Conexión Del Río/Staff Report

DEL RIO – The Department of Defense Appropriations bill, voted this Wednesday, June 15, 2016 in the House of Representatives, includes a provision that could expedite improvements at Laughlin Air Force Base, Del Rio, Texas, preventing the airfield from flooding during heavy rains.

The office of U.S. Representative Will Hurd, 23rd District of Texas, said he voted, along with 281 of his colleagues, to fund our national defense, securing key projects for local military communities along the way. 

“With the recent attack in Orlando and increasing threats from terrorist organizations, it is no time to play politics with the safety of Americans,” said Hurd, who served over 9 years as an undercover CIA officer. “Providing for the common defense of our nation is a constitutional duty for Congress and a sacred responsibility.”

The DOD Appropriations bill contains several wins for the 23rd Congressional District of Texas, including report language urging the Air Force to complete the project started earlier this year at Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio to prevent flooding from closing down the airfield, allowing pilot training to continue.

Another win is the $6 million in funding for Dental and Facial Trauma Research, a request made by all members of the San Antonio delegation. This unique program, found only at the Joint Air Force Base San Antonio (JBSA), received bipartisan support and marks a huge victory for the local community. Among Hurd’s other bipartisan-supported requests were:

• $30 million for research on extremity injuries in the battlefield

• $120 million for breast cancer research

• $125 million to fight PTSD and traumatic brain injuries

“The 23rd Congressional District of Texas is fortunate to be home to several military installations such as Laughlin Air Force Base and Camp Bullis. It also has major installations such as Joint Base San Antonio and Ft. Bliss nearby, where many constituents serve or support,” continued Hurd. “We must put politics aside and take care of the brave men and women in uniform who risk their lives to protect our livelihood and freedom.”

Other highlights of the 2017 DoD Appropriations Bill include:

• A 2.1% pay raise and enhanced medical care for service members

• An increase in discretionary funding $3 billion above 2016 levels

• Investments in cutting-edge defense technology