Fort Drum Health Group Getting No Money From Defense Bill

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Next year's defense spending bill will not include critical funding for some programs in the north country.

A House-Senate conference committee, which is supposed to work out the differences between the two houses' recommended appropriations plans, decided to strip the bill of all earmarks, including one from north country Congressman Bill Owens to fund the Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization.

Owens tells 7 News he's already working on securing other funding for that program.

But, he says, that shouldn't be necessary.

"The whole concept of the earmarks is in my mind largely extraordinarily overblown. These dollars are going to be spent anyway in the budget. It's just a question of who's directing where the dollars go," said Owens (D. - 23rd District).

Congress could vote on whether to approve the defense spending bill as it now stands as early as Wednesday.

Monday, October 20, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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