Defense bill passes U.S. House committee

NewsChannel 10

AMARILLO, TX - Nearly five billion dollars for the nation's defense is a step closer to being seen at work in our area next year.

If the newest defense bill passes in Washington, national security programs at Pantex and Bell could see an increase of hundreds of millions of dollars for 2012.

Congressman Mac Thornberry says, despite a tight budget with cuts being made across the board, he feels its necessary for the federal government to increase funding for national security programs, including those in our area.

"No place else in the country assembles and disassembles nuclear weapons, which is what we do at Pantex. No place else assembles V-22's, like at Bell. Not only is it good for jobs, but its contributing essential products and services that provide security for the country." said Thornberry.

The defense bill just passed a special house committee almost unanimously. It now heads to the house floor, where Thornberry believes the budget will pass.

"Taxpayer dollars are used very efficiently which makes it less likely to be attacked as it goes through Congress." said Thornberry.

The vote is expected to happen before Memorial Day.