Military construction bill could mean millions for Fort Gordon

This is the McKenna Gate of Fort Gordon.
This is the McKenna Gate of Fort Gordon.(WRDW)
Published: Aug. 6, 2021 at 8:42 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 6, 2021 at 2:44 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (WRDW/WAGT) - Fort Gordon is in line for some funding under the annual military construction and veterans funding bill.

Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock announced that the Fiscal Year 2022 military construction and veterans affairs committee funding bill includes over $165 million in investments for Georgia’s bases, including an additional $21 million beyond the President Joe Biden’s budget request.

The Democratic senator said he’s fight to ensure all provisions remain in through final passage.

Among the funding for Fort Gordon:

  • $69 million for modernization and revitalization efforts at Fort Gordon to construct the cyber instructional facility.
  • $3.67 million to further planning and design to modernize the Fort Gordon’s signal schoolhouse and construct a cyber and communications network training facility. It would help ensure the installation is ready to train and educate soldiers in a secret-level space for cyberspace operations, electronic warfare, cyber electromagnetic activity and cyber-related signals intelligence.

Funding for veterans programs would include:

  • Pro-bono legal services for veterans: Inspired in part by the program run by the University of Georgia, at Warnock’s request, the committee included language in the bill urging the Department of Veterans Affairs to prioritize funding for the support of programs that permit public and land-grant university law schools to expand their veterans legal clinic offerings.
  • VA pressure-injury standards: Warnock secured language that directs the VA staff to have timely access to relevant guidelines, research and practice standards on topics related to pressure-injury risk, prevention and management.
  • Airborne hazards and burn pits: Warnock said he helped maintain strong funding for research focused on post-deployment health for veterans exposed to airborne hazards and open burn pits. Many of Georgia’s veterans deployed to combat zones during the past two decades of war were exposed to burn pits, and research to understand the effects of this exposure will allow the government to better take care of those who will experience the long-term health effects of their service.
  • Veteran homelessness programs: Warnock said he helped secure funding for the Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program, the Grant and Per Diem Program and case management and supportive services as administered by VA under the Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program.

Also in the news ...

  • In a U.S. Senate Banking Committee hearing Thursday, Georgia Sen. Jon Ossoff secured commitments from three top Biden administration nominees to join Augusta-area officials and community leaders in Georgia to address the shortage of affordable housing. Julia Gordon, David Uejio and Solomon Greene — each nominated for assistant secretary positions at the Department of Housing and Urban Development — agreed to Ossoff’s requests to come to Georgia and to work with local leaders to implement policies that will reduce the cost of housing.
  • Democratic Georgia Sen. Jon Ossoff this week introduced the Right to Vote Act, which he described as legislation to create a first-ever affirmative federal voting rights guarantee for all U.S. citizens. The bill would allow Americans to challenge in court any policy that restricts ballot access. “The Right to Vote Act will for the first time enshrine the right to vote in Federal statute and allow U.S. citizens to challenge in court any policy that makes it harder for them to participate in elections,” Ossoff said. Sens. Amy Klobuchar, Raphael Warnock, Alex Padilla and Angus King joined as co-sponsors.
  • Democratic Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock recently held his first hearing as chair of U.S. Senate Banking Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection. The hearing, titled “Protecting Consumers from Financial Fraud and Scams in the Pandemic Recovery Economy” explored the rise in consumer scams during pandemic, role of Congress to protect against fraud. Georgia Watch Executive Director Liz Coyle testified.
  • U.S. Rep. Rick W. Allen, R-Augusta, led more than 50 members of Congress in supporting an amicus brief filed Monday to the U.S. District Court, Northern District Court of Georgia in the upcoming case United States v. Georgia. The brief urges the court to uphold Georgia’s election law, citing the state’s constitutional authority to enact updates to its election laws regarding the times, places, and manner of conducting elections. “The Constitution grants states – not the Executive Branch or federal courts – broad discretion to prevent potential voter fraud and voter intimidation, including implementing voter ID,” Allen said.
  • U.S. Rep. Rick W. Allen, R-Augusta, recently introduced H.R. 4734, the American Science First Act, legislation that prohibits the National Science Foundation from providing grants to any individual or entity that is affiliated or has a relationship with a Chinese Communist military company. “For far too long, our intelligence community has warned us about the harm posed by China’s theft of American research and intellectual property,” Allen said. “In order for the U.S. to retain our competitive edge on the world stage, Congress must close current loopholes that China could exploit to gain access to research funding.”

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