Washington Lawmakers Fight Proposed Cuts

An amendment added by Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) to the House’s version of the Fiscal 2010 defense appropriations bill aims to thwart the Air Force’s plans to cut 98 positions with the Washington Air National Guard’s 194th Regional Support Wing that, among its mission portfolio, performs highly classified cyber security work. Tacoma’s News Tribune reported July 24 that Dicks inserted the measure in the legislation to protect the positions of the Camp Murray-based group from elimination. “This unit does important work,” Dicks told the newspaper, adding, “We’re gonna fight this issue.” The House Appropriations Committee approved its version of the defense spending bill last week. Senate appropriators have not yet marked up the Pentagon’s proposed spending bill for next fiscal year. According to the newspaper, Washington Sen. Patty Murray, (D), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, is considering legislative options to protect the wing as well.