Recent Press Releases

Washington, DC —  Senator John Thune today issued the below statement following the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Treasury, the Judiciary, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies' (TTJHUD) markup of the FY2007 TTJHUD Appropriations bill, which approved a request Senator Thune made for $4.75 million to improve and widen the main road leading into Ellsworth Air Force Base to accommodate security features and the increased traffic anticipated with the arrival of the new Financial Services Center and approximately 775 new employees. The full committee markup is expected Thursday.

In addition, in its markup of the FY2007 Defense Appropriations bill, the Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies approved three requests made by Senator Thune for defense-related projects in South Dakota. These include $3 million for a base water well at Ellsworth; $7.5 million for a Civil Engineer Maintenance Complex at Joe Foss Field; and $12.9 million to construct a new Armed Forces Reserve Center for both the Army Reserve and Navy Reserve in Sioux Falls (This last project was scheduled for funding as part of the President's budget request). The full committee markup is expected Thursday.

"South Dakota's integral role in national defense efforts is a source of pride for all South Dakotans and a cornerstone of our state's economy. I am pleased to see the Subcommittee honored a number of requests I made on behalf of a variety of defense projects in South Dakota," Thune said. "While it must still be approved by the full Appropriations Committee and then the Senate, this significant funding would directly enhance South Dakota's defense-related operations-paving the way for important research and new technology that will create jobs, boost our state's economy and provide for a stronger, safer America."

These approved funding requests are in addition to several of Senator Thune's defense-related requests approved by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense yesterday, which include:
  • Air Force Financial Management Transformation Program: $6,400,000

    • This funding would be used by the Air Force to provide startup funding for the new Air Force Financial Services Center on Ellsworth Air Force Base.

    • This would provide the necessary funds for much of the required computer, communications and general office equipment.

  • Distributed Generation of Liquid Fuels From Wastes and Biomass: $3,000,000

    • This funding would be used by Biomass Energy Solutions to initiate a small waste-to-energy production facility at Ellsworth Air Force Base.

  • Joint Modular Ground Targets and Urban Close Air Support Site: $100,000

    • This funding would be used to begin the first phase of upgrading the Ellsworth Air Force Base/Powder River Training Range with new targets and urban close air support site.

The Subcommittee also approved $22,000,000 of Senator Thune's $40,000,000 request for the Automatic Chemical Agent Alarm, supported by the South Dakota National Guard.

The Full Appropriations Committee is expected to consider and report the bill to the full Senate on Thursday.

The Defense Appropriations bill may see debate and passage on the Senate floor as early as next week.