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Funding for Kansas bases stripped from budget bill

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Here are recent headlines about the military in Kansas:Kansas military bases[(AP) House spending bill would cut projects for Kansas military bases:][1] Kansas' GOP lawmakers on Wednesday denounced a House spending bill they said would cut special project funding to the state's military bases, but Democrats said most, if not all, of the funds would come back to military sites in another form. The legislation would cut more than $450 million in programs at Fort Riley, Fort Leavenworth, McConnell Air Force Base, Forbes Field and Smoky Hill Bomb Range.Democrats stripped earmarks out of the measure passed Wednesday, a massive spending bill funding about one-sixth of the federal budget. The bill was needed after the last Congress left without finishing work on most of the annual spending bills that fund the federal government.But many of the earmarks cut were destined for Kansas military installations. That includes a loss of more than $300 million for housing and other improvements at Fort Riley, which needs to accommodate thousands of troops and their families with the return of the 1st Infantry Division.Fort Leavenworth would see cuts of about $68 million for a Joint Regional Correctional Facility."It is outrageous that in a time of war Democrats have cut funding for national security, including housing needs for our troops at Fort Riley and Fort Leavenworth," Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan., said in a statement.But Rep. Nancy Boyda, D-Kan., whose district includes both sites, said the funds that would have been allocated for those projects are now going to the Defense Department in a lump sum."The money that had been earmarked is going back to the Department of Defense and they will make the best decisions possible," Boyda said. "I feel very, very certain that Fort Riley and Fort Leavenworth will be taken care of. They are at the center of the war on terror."Fort Riley[(Hilltop Times) Hill Airman steps into different world:][2] It's been a cold initiation into Army life for Capt. Suzanne McLaughlin since she arrived at Fort Riley, Kansas, right before Thanksgiving, to attend a pre-deployment joint combat skills training course. "Literally : I mean it's always freezing here in the open ranges where we train, and the wind is even worse than in Utah," joked the transplanted Hill munitions officer. "And I don't think I have to tell you that the Army spends a lot of time in the great outdoors!" Frozen appendages and a perpetually runny nose, however, actually represent the milder end of the spectrum in terms of obstacles conquered during daily training and assimilation into Army life. [1]: http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/news/politics/16591146.htm [2]: http://www.hilltoptimes.com/story.asp?edition=283&storyid=7619

Comments

Godot 7 years, 10 months ago

"But Rep. Nancy Boyda, D-Kan., whose district includes both sites, said the funds that would have been allocated for those projects are now going to the Defense Department in a lump sum.

"The money that had been earmarked is going back to the Department of Defense and they will make the best decisions possible," Boyda said. "I feel very, very certain that Fort Riley and Fort Leavenworth will be taken care of. They are at the center of the war on terror."

Way to go, Nancy! You show 'em.

werekoala 7 years, 10 months ago

This is the real rub - we're all against pork and earmarking when it's in someone else's district. . .

Richard Heckler 7 years, 10 months ago

It's voodoo economics and all those tax cuts that republicans love to cheer on. Reaganomics = massive tax cuts accompanied with the real costs of the war which could hardly be clearer. Targeted for cutbacks in federal money are virtually all social programs--Medicare and Medicaid, food stamps, housing, job training and child care, education and student loans, environmental protection, public transportation, science research, even veterans' benefits and school funding for children of military personnel.

Tax dollars go into a cookie jar. When GW continues expanding big government with invasion of a country based on lies and creates a huge government very expensive unnecessary deparment known as Homeland Security not to mention a very expensive spy operation that is centered on americans then cut taxes amidst all of this the cookie jar somehow comes up empty.

The muti billion dollar "Virtual" border fence contract, which I am not sure we need, was awarded to BOEING however no matter how much GW and the republican party scream about border security Bush has NOT let the funding for the project. Probaly because that is corportate americas' source for unskilled slave labor which likely includes some Lawrence home builders.

