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Sen. Britt secures more than $786 million for critical Alabama priorities

The bill appropriates more than $786 million for Alabama priorities, $232 million of which was secured by Britt.

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U.S. Senator Katie Britt, R-Ala., a member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, on Friday, joined her colleagues in passing Fiscal Year 2024 funding for Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies; Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies; Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies; Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies; Energy and Water Development; and Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies.

This legislation, which overwhelmingly passed the House on Wednesday, passed the Senate 75-22 and now heads to the President’s desk. The bill directly appropriates more than $786 million for critical Alabama priorities, of which, more than $232 million was secured by Senator Britt for strategic, targeted investments across the state.

Importantly, the package maintains all legacy riders, including Hyde and Second Amendment protections, and contains many conservative wins, including targeted spending reductions.

“As I have emphasized since taking office, my priority has been and continues to be restoring regular order to the appropriations process and passing accountable, prudent bills that live up to our promise to the American people. Instead of going to New York or California, more of Alabamians’ hard-earned taxpayer dollars will be coming home because of the strategic wins we were able to secure in this legislation,” said Senator Britt. “I am proud to support these major victories for Alabama’s military installations, veterans, family farmers, incredible law enforcement, infrastructure, economic development, and local communities. Ultimately, through the most robust, transparent committee and floor amendment processes that we’ve seen in years, this legislative package will make key investments in Alabama and grow 21st century opportunities across our state. The American people deserve better than a broken federal spending process, and I will continue fighting to return fiscal sanity and common sense to our nation’s capital.”

A detailed breakdown of Alabama projects secured by Senator Britt funded by the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies bill can be found below.

Fort Novosel ($68.2 million):

  1. Barracks Complex – $41.2 million 
    • Funding will finish construction of a barracks complex for soldiers at Fort Novosel.
  2. Army Radar Approach Control – $7 million   
    • Construct an Army Radar Approach Control Facility (ARAC) to support Army Aviation training mission.
  3. Hazardous Materials Storage Facility – $3.85 million 
    • Construct a new Hazardous Materials Warehouse (HMW) and Hazardous Waste Warehouse.
  4. MEDEVAC Ready Building – $6.1 million
    • Construct a Ready Building to support 24-hour operations for an on-call Air Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) crew at Cairns Army Airfield.
  5. Aircraft Parts Storage Facility – $4.95 million 
    • Funding will finish construction on a facility to house aircraft parts. 
  6. Vehicle Maintenance Storage Facility – $5.1 million  
    • Funding will finish construction on a facility to store vehicles. 

Maxwell Air Force Base ($13.9 million): 

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  1. Construct Air Command and Staff College – $5.1 million 
    • Construction of one-story addition and two-story addition to Air University’s Air Command & Staff College (ACSC).
  2. Replace (construct) Gunter Fitness Center – $8.8 million 
    • Construct a facility to ensure the fitness and readiness of service members.

Redstone Arsenal ($25.3 million):

  1. Airport Runway Extension (overruns) – $5.5 million 
    • Construct an overrun on the north and south end of runway to support Redstone Arsenal Airfield’s multiple DOD and DOJ missions.
  2. Airfield Fire and Rescue Station – $5.6 million  
    • To provide a three company Airfield Fire and Rescue Station.
  3. Access Control Building – $4 million 
    • To build a new access control building to support Redstone Arsenal.
  4. Natural Gas Expansion and Meter Station – $4.8 million

     Build and update the gas meter stations on Redstone.

       5.  Test Area 7 Relocation – $ 5.4 million 

 •.    Funds to relocate Test Area 7 on Redstone.

The Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Act includes in total more than $369 million in construction projects at military installations across Alabama supported by Senator Britt. These include $65 million for the military housing privatization initiative at Maxwell Air Force Bases Air Education and Training Command, $50 million for a substation power project at Redstone Arsenal, $57 million for Army Reserve Center in Birmingham, and $147.975 million for ground test facility infrastructure on Redstone Arsenal.

In addition, Senator Britt secured language that would require the Secretary of the Air Force to provide a report within 90 days of the bill’s enactment detailing all funds that have been spent or obligated towards the construction, renovation, and improvement of facilities for Space Command Headquarters.

The Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Act includes over $42 million in directed spending secured by Senator Britt to modernize and upgrade transportation infrastructure in local communities across Alabama. These investments in key Alabama priorities include improvements to roads in rural communities, regional airports, and inland port infrastructure, that would improve safety while also empowering economic development and creating jobs in local communities.

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Senator Britt also supported funding in the bill that would set aside $7.5 million for the National Scenic Byways program and $100 million for the Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS), which includes the Birmingham Northern Beltline. Alabama has the most uncompleted miles remaining of any state in the system and would receive a significant portion of the total ADHS appropriation.

Additionally, Senator Britt secured $28 million in directed spending for specific surface transportation infrastructure in communities across the state.

This Act includes the amendment authored by Senator J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), which would ensure that the U.S. Department of Transportation cannot implement or enforce any type of mask mandate on airplanes, railroads, buses, and public transit. Senator Britt voted in favor of this amendment on the Senate floor and is a co-sponsor of Senator Vance’s Freedom to Breathe Act, which would implement a similar ban.

The Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Act includes over $10 million in directed spending secured by Senator Britt to address violent crime by investing in state and local law enforcement, counter the fentanyl crisis, and invest in economic development programs. Crucially, this bill prohibits funding from being used by the Department of Justice to target parents who peacefully protest at school board meetings and prohibits funding from being used to investigate religious institutions on the basis of their religious beliefs – two of the most egregious actions taken by the Biden Administration.

Senator Britt also supported funding in the bill to ensure that the Artemis program remains on track and that the United States – not China – will be the first to return people to the surface of the moon. Additionally, Senator Britt secured $4.2 million for the City of Birmingham’s Real Time Crime Center to support local and state law enforcement officers and their ability to respond quickly, or even immediately, to crimes in progress or to those that recently occurred.

The Energy and Water Development Act includes almost $73 million in directed spending secured by Senator Britt for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This includes over $20 million to revitalize and repair the George W. Andrews Lock and Dam and over $18 million to support maintenance dredging, disposal area maintenance, and recreation facilities on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. These funds are also used for the operation and maintenance of locks and dams along the Waterway including the Demopolis Lock, which is currently being repaired following its damage earlier this year.

The Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Act invests in numerous Alabama agriculture priorities supported by Senator Britt, including robust funding to both combat Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and continue the National Feral Swine Damage Management program.

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This Act includes an amendment authored by Senator Britt to appropriate $1 million in funding for research into how peanut farmers in Alabama and around the country can best combat the drought conditions currently impacting their crops.

Senator Britt also worked across party lines with Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) to include an amendment in this Act that would provide funding to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to establish a streamlined and uniform process for the tracking and disclosure of all foreign investment in American farmland.

Additionally, the Act would provide substantial federal resources for rural utilities and rural development programs under the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which support infrastructure improvements and economic development in rural communities throughout Alabama.

Finally, the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Act includes almost $18 million in directed spending for water infrastructure projects, secured by Senator Britt. Additionally, this bill cuts the regulatory budget of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by 10 percent.

The Alabama Political Reporter is a daily political news site devoted to Alabama politics. We provide accurate, reliable coverage of policy, elections and government.

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