June 16, 2004  


Defense Funding Bill Passes Out of Full Committee


Congresswoman Kay Granger (R – Fort Worth) announced Wednesday that four of Fort Worth’s defense programs’ funding levels passed through the House Appropriations committee in the fiscal year 2005 Defense Appropriations bill and will be brought to the House floor next week.

This $416 billion Department of Defense (DOD) bill provides needed equipment, training, and other resources for United States military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. The President’s $25 billion war supplemental request for continuing operations in the Middle East is also included in this bill.

The V-22 Osprey and H-1 Helicopter Upgrade programs by Bell Textron Helicopter were two North Texas programs included in the bill’s funding allocations. The bill provides $1.9 billion for eight new MV-22’s for the Marine Corps and three new CV-22’s for the Air Force Special Operations units.

The bill also includes approximately $4.6 billion to continue the F/A-22 development program and to purchase 24 of the new fighters. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program was funded at $4.4 billion. The funds finance continued development of the program, which is an increase of $116 million over last year’s level for JSF. Both the F/A-22 and the JSF are Lockheed Martin Aeronautics programs.

"The Fort Worth area produces the finest equipment for our armed services, and I worked hard to fully fund our programs in this bill," said Granger. "This appropriations season has been very tough, and this bill’s funding for V-22, F/A-22, JSF, and H-1 Upgrades demonstrates the federal government’s commitment to providing our soldiers with the best equipment and training available."

The fiscal year 2005 Defense Appropriations bill will be voted upon by the House of Representatives next week. The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense is scheduled to fine-tune its version of this bill this week.