Defense bill passes Congress with money headed for Wyoming

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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (KGWN) - The National Defense Authorization Act of 2017 has made it through Congress, with both the House and the Senate passing versions of the bill. The move will send $700 billion to the U.S. military. Wyoming’s congressional delegation says it will have a direct impact on Wyoming as well.

Funds will be pumped into the state’s Air and Army National Guard and give a pay raise to our service members. The primary impact of the money will be on F.E. Warren and it’s missile program.

"At a time when North Korea is developing nuclear weapons that can reach the United States,” Wyoming Senator John Barrasso says, “It is critically important that the ICBM team here has everything that they need.”

“This legislation is a win for our troops and for Wyoming,” Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi said. “The world is a dangerous place and it is important that we as a nation are prepared.”

Representative Liz Cheney also told CBS Newschannel 5 where some of the money can be expected to go. “We’re going to keep the modernization of the ICBM’s on schedule". Cheney went on to say the missiles won’t be the only thing being improved upon.

Some of the funds will be used to establish a new helicopter hangar, and Rep. Cheney says the bill will help keep the replacement of Vietnam-era helicopters on track. Other upgrades are for Wyoming’s c-130’s to be modernized and also includes funding for construction on the base.

Senator Barrasso adds that the pay raise is also a big deal. The raise will help the soldiers and their families on the home front.

"It's not just the service members who make a sacrifice.” Barrasso said, “It's the spouse, it's the children, it's the parents."

It all comes down to one key point: keeping out service members strong in order to keep our state and our country out of harm’s way.

“We want to make sure they have what they need so we can keep them safe, so they can keep all of us safe,” Sen. Barrasso added.

The bill isn’t law just yet, however. The two versions of the House and Senate will need to be reconciled, and then will head to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law.