Helicopter development
- Added $278.7 million for the Peer-Reviewed Medical Research Program
- Added $244 million for Cancer Research
- Added $25 million for Virginia Class Submarine hydrodynamic enhancements
- Supported a 1.3 percent pay raise for military personnel
- Added $14 million for Behavioral Health Community Counseling