If the COVID vaccine mandate for the military is lifted, how will Louisiana benefit?
(KALB/AP) - A bill to rescind the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for members of the U.S. military and provide nearly $858 billion for national defense passed the House on Thursday. The bill provides for about $45 billion more for defense programs than President Joe Biden requested, which could significantly benefit Louisiana.
For Louisiana, the measure includes:
- $125 million: Construction of a Weapons Generation Facility at Barksdale Air Force Base to allow weapons to again be loaded onto aircraft. Follows $40 million secured last year for the project.
- $61 million: Construction of a new Joint Operations Center at the Fort Polk Joint Readiness Training Center to update the command station for realistic training activities. Builds on $55 million secured last year for the project.
- $41 million: Construction of a new Child Development Center at Fort Polk that will replace three older centers to handle more than 300 children.
- $35.36 million: Update the Information System Facility at Fort Polk, which involves mechanical and data-sharing systems that enhance combat training.
- $1.65 million: Planning and design work for an Army National Guard Readiness Center in Abbeville.
- $1.65 million: Planning and design work for an Air National Guard Munitions Administrative Facility in New Orleans.
The House passed the bill by a vote of 350-80. It now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to pass easily, then to the president to be signed into law.
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