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Defense Bill Passes House, Includes Amendment Supporting A-10

Simpson Supported A-10 Amendment and Final Passage

Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson praised the passage of the FY15 Defense Appropriations bill, which included an amendment offered by Representative Candice Miller (R-MI) to prohibit the Department of Defense from spending funds to divest, retire, transfer, or place in storage any A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft, or to remove any units of the active or reserve component associated with such aircraft. The Air Force has proposed to retire the A-10, and the House Defense Appropriations bill did not include funding for it in its FY15 bill. 

“I’m very pleased that my colleagues have shown wide recognition and support for the importance of keeping the A-10,” said Simpson.  “The A-10’s past combat performance is lauded by both the service members that operate them and those who rely on them for close air support on the battlefield. While I certainly acknowledge that the Air Force must make difficult decisions in this time of reduced budgets, the A-10’s low operating costs and unique capabilities merit our continued support until an appropriate replacement can be identified.”

The A-10s based at the headquarters for the Idaho National Guard at Gowen Field in Boise, Idaho, are essential to their mission. The Idaho Delegation has been working with Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter to preserve, extend and expand the mission of the Idaho National Guard. 

The Defense Appropriations bill passed by a vote of 340-73 and will next proceed to conference with the Senate version of the same bill.