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A $1 trillion COVID-19 relief bill released by Senate Republicans will provide billions of dollars to strengthen the national defense. As part of the relief package, $30 billion will be allocated toward weapons, military vehicles and equipment.

The bill was introduced by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby in late July, as part of a national effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and preserve the health and prosperity of Americans.

“With the additional resources this legislation provides, I believe we can give [Americans] greater confidence that we are getting our arms around this virus,” Shelby stated in a press release. “That, I believe, is the key to unleashing the American economy and hitting our stride as a nation once again.”

The Army will receive approximately $283 million in preparation for response to the coronavirus, as well as $375 million for helicopters and armored vehicles. The Air Force and Navy will also receive a portion of the relief package for ships, aircraft and other equipment essential to their function and protection of the country.

In addition to the HEALS Act, the Senate passed its version of the National Defense Authorization Act on July 23. The NDAA authorizes over $740 billion for national defense programs.

Without consistent support for the men and women of the United States military, America’s freedoms and values are likely to be under threat. Especially during a nationwide pandemic, strong national defense is, was and will continue to be critical to the integrity of the nation.