Wes Hickmam (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)
– U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and 2nd District Congressman Joe Wilson (R-Lexington) today said they were pleased with passage of the 2005 Defense Appropriations Conference Report
The Conference Report provides $416.2 billion to the Department of Defense, including $25 billion in emergency spending requested by the President for early fiscal year 2005 costs associated with operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The legislation passed both the House of Representatives and Senate and will be sent to the White House. President Bush is expected to sign the bill into law in the coming days.
“South Carolina is in the forefront of developing cutting-edge military technology and equipping our men and women in uniform,” said Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Many people in our state give their time, talent, and even their lives to provide for the defense of freedom throughout the world. The patriotism of South Carolina is unmatched. This bill will ensure that America continues to have the best trained and equipped fighting force in history.”
“As we continue to make progress in the War on Terror, this bill will ensure that our men and women from South Carolina serving on the front lines have the equipment, training and technology they need to succeed,” said Congressman Wilson. “The military of our state and their families make extraordinary sacrifices everyday to protect Americans from future acts of terrorism. By fully funding President Bush's call for a military pay increase, we are renewing our commitment to the armed forces and their families.”
Graham and Wilson noted $2.7 million will go to Belford Research in Hilton Head. Belford has developed a processing technology to enhance silicon chip speeds by over 140 percent while cutting their power consumption by half.
After initial funding through the Department of Defense Small Business Innovation Research Program, Belford has patented a “strained silicon” technology process which has attracted international acclaim and Fortune 500 interest.
FN Manufacturing of Columbia will also share in a $10 million appropriation for production of the M-249, a portable, high-fire volume, highly reliable light machine gun. The weapon serves as one of the Army and Marine Corps most valuable infantry weapon systems.