Key Duckworth Provisions in New National Defense Bill Would Support Hundreds of Illinois Jobs
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — Combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), who served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years and is a member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), secured several important provisions in the committee-passed Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that will support and benefit Illinois. Some of Duckworth’s Illinois priorities included by the committee include supporting school districts near military bases to receive Impact Aid from the Department of Defense to rectify state and local tax base funding shortfalls, charting a sustainable future for C-40 aircraft—which are flown by the 932nd Airlift Wing at Scott Air Force Base—and including multiple provisions to support Illinois manufacturing and jobs. The SASC favorably reported the NDAA, and it will now be considered by the full U.S. Senate. The NDAA authorizes funding for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), sets our nation’s defense policy and ensures that our servicemembers have the tools they need to defend our nation.
“The brave men and women in uniform who serve our nation at home and abroad deserve to know that our country fully supports them as they and their families sacrifice to defend our country and our Constitution,” Duckworth said. “Though I do not support every provision in this bipartisan compromise, I’m proud I was able to secure critical provisions that support hundreds of jobs across Illinois, work toward a sustainable future for the 932nd Airlift Wing at Scott Air Force Base and ensure our schools serving communities around our military bases have the support they need. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to continue improving the NDAA and ensure Congress passes a strong bill.”
Key Duckworth provisions included in this year’s Committee-passed NDAA to support Illinois include:
- Supporting Community Schools and Kids: Authorization of an additional $80 million for school districts to receive critical Impact Aid from the DoD to help communities and schools whose budgets are impacted by the presence of nearby DoD installations. For Illinois school districts with large populations of students living on military bases, this funding will be critical in ensuring our schools, teachers and students have the resources needed and budget shortfalls are addressed.
- Charting a Sustainable Future for C-40 Aircraft—Critical for Scott Air Force Base: Language recognizing the Air Force’s decision to retain C-40 aircraft—like those flown by the 932nd Airlift Wing at Scott Air Force Base—in the coming fiscal years and requiring the Air Force to provide Congress with its plan for the long-term future of the aircraft. As the Senator from Illinois, Senator Duckworth is committed to helping bolster Scott AFB’s capabilities. Scott AFB is critical in our entire military’s ability to get things where they need to be quickly, precisely and efficiently.
- Improving Vital Refueling Capabilities: Language recognizing the importance of the MQ-25, the Navy’s first unmanned platform dedicated to its air wings that will extend the strike radius of F/A-18 Super Hornets or F-35Cs to beyond 1000nm and urging rapid incorporation of all components of the developing program. The MQ-25 is manufactured in St. Clair County.
- Advancing U.S. Supercomputing Power: Increased investment of $10 million and language encouraging the Department of Energy to continue the advancement of exascale computing efforts of a quintillion operations a second, important for maintaining the U.S.’s supercomputing edge, which Argonne National Labs and the University of Illinois’ National Center for Supercomputing Applications support.
A full list of Duckworth’s priorities included in the committee-passed FY24 NDAA can be found here.
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