Press Releases

Simpson Supports Legislation Funding A-10s and Troops

U.S. House Passes Defense Appropriations Bill

Washington, June 11, 2015

Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson applauded passage of H.R. 2685, the FY16 Defense Appropriations bill, which funds the Department of Defense and fulfills the constitutional responsibility of Congress to provide for the common defense.

Crucially, the bill provides funding for the A-10 Thunderbolt II, which is based at the headquarters for the Idaho National Guard at Gowen Field in Boise, and is essential to the mission there. In FY15, the Cromnibus denied the administration’s request to retire any A-10 close-air support aircraft.

“I am very pleased this bill shows support for the A-10 and recognizes the unique and valuable contributions the aircraft provides to our armed forces,” said Simpson. “By ensuring the A-10 remains available for close air support, we are responding to the needs of the service members that operate them and to the brave men and women on the ground that rely on them. 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.”

Congressman Simpson has been working with Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter to preserve, extend and expand the mission of the Idaho National Guard. H.R. 2685 also prohibits the transfer of AH-64 Apache helicopters from the Army National Guard to active Army in FY16.

The bill also provides for a 2.3% pay raise for over 1.3 million active-duty troops and nearly 820,000 Guard, and reserve troops.

H.R. 2685 passed the House with a bipartisan vote of 278-149.