CONGRESSMAN BISHOP STATEMENT ON FY 2015 DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS BILL MARK-UP
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02), Member of the House Appropriations Committee, released the following statement after the full Appropriations Committee passed its Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Defense Appropriations Act. The government spending bill now goes to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives for its consideration.
“Even as our conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq wind down, new challenges have arisen across the globe that require the United States to remain internationally vigilant and maintain a strong national defense. We have worked with the Department of Defense to adequately supply its vital needs while remaining fiscally responsible. In addition to military defense, the bill’s investments will continue to address sexual assault and suicide within military families, as well as focus efforts on service members’ quality of life after discharge. Our troops, airmen, and marines deserve no less.”
Congressman Bishop spoke in favor of an amendment offered by Congressman Jack Kingston (GA-01) supporting the A-10 Thunderbolt II (Warthog) program.
“The Department has essentially decided, through its proposed FY 2015 budget, to eliminate half of the A-10 program. By FY 2016 the A-10 program would be fully divested, providing no support for operations, maintenance, training, or flying of the A-10 Thunderbolt mission within the United States Air Force, both active duty and reserve…At Moody Air Force Base in Georgia, which for years I have had the distinct honor of representing, would lose 48 A-10’s which is part of the regular Active Duty Force...[Defunding the program] would create a huge hole in our air defense systems, without any significant replacement to fill that hole.”
The A-10 Thunderbolt II, also known as the Warthog, is a twin-engine aircraft that provides close-air support of ground forces such as combat search and rescue and employs a wide variety of conventional munitions, including general purpose bombs. The simple, effective and survivable single-seat aircraft can be used against all ground targets, including tanks and other armored vehicles. The aircraft is currently supporting operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. To watch the Congressman’s remarks supporting the A-10 program, please click here. The Kingston amendment was defeated and not included in the bill.
The FY 2015 Defense Appropriations Act totals $490.7 billion in discretionary funding, which is $100 million above the President’s request. For more information on funding levels and key provisions in the FY 2015 Defense Appropriations Bill, please click here.