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House passes defense spending bill which would fund the B-21 at Dyess

WASHINGTON (KTAB/KRBC) - The bill that would help fund the development of the impending B-21 bomber at Dyess Air Force Base has been passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (H.R. 5515) was passed by the house on Thursday morning by a vote of 351-66. It was sponsored by Rep. Mac Thornberry (R - 13th District), who is also the chair of the House Armed Services Committee.

The bill now goes to the Senate and the President. In addition to further funding the military, it would also raise the pay for troops by 2.6 percent which is the largest increase in 9 years.

Rep. Jodey Arrington (R - 19th District), who supported the bill, said this bill only enhances the footprint of Abilene's Dyess Air Force Base.

“One of the United States’ greatest assets in our national security arsenal, and one of the crown jewels of West Texas, is Dyess Air Force Base. This NDAA authorizes full funding for Dyess for operations and critical missions such as the development of the next generation bomber, the B-21, so Dyess and West Texas can continue to play a leadership role in protecting our democracy and our allies against emerging threats.”

In early May, Dyess was for the first time named as an official contender to be one of the bases to receive the B-21 as the B-2 retires.

"The Air Force selected Dyess Air Force Base, Texas; Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota; and Whiteman AFB, Missouri as reasonable alternatives to host the new B-21 aircraft," read a statement from the Air Force.

To follow the bill, click here.

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