Outgoing Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said Thursday that DOD needs Congress to move quickly to approve funding for ongoing disaster repairs from recent storm damage at military bases, Roll Call reported.
A Senate disaster relief package, which includes a portion of needed repair funding for Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Camp Lejeune, N.C., and Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., remains caught up over differences among the White House, the Democrat-led House, and the Republican-led Senate.
Disaster relief negotiations became further complicated after a White House request that the package include $4.5 billion for border assistance. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that to speed approval, Democrats would add new aid for the “humanitarian crisis” at the border.
The House passed a $19.1 billion disaster relief package last week, including $1.5 billion for repairing installations. DOD officials have said the repairs could cost up to $10 billion.
The services have already shifted millions for recovery projects, but have recently announced that without additional funding new repairs, training and other activities will be curtailed.
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said Thursday he is working to get a disaster relief bill approved by the Memorial Day recess.
“It’s really important that we do that, because we have borrowed money from all the rest of the Air Force to minimally recover at Tyndall,” Wilson said Thursday at a Defense Writers breakfast. “Our insurance company is the United States Congress.”
Air Force photo by Wayne Clark