Alabama delegates react to national defense spending bill

Published: Dec. 9, 2022 at 5:10 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 9, 2022 at 6:21 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - As Congress nears the end of the calendar year, there are still several important government priorities to handle before the end of the session. One of those is the National Defense Authorization Act, better known as the NDAA, which is the blueprint for defensive funding.

Congress’ new defense budget is 8% larger than last year and has some direct benefits for Alabama. Rep. Terri Sewell says her district, which includes Montgomery, will greatly benefit from the new funds.

“Projects through $15 million for Maxwell Air Force base for the commercial vehicle gate,” said Sewell. “We are also getting $9.2 million, which is actually almost $2 million over what we asked for the F-35 training facility on the Montgomery Regional Airport for the 187-year National Guard.”

Also included in the nearly $900 billion package is money for air defense projects, millions allocated to Redstone Arsenal, and even money for wastewater management.

Alabama representatives have mixed opinions on the deal.

“It is dangerous to shrink the size of our military to make a political point about the vaccine,” said Sen. Tommy Tuberville.

Rep. Robert Aderholt from Alabama’s 4th congressional district said his party was “able to strip the leftist, woke elements Democrats wanted to include. We were also able to put guardrails in to make sure the money Congress authorized for Ukraine is not wasted.”

And Alabama’s 3rd District representative, Mike Rogers, believes “this year’s NDAA also continues to bolster the crucial role that Alabama plays in our national defense.”

“I supported the addition of a provision in the NDAA to protect service members from the Biden administration’s COVID vaccine mandate. Thankfully, language to end the mandate is included in the text of the NDAA,” said Tuberville.

Congress still needs to pass a general government spending budget by next Friday.

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