House Committee Approves $234 Million for Offutt Flooding Repairs

by Will Bauer, NET News

May 22, 2019, 2:37 p.m.

The House Appropriations Committee approved $234 million for repairs of damaged electronics at Offutt Air Force Base near Bellevue.

The damaged electronics include three simulators and processing equipment that allows the Air Force to organize data shortly after landing. Nebraska Rep. Don Bacon said without these repairs, Offutt’s capabilities would be significantly diminished and crew members would have to ship off to train at England and Japan Air Force bases.

Bacon, a former commander at Offutt before taking office, said getting the money has been a great team effort.

“The House has moved on everything that it can for Offutt right now," Bacon said. "So, right now, we just got to get it passed out of the House, not just in the committee and then we got to get the Senate to act on all of this. I think the important stuff that we can do right now has been done.”

Bacon said relief money for Puerto Rico and money allocated for border protection have slowed discussion within the Senate.

“I always think it’s better for disaster relief to have very clean bills that are just focused on what you are trying to get done," he said. "We try to tag things on to it. It grinds things to a halt and partisanship gets involved.”

However, Bacon said he’s confident a compromise will be made.