Larsen Supports NW Priorities in Defense Spending Bill
WASHINGTON—The House of Representatives today passed a defense spending bill with support from Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, that includes provisions to strengthen the Northwest economy and improve national defense. Larsen is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, which wrote the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015.
One provision in the bill funds six KC-46A refueling tankers. The Air Force had requested seven. Larsen advocated for full funding of the tanker program during consideration of the bill.
“I fought hard to get the tanker program into the hands of the best aerospace workers in the world—the Machinists of Puget Sound. And I fought to include full funding in the defense bill for the tanker, which is one of the Air Force’s top three priorities. While the defense bill is one tanker short, the budget process isn’t over yet and I will continue to push for full funding,” Larsen said.
Other provisions of the bill include:
- A Larsen amendment that requires an interagency plan to verify and monitor potential proliferation of nuclear weapons and fissile material.
- Full funding ($2 billion) for the P-8A Poseidon program. The Navy recently completed the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement addressing the introduction of the P-8As to the U.S. Navy Fleet. The Supplemental EIS indicates the Navy’s preferred alternative is to replace the three existing P-3C squadrons at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island with six P-8A squadrons by 2020.
- Funding ($493.5 million) for five EA-18G Growler aircraft.
- Funding ($1.36 billion) for six KC-46A refueling tankers. Boeing’s Everett factory is building the KC-46A.
- Full funding ($52 million) for two construction projects at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, including $24.39 million for P-8A Aircraft Apron and Support Facilities and $27.755 million for a C-40 Aircraft Maintenance Hangar, which will house and protect the C-40 when delivered.