Youngstown air base loses out on funding with presidential veto

The C-5 Galaxy military cargo plane makes a landing at Youngstown Air Reserve Station
The C-5 Galaxy military cargo plane makes a landing at Youngstown Air Reserve Station

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Youngstown Air Reserve Station will lose out on $9.4 million in funding with President Barack Obama’s veto of a $612 billion defense policy bill.

The bill passed through the Senate with a bipartisan vote of 70-27 as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Conference Report for Fiscal Year 2016. But Obama criticized the bill saying it “resorts to gimmicks” and uses creative budget maneuvers to boost defense spending by $38 billion without increasing domestic spending.

Obama has said he wants higher spending for both. He also disapproves of provisions that would make it harder to close the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The Youngstown Air Reserve Station stood to receive a boost in funding if the bill passed. The money was slated to be used to upgrade the indoor firing range facility.

Sen. Rob Portman, who previously urged Obama to reconsider vetoing the funding authorization, released a statement on Thursday regarding the veto.

“I’m extremely disappointed that the President has chosen to veto critically important legislation for our men and women in uniform across the Defense Department, and specifically, the Youngstown Air Reserve Station,” Portman stated in the news release. “YARS has become a model for other air reserve stations throughout the country, but to maintain this level of high performance, we must upgrade this firing range facility. The President’s veto of an overwhelmingly bipartisan bill is disappointing, and I plan to work with my colleagues on both sides of aisle to override his veto.”

Portman has worked for increased funding for the Youngstown Air Reserve Station for infrastructure needs and training readiness.

Representatives with the Youngstown Air Reserve Station could not immediately be reached for comment on Thursday.

Thursday’s veto forces Congress to revise the bill, or try to settle a larger budget dispute that led Obama to veto it.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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