Washington, D.C. – Rep. Joe Cunningham (SC-01) today announced he had secured critical Lowcountry military priorities in the Fiscal Year 2021 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs funding legislation, which was approved by the House Appropriations Committee this afternoon. Thanks to Cunningham’s advocacy, the funding bill includes language that directs the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) to prioritize important issues related to military readiness, climate resiliency, and veterans’ access to care. Cunningham advocated for these priorities in a letter to the Committee earlier this year. The legislation will now make its way to the House floor for a vote later this month.
“Supporting Lowcountry veterans, servicemembers, and military installations through smart, strategic investments is one of my top priorities in Congress,” said Rep. Joe Cunningham. “Our coastal military community knows how important it is to mitigate recurrent flooding, prioritize climate resiliency, and provide our military installations with the resources they need to ensure a strong national defense. I am proud to secure these results in the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs funding bill and look forward to voting for this legislation on the House floor.”
Cunningham’s priorities secured in the legislation include:
Preventing Defense Access Road Flooding – Directs the DoD to work with local governments to identify the public roads that hamper military readiness due to flooding and sea-level fluctuations, including Parris Island and Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, which are projected to be flooded up to 30% of the year by 2050.
Supporting Climate Resiliency on Military Installations - Requires military construction projects funded in the legislation to be resistant to extreme weather events and recurrent flooding.
Flooding and Disaster Mitigation at Veteran Facilities – Encourages the VA to work with state and local governments to support infrastructure projects that would benefit VA facilities, such as the Ralph Johnson VA Medical Center which is regularly made inaccessible by recurrent flooding.
National Guard Readiness Center – Provides $15 million for the construction of a new National Guard Readiness Center on Joint Base Charleston to support South Carolina’s 1223rd Engineer Company and 237th Support Battalion, Company I.
Completing Previously Funded Projects – Provides $10 million to complete the Recycling and Hazardous Waste Facility on Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort and $5 million to complete a Fire and Rescue Station on Joint Base Charleston.
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