The House passed a defense policy bill that would authorize millions of dollars in new military spending in Utah, while also rejecting a presidential request to start a new round of base closures.
The National Defense Reauthorization Act received the support of Utah’s three House members, Democrat Jim Matheson and Republicans Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz.
It would allow another $191 million for the National Security Agency’s data center now under construction near Camp Williams. The massive project for the spy agency will cost $1.2 billion in all.
The legislation would also signs off on $36 million for a regional training institute at Camp Williams and more than $13 million to create a new maintenance building and a new simulator for the F-35 fighter jets at Hill Air Force Base.
The defense bill also prohibits the Pentagon from planning a base closure commission, something President Barack Obama has requested. Utah’s members of Congress oppose closing domestic bases, in part because they are concerned about the potential impact on Hill in northern Utah.
The Senate is now expected to debate similar legislation, which does not provide the money for these projects but sets limits on future spending.
— Matt Canham
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