May 04 2017

Shelby Announces Critical Defense Funding for North Alabama

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced final passage of the Fiscal Year 2017 Department of Defense Appropriations bill, which contains critical funding for programs important to north Alabama. Following today’s action by the Senate, the bill will go to the President’s desk for his signature

“This bill strengthens our nation’s security with an increase in defense spending,” said Senator Shelby. “Supporting top defense priorities, including Alabama’s national defense capabilities, demonstrates that we are committed to our military. I’m pleased that our state will continue to play a leading role in serving our Armed Forces. With growing instability around the world, we must provide our military the means necessary to protect our nation.”

Next Generation Rocket Engine – $396.6 million, $100 million above the President’s FY17 Budget Request

“The United States should not depend on any foreign power for access to space — especially in the national security arena,” said Senator Shelby. “It is important for Congress to support the development of an American-made engine, providing the Air Force with a domestic engine for vital national security space launch missions as soon as possible.”

Missile and Rocket Advanced Technology – $30 million above the President’s FY17 Budget Request

“The funding included in this bill will allow our nation’s weapons research labs and test facilities to continue to field new weapon technologies as asymmetric threats emerge,” said Senator Shelby. “Advanced weapon systems are vital to maintaining the Army’s superiority on the battlefield, especially during a time of manpower reductions.”

High Energy Laser Research – $38 million above the President’s FY17 Budget Request

“Fielding high energy lasers will give U.S. soldiers a competitive advantage on the battlefield,” said Senator Shelby. “It is my hope that the funding in this bill will allow the Army to accelerate the design and development of this cutting-edge technology.”

Ground-based Midcourse Defense – $110 million in addition to the President’s FY17 Budget Request, Rejects the President’s cuts and maintains FY16 level

“It is critically important that we support efforts to modernize and expand America's homeland missile defense system,” said Senator Shelby. “The Ground-based Midcourse Defense System is vital to the protection of the U.S. and our allies from rogue nations who seek to do us harm, and I am pleased that this bill includes appropriate funding to support the Missile Defense Agency’s work.”

Prompt Global Strike Capability – $101 million, $12 million above the FY16 enacted level

“The funding included in this bill reaffirms Congress’ support the Department of Defense’s work to develop a high-speed weapon that can deliver a conventional warhead anywhere in the world,” said Senator Shelby. “I strongly believe that America cannot afford to be behind other nations, including Russia and China, that are currently working to develop similar advanced technologies.”