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Lankford Announces Major Advancement for Oklahoma Military and Veterans, US Foreign Policy in Federal Funding Bills

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today applauded numerous funding provisions that directly benefit Oklahoma’s military and veterans in the federal funding bills for the Veterans Administration, Department of Defense, and State and Foreign Operations released by the Senate Appropriations Committee. Lankford serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee.

“I am proud of the work we did to secure funding and policy provisions for our Oklahoma service members and their families, our Oklahoma National Guardsmen and women, our veteran community, and civilian workers to advance their installations’ missions,” said Lankford. “These federal funding bills ensure sustainment of several vital programs for our nation’s national defense and encourage ongoing action in suicide prevention and other policy areas that help our nation’s heroes. The bill also includes quarterly status update requirements on the F-35 Turkey supply chain to ensure we prohibit the Turks from continuing to benefit from our F-35 program while also utilizing Russian missile systems. We can support our allies but also hold them accountable. I look forward to working toward the passage of these and other appropriations bills prior to the December 11th deadline.”

Oklahoma-specific wins in the bills include:

  • Funding for the new Tulsa VA Hospital
  • Funding for the Ammunition Demolition Shop at the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant
  • Funds for the sustainment of the MC-12 for the Oklahoma National Guard
  • Continuing optional faith-based programming to help prevent veteran suicide and providing support to service members as they transition from active duty to civilian life
  • Funding for 15 KC-46 tankers
  • Funding for the Long Range Strike Bomber (B-21) that will be maintained at Tinker Air Force Base
  • Funding for the Paladin Integrated Management system at Fort Sill
  • Increasing funding for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense program
  • Funding for the Long Range Precision Fires Technology
  • Changes to reduce misuse of drug therapies
  • A three-percent military pay raise

Lankford also secured important provisions in the State and Foreign Operations funding bill, which include:

  • Pre-certification of any F-35s to the United Arab Emirates due to ongoing threats posed by China and Russia
  • $5 million for internet freedom programs in Hong Kong, which fulfills the authorization of Lankford’s bipartisan bill, the Safeguarding Internet Freedom in Hong Kong Act
  • $3.3 billion for Israeli security assistance
  • Preventing Saudi Arabia from receiving US International Military Education and Training (IMET) funds
  • Capping the US taxpayer funds for United Nations peacekeeping at 25 percent of the cost

In September, Congress passed a Continuing Resolution to fund the government at current levels through December 11, 2020. This week, the Senate Appropriations Committee released all 12 funding bills.