Rep Cook Votes For Nation Security Legislation
WASHINGTON- Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) voted for HR 2810, the annual national security authorization bill. The bill passed the House overwhelmingly with bipartisan support.
This year’s bill takes several vital steps to strengthen the readiness of our military. It increases the size of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Army Guard and Reserve, Naval and Air Reserve, and Air Guard. The bill also provides the largest pay increase to the military in eight years. In addition, it also makes up for critical maintenance shortfalls and begins significant acquisition reforms.
HR 2810 also includes language Rep. Cook proposed that will aid important local projects.
First, it begins the process for construction of a railroad spur at Fort Irwin’s National Training Center near Barstow. The railroad spur would link the Army base to an existing freight rail line and would facilitate quick loading and unloading of military vehicles and equipment. Completion of this project would result in increased efficiency and would save taxpayer dollars by way of reduced transportation costs. Currently, Army vehicles headed to Fort Irwin for training rotations must use specialized truck transport to travel 40 miles from Barstow at a cost of $5.6 million dollars annually, costs which continue to rise.
Secondly, the bill includes language to help the City of Twentynine Palms and the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center begin negotiation for the construction of a joint wastewater treatment facility. There is currently no community sewage system, and wastewater is disposed of through individual septic tank and tile field disposal systems. Rep. Cook’s amendment encourages the military to cooperate with other governmental authorities, such as the City of Twentynine Palms, to provide utility services that may be mutually beneficial to both the military and the local community.
Rep. Cook said, “While the world has grown more dangerous, our military has become smaller in recent several years. This bill gives our troops the support and resources they deserve. It provides our men and women in uniform with a much-deserved raise, while ensuring they have the training and equipment they need to face threats around the world. This year’s national security bill also includes language I drafted to advance important projects in my district. I look forward to seeing it signed into law.”
A member of the House Armed Services, Natural Resources, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.