Can't blame this on Nancy Boyda for she has not been there yet a month. Cutting the Pentagon/Defense budget by about 50% might be a way to stop supplying weapons to people like Saddam and other dictators. Perhaps then our soldiers would get new housing and their families would not need to be on food stamps while one spouse is in Iraq.

optimist 7 years, 10 months ago

"Can't blame this on Nancy Boyda..." Whether we should blame her or not is up to each of us but it was very much in her power to influence and wrangle for assurance this funding would be coming to Kansas. She decided not to and went along with her party on this issue. She should absolutely be judged on her performance on this issue.

Don't kid yourselves out there. Like earmarks or not it kept small states like Kansas in the running for a lot of fund that we otherwise wouldn't get. Now that Democrats are in power predominantly Republican states like Kansas will receive less of our money back. Just because they stopped the earmarks doesn't mean they don't control how the money is spent by the bureaucracies they fund.

Godot 7 years, 10 months ago

werekola wrote "This is the real rub - we're all against pork and earmarking when it's in someone else's district. . ."

This money is going to be spent somewhere, no doubt about it. Getting military spending to our state is no less important than getting bio-science money directed here.

Dale Stringer 7 years, 10 months ago

Merrill - "Can't blame this on Nancy Boyda for she has not been there yet a month. Cutting the Pentagon/Defense budget by about 50% might be a way to stop supplying weapons to people like Saddam and other dictators. Perhaps then our soldiers would get new housing and their families would not need to be on food stamps while one spouse is in Iraq."

What? Cutting the Defense spending won't stop the weapons shipments. The US State Department pays for those kind of things.

I do like getting rid of the pet projects that all our elected leaders seem to have. One example is Congressman Spratt's (SC) new $20M, 144-room dorm at Shaw AFB. That's $138,000 per room. I think my base house is worth $35,000.

63BC 7 years, 10 months ago

Bottom line: Four months ago, key Kansas bases were assured of hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for upgrades secured by our delegation.

Now, thanks to Boyda's votes, they're not. Will DoD do the right thing? Let's hope so, but until we got her we didn't have to worry.

come_on_now 7 years, 10 months ago

Well if Jim Ryun really cared about the people in his district instead of towing the party line then he would still have his seat. The 2nd district has to suffer because Ryun would rather support the President than the people of the second district. Thats why we have a freshman congresswoman right now trying to learn the ropes. This last election should send a message hopefully to all elected officals to support the people back home instead of the President and your party.

staff04 7 years, 10 months ago

63BC and optimist-

You obviously don't have a clue how Congress works.

My favorite, from optimist: "but it was very much in her power to influence and wrangle for assurance this funding would be coming to Kansas"

Because inexperienced freshman Members wield SO much power, right? How do you know she didn't resist the stripping out of the funds? I'm not saying that I know for certain that she did, but even the MOST experienced lawmakers on Capitol Hill lost their earmarks, and I guarantee you that the vast majority of them made an appeal to the appropriators.

OR, you're saying she should have opposed the continuing resolution, allowing it to fail and allowing the federal government to shut down? That went over well the last time the Republicans did it, didn't it?

The one thing that amazed me through it all is how many Republicans opposed passage of the CR...138 in all even though they all supported THE EXACT SAME BUDGET the year before. It is their budget...what is fine for them when they are in the majority suddenly isn't fine when they are in the minority? I don't get it...maybe they are, heaven forbid, opposing everything JUST TO BE OBSTRUCTIONISTS??? For shame...

staff04 7 years, 10 months ago

One other thing:

If the Republicans hadn't abdicated their duties in their failure to pass 9 out of 11 appropriations bills, none of this would have been a problem.

gccs14r 7 years, 10 months ago

"Now that Democrats are in power predominantly Republican states like Kansas will receive less of our money back."

Small states like Kansas regularly receive more federal funding than they pay in taxes. Red states are predominantly tax importers, subsidized by the blue states. W's tax cuts really hurt us, because there are fewer federal dollars to spread around.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 years, 10 months ago

It's voodoo economics and all those tax cuts that republicans love to cheer on. Reaganomics = massive tax cuts accompanied with the real costs of the war which could hardly be clearer.

Even Reagan realized he's gone to far in tax cuts and raised them again. When is Bush going to get it through his head that if you want a war, you have to pay for it.

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