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Rep. Bill Owens at a Fort Drum ribbon-cutting ceremony in 2012 for the Warrior Transition Battalion Complex. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/39582141@N06/7267460364/">Army Medicine</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Rep. Bill Owens at a Fort Drum ribbon-cutting ceremony in 2012 for the Warrior Transition Battalion Complex. Photo: Army Medicine, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Owens: budget deal is good news for Fort Drum

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North Country Democrat Bill Owens says the budget deal that passed this week in Washington is good news for Fort Drum. The spending plan eases military-spending cuts made under the so-called sequestration agreement and also allows the Pentagon to make more choices about how to pare military spending.

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Brian Mann
Adirondack Bureau Chief

"I think it really alleviates a lot of my fears," he said. "I think we’re now going to see in the DOD budget some stabilization. It will allow the commanders to plan, which I think is really the most important thing. And it gives us two years. So that means the appropriations process will go forward as it should, at least for these two years. And hopefully this gets us back on track psychologically, that people understand we can in fact compromise."

Defense Secretary Charles Hagel says the Pentagon will still need to make what he dscribed as "very difficult budget decisions."

Meanwhile, Congressman Owens says he's hopeful that lawmakers will turn now to approving a Farm Bill, which has been stalled for months due to partisan gridlock.

"I think the first week in January that we’re back in session, we’ll see a bill drop," he said. "Or the conferees report submitted. And I think we have a very good chance of getting a bill before January 15th."

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