Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts found an ally Wednesday in Gov. Kathleen Sebelius in his drive to restore money for military construction projects in the state.
The Governor's Military Council, an appointed bipartisan advisory group of civilians and armed services members, agreed to support efforts by Roberts and other senators to protect some of the planned military projects recommended by the Pentagon.
In Kansas, $365 million in new construction at Forts Riley and Leavenworth could be affected.
Those projects and others around the country are at risk because of a budget passed last week in the House which dropped millions of dollars in earmarks - projects added on by legislators - and $3.1 billion in new construction recommended by the Pentagon's Base Realignment and Closure Commission.
Roberts said he hopes the council's show of support "will give us a little push. We're right up against the deadline."
Because the last Congress didn't get around to approving parts of the 2007 budget, the current one has until Feb. 15 to pass one or the government will shut down due to a lack of money. That last happened during the Clinton adminstration during a budget fight with the Republican Congress.
Roberts and several other senators hope to amend a measure funding government operations to restore $3.1 billion in BRAC projects. They include construction of a new barracks at Fort Riley to replace ones that are half a century old, and new runway.
"These are not add-ons," Roberts said. "These are Department of Defense expected funds. There will be no earmarks."
Posted by David Goldstein