Government funding includes $83M for Dover base


DOVER — Delaware’s senators applauded the Wednesday passage of legislation that temporarily funds the government for another two months.

Passed Wednesday night with bipartisan support, the bill extends current funding to Dec. 9. The current budget plan was set to expire Saturday, the start of the new federal fiscal year.

If no legislation was approved, the nation would have experienced a government shutdown.

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Thomas R. Carper

“Lurching from one short-term spending bill to the next is hardly an ideal way to govern, but I’m pleased that we were finally able to come together and reach a responsible agreement that will keep our government open for business. The spending measure passed today not only prevents a harmful government shutdown, but also includes important investments that will make a real difference for people in my home state of Delaware and across the country,” Sen. Tom Carper, a Democrat, said in a statement.

“I’m thrilled that this bill makes critical investments in our military infrastructure, including $83 million for the Dover Air Force Base, as well as additional funding to support the Delaware National Guard. This investment will help to ensure the men and women who serve our country at Dover have the resources they need to execute their mission efficiently and effectively. The bill also provides long overdue resources to help combat the Zika virus and protect our families from this threat to our public health.

“While we’ve managed to avoid a crisis for now, I want to remind my colleagues that we were sent to Washington to do much more than simply keep the lights on. Instead of patting ourselves on the back and immediately adjourning, we should be addressing the rest of our unfinished business, like protecting our military and veteran students, filling the seven-month vacancy on the Supreme Court and passing a comprehensive, long-term budget plan. When we do return after the election, we must get serious about tackling these issues and doing the jobs that the American people hired us to do.”

Sen. Chris Coons

Sen. Chris Coons

The money for Dover Air Force Base will be used to create a new hangar, conduct maintenance and overhaul two schools.

Democratic Sen. Chris Coons said in a statement the passage “averts a government shutdown for the next ten weeks” but cautioned members of Congress not to be too excited for dealing with issues they “should have addressed months ago.”

He also took a shot at Republicans, noting the GOP-controlled Senate has blocked a vote on the nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court.

“We have to do better than this,” the senator said. “The American people elected us to do more than just keep the lights on.”

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