Senate approves funding for Lufkin Army facility

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Press release) – Today, U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee for Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, announced that the full Senate has approved the Fiscal Year 2010 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill.

The measure includes $15.5 million she secured for the construction of an Armed Forces Reserve Center in Lufkin. The bill will now be reconciled with the House version of the bill.

"Our Army reserve forces play an integral role in keeping America safe and secure," Senator Hutchison said. "Since September 11, 2001, the Army has relied heavily upon its reserve components to fight the Global War on Terrorism, and military experts expect the reserve forces to continue to play a major role in our efforts in the Middle East. This funding for an Army Reserve Center in Lufkin will help provide modern facilities for these Army reservists, ensuring they have the resources and support they need for their deployment."

The U.S. Department of Defense will utilize the funding to construct an Armed Forces Reserve Center in Lufkin.

"Jobs created for just the construction, I think will be a significant thing for our local workers and then in an ongoing way, the military personnel coming and going from that facility. And the people stationed there for the training. It's just, I think a great big plus for the city of Lufkin," said Lufkin Mayor Jack Gorden.

The appropriations legislation funds military construction projects and veterans services for the U.S. Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. Senator Hutchison successfully secured more than $1.5 billion in the bill for Texas military construction and Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) projects.

The overall bill provides $12.6 billion for military construction, $2.3 billion for military family housing construction, and more than $7.5 billion for the implementation of BRAC. It also provides Veterans Affairs with $53.2 billion in discretionary spending, which is mostly for veterans health care, $55.8 billion in mandatory spending, giving the VA $109 billion for 2010 and an additional $48.2 billion in advanced funding for 2011.