SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Louisiana U.S. Representative Mike Johnson went before the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday, pushing for local military institutions to receive greater funding in 2021 from the overall Department of Defense budget.
The congressman’s focus was the 2021 Military Construction and Veterans’ Affairs Appropriations budget. In it, Johnson is seeking funding for weapons generation and maintenance facilities at Barksdale AFB and a new information systems facility at Fort Polk.
“Over the years, I have developed strong relationships with the generals based in my district and appreciate the opportunity to serve them in Congress. In meeting with them, I am absolutely convinced of the critical nature of their roles and that of these installations,” said Johnson. “Additionally, their insights reinforce my belief that the United States must remain the preeminent military power in the world to preserve peace.”
On Monday, the Trump administration released its proposed 2021 budget requests. According to the proposal, the Department of Defense would see a slight budget increase in 2021 to $740.5 billion. That’s up $2.5 billion from 2020.
In contrast, Veterans Affairs is requesting a 14% increase from 2020 to 2021. According to the proposal, $243.3 billion is being requested for 2021.
Johnson says nuclear capability is the reason he feels Barksdale needs the additional resources.
“As is evident with ongoing provocations around the world, we obviously live in highly uncertain and incredibly complex times, and that further highlights the importance of ensuring our nuclear force continues to be modernized. Barksdale Air Force Base and Global Strike Command continue to benefit from this committee’s investment in nuclear modernization projects to meet a broad range of security threats from our adversaries,” said Johnson. “Specifically, I strongly support the Air Force’s continued strategy and MILCON requests to construct critical Weapons Generation and Maintenance Facilities (WGF) at installations throughout the United States.”
Congress is in the early process of appropriations for the budget, which sits at $4.8 trillion for the 2021 fiscal year.