House Armed Services Committee Passes Bill Protecting Three Guided Missile Cruisers Based in Virginia

A major defense bill passed out of the House Armed Services Committee Thursday, with spending for Virginia. Congressman Rob Wittman (R-VA-01) said that Republicans led an effort to include an amendment that, in part protects three guided-missile cruisers based in Virginia from decommissioning. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022 passed 57 to two. It includes a top-line spending level of $740 billion, up from President Joe Biden’s proposed $715 billion, according to Defense News.

“While defense is often and rightfully viewed as a national priority, here in Virginia, this additional funding fuels economic growth and the creation of jobs. This growth will further translate to funding for state priorities such as roads, schools, and law enforcement. With many of these ships built, maintained and repaired in Virginia, the Commonwealth’s economy especially stands to benefit from the passage of the FY22 NDAA,” Wittman said in a press release.

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Fort Lee to Temporarily House Afghan Refugees Who Aided U.S. Military for Operation Allies Refuge

Fort Lee

Virginia’s Fort Lee Army base will temporarily house about 700 Afghan citizens and their families who helped the U.S. military, beginning next week, according to statements from the State Department and the Department of Defense (DOD). The refugees served in roles including translation, and the first group will include up to 2,500 refugees.

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Virginia Legislators Lay Out Priorities for ‘American Rescue Plan’ Funds

The American Rescue Plan will provide $7.2 billion for Virginia: $2.9 billion allocated for municipalities, and $4.3 billion for the state government, according to a Tuesday announcement from Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine. On Wednesday, Governor Ralph Northam and Democratic General Assembly leaders released their priorities for the $4.3 billion, including upgrading public health infrastructure, funding the Rebuild Virginia small business recovery plan, adding funds to the Unemployment Trust Fund, modernizing public schools, and deploying broadband across Virginia.

“This is a unique opportunity to invest in Virginia’s long-term future. We intend to be good stewards of these taxpayer dollars, in full compliance with fiduciary guidelines. We reject calls to refuse these federal dollars, and we support the law’s prohibition on cutting state taxes to substitute federal dollars. We embrace this rare opportunity, and we choose to invest,” Northam and the legislators wrote.

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Wittman, Kaine Introduce SHIPYARD Act to Fund Navy Infrastructure, Including Norfolk Naval Shipyard

Senator Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) and Representative Rob Wittman (R-Virginia-01) announced the SHIPYARD Act to provide $21 billion to invest in the Navy’s four public shipyards, including Norfolk Naval Shipyard. The plan, announced Wednesday, would also provide $2 billion for new construction of private shipyards, and $2 billion to repair the Navy’s existing private shipyards.

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Virginia’s Robert E. Lee Statue Removed from U.S. Capitol

Virginia’s statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee was removed from its place in the National Statuary Hall of the United States Capitol by a crew of workers overnight.

Every state is allowed to have two statues on display in the hall and Lee has stood along with President George Washington as representatives of the Commonwealth since 1909.

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