Fort Liberty in line for $60M from annual appropriations bill

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(The Center Square) – Fort Liberty, home of the 82nd and 101st Airborne divisions and the Army’s largest base by population, is in line to receive $60 million pending passage of MilConVA legislation.

Not as direct, but certainly helping those who called the installation home, another $19 billion is going to the Department of Veterans Affairs mental health programs, with $3 billion of that for suicide prevention.

The Fiscal Year 2025 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act cleared the House of Representatives 209-197 and now making its way to the Senate. North Carolina Republican Reps. Virginia Foxx, David Rouzer, Dan Bishop, Richard Hudson, Patrick McHenry and Chuck Edwards voted “yea” with Dr. Greg Murphy, recovering from surgery, not voting. Democratic Reps. Don Davis, Deborah Ross, Valerie Foushee, Kathy Manning, Alma Adams, Wiley Nickel and Jeff Jackson all voted “nay.”

In addition to individual installations, the legislation impacts veterans; national security; and has prohibitions on the executive branch advancing both critical race theory and orders on diversity, equity and inclusion. House Resolution 8580 also stops taxpayer dollars for abortion; prevents the VA from sending information to the FBI about veterans without a judge’s consent; and will not allow the VA to process medical care claims for people who have illegally entered or are illegally living in the country.

“The first appropriations bill we voted on this past week includes spending for military construction and the Department of Veterans Affairs, ensuring our military has the tools and resources they need to defend our country and our brave veterans are taken care of after their service to our nation,” Rouzer said.

The dozen annual appropriation bills are about 25% of the federal budget, a release says. The other 75% is debt service and entitlement spending, Rouzer said, noting the latter as the “primary driver of the national debt.”

“As the representative of the largest military base in the world, my priority is to ensure Washington works for the thousands of brave men and women who sacrifice so much for our freedoms,” Hudson said. “I am proud to secure big wins for our troops, their families, and our veterans, and will continue fighting to ensure they have the support they deserve.”

Fort Liberty, formerly known as Fort Bragg and home to more than 47,000 active-duty soldiers and 16,000 civilian employees, is ticketed for $30 million for the Army’s SOF Mackall Company Operations Facilities. SOF is an acronym for Special Operations Forces. Another $14.2 million is going to the Automated Infantry Platoon Battle Course.

The SOF Arms Room Addition is budgeted for $11.8 million. And there’s $4 million for the Child Development Center to bolster spaces and lessen hardship on soldiers and families stationed aboard the base.

The document is $75.5 million above President Joe Biden’s budget request for veterans’ health care, benefits and VA programs. This includes related needs to toxic exposures. There’s $412 million above the president’s budget request related to national security in the Indo-Pacific region, and maintaining prohibitions on closure of Naval Station Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

Overall funding in the bill is $378.6 billion.

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