WASHINGTON, D.C. –
Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and
Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced the Senate has approved the Department of Defense 2008 spending bill, which includes $74.5 million for defense projects in Maryland, including $29.5 million in the Baltimore area. The legislation funds the Department of Defense and will go toward critical research, development, test and evaluation programs, as well as weapons and equipment required for the U.S. Armed Forces. Senator Mikulski is a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. Senator Cardin is a member of the Budget Committee.
"We need to do everything we can to support our troops with the equipment they need on the battlefield, the benefits and services they deserve when they return home, and support for their families on the home front. We know how critical these funds are for our troops to fulfill their mission and return home safely," said Senator Mikulski. "I will keep fighting to put money in the federal checkbook for our troops."
"Our greatest obligation as elected officials is to take care of our troops and their families who have sacrificed on our behalf," said Senator Cardin. "This bill sets the right priorities by providing critical equipment and training, strengthening military health care for our troops and their families, and giving our military families the pay raise they deserve."
The $22.5 million for Baltimore area defense projects includes:
— $5.5 million for Advanced Surface Radar Technologies to develop and integrate the next generation of radar technology on Navy ships.
— $5 million for the Laser Marksmanship Training System for cheaper, safer, more realistic weapons training for troops in the field.
— $4 million for Combat Desert Jacket procurement. Funding will provide lightweight, durable, comfortable combat wear for deployed Marines.
— $3 million for the Knowledge Integration and Management Center of Excellence (KIMOE) at Morgan State University in Baltimore for tactical intelligence analysis and distribution for Army Brigade Combat Teams, a collaboration between Army Research Lab Adelphi and the Morgan State Engineering Department.
— $3 million to develop new amputation and tissue transplant technology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine to treat injured troops.
— $2 million for the Rotary Multi-Fuel Auxiliary Power Unit to increase the fuel efficiency of the Army’s Abrams Tank by continuing the development of a power system to improve it.
In the next step of the legislative process, the House and Senate will meet in Conference Committee to work out the differences between the two versions of the bill. The Conference report will then be voted on by both Houses of Congress. Once passed by the House and Senate, the spending bill will go to the President for his signature.