Republicans send Trump a message: Hands off N.J.'s big military base

WASHINGTON — Funding for KC-46A refueling tankers at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst would velocity up and President Donald Trump can be barred from starting a brand new spherical of base closings beneath laws setting protection coverage for the 12 months ending Sept. 30, 2018.

The $692 billion Nationwide Protection Authorization Act, an annual invoice setting Congress’ protection insurance policies, handed the Home on Tuesday, 356-70. Senate passage is assured because the ultimate invoice was negotiated by lawmakers from each chambers.

“I really feel optimistic about the way forward for our base,” stated Rep. Donald Norcross, D-1st Dist., a member of the Home Armed Providers Committee.

Will Pentagon again Rutgers hotline for vets?

4 New Jersey lawmakers, Reps. Frank Pallone Jr., D-sixth Dist.; Albio Sires, D-eighth Dist., Donald Payne Jr., D-tenth Dist., and Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-twelfth Dist., voted no.

The laws referred to as for funding 17 tankers quite than the 15 initially proposed. They’ll substitute the KC-10 tankers now housed on the Joint Base. The Air Pressure introduced in January that the joint base’s 305th Air Mobility Wing ultimately would home 24 tankers by 2021.

The invoice additionally referred to as for $146.5 million for brand spanking new development on the Joint Base, primarily for hangars wanted to deal with the brand new planes.

Lawmakers rejected Trump’s request for a brand new Base Realignment and Closure fee to close down army amenities. New Jersey officers have been involved that a new spherical of base closings would goal the joint base, simply as  McGuire Air Pressure Base was greater than 20 years in the past.

However they determined to not renew help for Vets4Warriors, a suicide-prevention hotline operated by Rutgers College Behavioral Well being Care in Piscataway the place veterans reply phone calls from different veterans who’re depressed or produce other emotional or psychological points. 

A Home-handed provision that did not make it into the ultimate invoice would have required Protection Division officers to point out Congress how they might present the identical providers elsewhere in the event that they did not need to help the Rutgers program.

The Protection Division introduced in 2015 that it was ending monetary help for this system, selecting as an alternative to present these providers via its personal Army OneSource. Gov. Chris Christie then agreed to present state funding.

“Vets4Warriors gives crucial help for our New Jersey veterans and gives a serving to hand when veterans want it most,” stated Rep Leonard Lance, R-seventh Dist., who had authored the supply, “It is vital Congress defend the efforts on the state degree and I urge Pentagon officers to let packages that assist our veterans proceed to remain up and operating.”

Jonathan D. Salant could also be reached at Comply with him on Twitter @JDSalant or on Fb. Discover Politics on Fb.

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