12.19.19

Senator Lankford Supports Second Funding Package Focused on Defense

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today issued a statement following Senate passage of a spending bill to fund the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and key law enforcement entities. The bill includes a 3.1-percent pay increase for military service members and vital national security funding. The bill now heads to the President to be signed into law. This was one of two bills to fund the government through September 30, 2020. Lankford opposed the other bill, which also included a number of non-funding-related spending provisions.  

“Today’s vote on the defense spending bill is another push to prioritize the women and men serving our nation and address the needs of their missions,” said Lankford. “The spending bill provides the necessary funding to secure our border, support for the KC-46 tankers for Air Force installations in Oklahoma, and start working on testing cell phone jamming in prisons, which will help keep our communities safer. We can and should work to responsibly fund our government, help address veterans’ needs, and address lapses in federal policies. I look forward to the President’s signature on this important set of funding priorities.”

Oklahoma Highlights in the bill include funding for:

  • the KC-46 refueling tankers to allow for 12 more tankers in the next fiscal year, which is an important program to Tinker Air Force Base and Altus Air Force Base.
  • the President’s request for the Paladin Integrated Management (PIM) program. The Fires Center of Excellence at Ft. Sill organizes, trains, and equips all of the PIM units.
  • the modernization of the Patriot units. The Fires Center of Excellence at Fort Sill organizes, trains, and equips all the PATRIOT units in the Army. 
  • Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) units. The Fires Center of Excellence at Fort Sill organizes, trains, and equips all the PATRIOT units in the Army.
  • the new and advanced radar capability for our F-16 squadrons. The 138th Fighter Wing in Tulsa flies the F-16 jet.
  • the Advanced Pilot Training T-X program, this will be used for pilot training out of Vance Air Force Base.
  • additional border patrol processing coordinators, which will allow 240 agents to go back to the front lines to secure our nation’s ports and borders.

The bill also requires a report on a cost estimate to fund testing of cell phone jamming for state prisons. 

Lankford outlined the legislative successes made this year on behalf of Oklahoma on the Senate floor. Earlier this week, Lankford supported the National Defense Authorization Act, which sets defense priorities for fiscal year 2020.   

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