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Congressman Higgins Votes to Approve 2010 Defense Spending Bill, Bringing WNY $15.8M

Jul 31, 2009
Press Release

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) voted with his colleagues in the House of Representatives to approve H.R. 3326, Defense Appropriations for FY 2010, a fiscally responsible bill focused on supporting military capabilities and personnel that make America an economic and military powerhouse.

“This legislation accomplishes two important and game-changing things for Western New York: revitalization in the economy by utilizing our strong manufacturing community and empowerment of the military by improving technologies to keep our country safe,” said Congressman Higgins.

The spending bill provides $636.3 billion for the Department of Defense (DOD), including $15.8 million for Western New York.

Funding for Western New York projects include:
• $2.5 million to Roswell Park in Buffalo for Advanced Cancer Genome Institute
o The Advanced Genomics Program at Roswell Park will provide expertise and training in the use of genomics and rapid drug development technologies for investigators from the Department of Defense and other government agencies focused on emergency health threats.

• $4.5 million to CALSPAN in Cheektowaga for Development of Helicopter Technology
o As part of the DOD’s $40 billion major recapitalization program of its existing helicopter fleet, this technology will increase weight load, speed, operating radius, high altitude capability, and maneuverability.

• $3 million to SURMET in Buffalo for Defense Manufacturing
o These funds will create the domestic manufacturing capability to produce large quantities, at an affordable price, of ALON and Spinel Optical Ceramic components which provide better protection against projectiles and IED threats in large quantity and size at an affordable price.

• $2.8 million to LUVATA in Buffalo for Clinical Studies Related to Infectious Disease Reduction o This project will support clinical studies of the effectiveness of copper surfaces to reduce contraction of infectious diseases.  This technological development would help could help more than military personnel.  The Center for Disease Control reports show hospital-acquired infections affect about 2 million Americans every year, with estimates of over 100,000 deaths annually – more than AIDS, breast cancer and automobile accident fatalities combined.

• $2 million to MOOG in East Aurora for U.S. Navy technology
o These funds will help to develop an advanced rotary actuator: a quiet, compact electro-mechanical device that would be an enabling technology which can provide the Navy with a performance improvement and lifecycle cost advantage.

• $1 million to COBHAM (formerly Carleton Technologies) in Orchard Park for Micro-Climate Cooling Units
o With military operations in desert conditions, these units will allow for a significant reduction in soldier thermal heat stress which will greatly improve soldier alertness and performance, and reduce resultant soldier injuries and casualties.

Through this legislation, Congress demonstrates its commitment to supporting troops and their families by increasing military pay by 3.4% and providing $8.3 million to compensate for “stop loss”, $29.9 for first class medical care and $472.4 million for Family Advocacy and Support programs.  It also enables the military to have the weapons and equipment necessary to maintain successful operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Further, the bill allows for more fiscal responsibility through reducing the number of outside contractors.

This bill will now move to the Senate for their consideration and approval.