Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Charles E. Schumer today announced that the Senate Armed Services Committee has authorized $192 million for the construction of new barracks at West Point as part of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act.
Senator Gillibrand wrote and filed an amendment that included the funding for West Point as part of the broader legislation. Schumer and Gillibrand both aggressively lobbied key committee members to support the amendment, in a series of personal calls and meetings.
“West Point is home to America’s strongest, most distinguished military tradition, and home to our nation’s best, brightest and bravest,” Senator Gillibrand said. “This investment is key to West Point’s strength – giving our cadets the resources they need, and helping to attract the next generation of America’s leaders to New York’s own Hudson Valley.”
“The new barracks are going to be a gem at the best military institution in America,” said Schumer. “I went to bat for these funds because the cadets who choose to serve our country deserve the best facilities and education that West Point can offer. This investment will preserve the Hudson Valley’s reputation as the place where our best soldiers come to learn, and where the values of service and sacrifice are instilled.”
The $192 million project would be the first barracks constructed at the United States Military Academy since 1972. The new barracks would provide housing for 650 cadets, adding new space to help alleviate overcrowding, which can reach up to 40 percent at the beginning of the academic year. The military construction project would also support much needed ongoing and future renovations of the existing barracks, some dating back to 1895.
Federal defense spending must be authorized before it can be appropriated. Now that the Senate Armed Services Committee has approved the funding, the legislation can now move to the full Senate for final passage.