The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed H.R. 2157, the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2019, a bipartisan, comprehensive supplemental appropriations bill to help communities across America recover from recent natural disasters, including recent hurricanes, typhoons, wildfires, floods, and other natural disasters. This package included an amendment introduced by Rep. Cunningham to provide the Air Force with supplemental funds for disaster recovery to avoid diversion from other critical military projects, including the expansion of the nuclear power training school on Joint Base Charleston.
“When disaster strikes, every American deserves to know that their government is there for them,” Rep. Joe Cunningham said. “Here in the Lowcountry, we know what it takes to recover from natural disasters like hurricanes and flooding better than most. I’m proud to vote with Democrats and Republicans to provide urgently-needed relief to communities in the Midwest and across the country to help them heal, rebuild, and recover.”
Cunningham’s amendment, which passed with broad bipartisan support, would provide the Air Force with an additional $270 million in supplemental funding to repair Tyndall and Offutt Air Force Bases, which were damaged by recent hurricanes and flooding. If the Air Force does not receive this funding, they will need to divert funds from 61 projects in 18 states, including the expansion of the nuclear power training school at Joint Base Charleston. The Cunningham Amendment would ensure the school has the resources they need renovate and expand their training facilities. Starting this year, the nuclear school will be responsible for training all of the nearly 3,000 new nuclear engineers the Navy requires each year. The amendment was co-sponsored by Republican Reps. Neal Dunn and Jeff Fortenberry, who represent Tyndall and Offutt airbases, respectively. They both spoke on the House floor in support of the amendment.
“The Goose Creek Nuclear Power Training Unit teaches students the highly-technical skills needed to operate and maintain our nuclear-powered, naval fleet, fundamental to the operational success and readiness of the United States Navy," Cunningham said. "My bipartisan amendment will allow the Air Force to repair and rebuild bases badly damaged by recent natural disasters while maintaining funding for critical military construction projects like the one in Goose Creek. I am proud that we worked together to pass this urgently-needed bill, and I urge my colleagues in the Senate to pass this legislation as soon as possible.”
You can watch his floor speech in favor of his Amendment below.