Loeffler Tours Takeda

Carlos Soto, left, Georgia site head for Takeda, explains the facility’s operations to Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., during a tour of Stanton Springs on Monday afternoon, Feb. 17, 2020, in Social Circle, Ga. At right is Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga.

Georgia’s senators voted to approve a military spending bill that also could lead to changing the names of some well-known bases.

But the man who represents Walton County in the House objected.

Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler both voted to pass the National Defense Authorization Act for 2021 last week.

The Senate passed the nearly $741 billion bill 86-14 — a margin that would withstand a veto by President Donald Trump.

“The last two Democratic presidents reduced military spending by 25% as a share of the economy. (Bill) Clinton did it, and (Barack) Obama/(Vice President Joe) Biden did it,” Perdue said.

“Working with President Trump, we are now rebuilding our military after years of disinvestment. We’ve brought new missions to Georgia’s bases and supported our military communities. It is clear that Georgia will continue to be a backbone of our national defense.”

Loeffler noted the legislation would fund upgrades to the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System at Robins Air Reserve Base, and improve telehealth coverage for veterans through the VA.

“This legislation includes significant wins for Georgia’s nine military installations and the men and women who serve there, including funding for (a) 3% pay increase, upgrades the JSTARS fleet and the procurement of equipment and technology to support thousands of Georgia jobs.”

Trump though has said he wouldn’t favor a bill that changes the names of bases like Fort Gordon near Augusta and Fort Benning near Columbus that are named for men with ties to the Confederacy.

In a statement Thursday, Loeffler said she opposed the provision that deals with renaming military bases and would work with Trump “to remove it from the final bill.”

That provision was too much for Rep. Jody Hice, as he voted against the military spending bill.

“While I supportive of the bill produced by the House Armed Services Committee, House Democrats chose to use this critical and traditionally bipartisan national security package as an opportunity to advance their political agenda by loading the bill with radical policies,” Hice, a Republican from Greensboro, said.

“I look forward to deliberations with our Senate colleagues and hope that the final product will be one focused on our national defense and the wellbeing of our service members, not partisan games.”

Hice said he worked with Democrats to obtain support in the spending bill for “several important amendments,” including oversight of contracts and spending in Afghanistan, an elimination of dependency on China for rare earth materials and increased remote work opportunities for federal employees.

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