Ander Crenshaw Insists Defense Appropriations Bill Helps First Coast

With President Barack Obama in Jacksonville on Thursday, most eyes on the First Coast are focused there, but U.S. Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-Fla., issued a statement late Wednesday insisting the region will be helped by the fiscal year 2014 House Defense Appropriations Bill. Crenshaw, who sits on the Defense Appropriations Committee, noted the bill will keep three cruisers based at Naval Station Mayport.

“Across-the-board budget cuts continue to be challenging, and civilian defense furloughs have dealt a strong blow to families and the economy,” Crenshaw said. “But, working under this heavy adversity, Congress has achieved a sound defense bill that strikes a balance between fiscal responsibility and support for our forces, and I stand strongly behind the legislation.

“Whether our nation is facing tough budgetary times or not, Congress’s first duty is to protect our national security. By prioritizing limited funds, we have advanced missions abroad, prepared and equipped troops, and ensured the readiness of our military,” continued Crenshaw. “Closer to home, on the First Coast, the bill retains seven Navy cruisers, three of which are homeported at Naval Station Mayport. These vessels have many years of service left in them and keeping them operational in the fleet only makes common sense.

“No matter where they are on duty, our servicemen and women are provided with the resources they need and given access to the programs that they and their families have worked for and deserve,” Crenshaw said in conclusion. “In particular, the bill addresses the problem of sexual assault in the military by fully funding Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Programs to preserve trust in the military. Along of these provisions and the retaining of cruisers at Mayport, demonstrate a strong commitment to a philosophy of supporting our military in 2014 and years to come.”

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