Taxpayer dollars at work: What your U.S. senators from Georgia are doing the week ending Aug. 18
This summer, GPB News Democracy intern Ambria Burton is following the activities of U.S. Sens. Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.
Each week on Fridays, we'll run down a list of activities that follow your dollars back to communities in Georgia.
This week, Ossoff and Warnock focused on delivering health care resources to Mount Vernon, Ga.; legislation providing upgrades to Fort Gordon’s Cyber Center of Excellence and Robins Air Force Base; and improving fire safety throughout metro Atlanta and North Georgia.
Ossoff and Warnock are delivering $1.5 million in resources to Mount Vernon, Ga., to help train more nurses.
According to an Aug. 15 press release, the funds will "build a new instructional facility at Brewton-Parker College in Mount Vernon to expand the college's nursing workforce development program."
The investment comes from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration and will improve job opportunities for health care professionals in the area.
The U.S. Senate passed Ossoff's legislation to upgrade Fort Gordon's Cyber Center of Excellence. This legislation was a part of the FY24 National Defense Authorization Act, championed by Ossoff, and helps improve national security.
The Fort Gordon Cyber Center Enhancement Act will improve the center by allowing "the construction of new classrooms, which provides essential training to cyber, electronic warfare, and signal professionals in the U.S. Army," per an Aug. 15 press release.
"The Cyber Center for Excellence on Post is a world-class facility that is crucial to U.S. national security, and the Georgians who serve there are heroes who need the infrastructure, space, and facilities necessary to do their jobs to maximum effectiveness," Ossoff said.
Robins Air Force Base
The U.S. Senate also passed Ossoff's Robins Air Force Base Battle Management Enhancement Act, allowing the construction of a new Battle Management Combines Operation Complex at Robins AFB.
As stated in an Aug. 16 press release statement, the Battle Management Complex "will house three new missions for the Air Force, including E-11A Battlefield Airborne Communications Node squadron operations; Battle Management Control Squadron operations; and a Group Headquarters for a Spectrum Warfare Group."
"This is crucial to our national security to make sure the men and women who serve at Robins have the facilities and infrastructure they need to do their jobs keeping our nation safe," Ossoff said.
This legislation was also a part of the Ossoff-led National Defense Authorization Act consisting of over a dozen bills to improve national security and the quality of life of service members.
Ossoff and Warnock will deliver resources to help fire departments upgrade their equipment, buy new vehicles and train firefighters in the metro Atlanta and North Georgia areas.
The resources provide funding through the Federal Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program under last year's government funding package.
"Our firefighters are some of the best among us," Warnock said. "They run into danger to preserve our safety, and they are beacons of courage and resilience in every corner of Georgia. That is why I am honored to join Sen. Ossoff in announcing these new investments in public safety for fire departments across the state."
The following cities and fire departments will receive funding "for professional training, wellness and fitness programs, equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE), and modifications to facilities," according to an Aug. 17 press release:
- The Commerce Volunteer Fire Department
- City of Fairburn
- City of Fayetteville
- Nicholson Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department
- City of South Fulton
The following cities and fire departments will receive funding for the replacement or upgrading of vehicles:
- The Arnoldsville Volunteer Fire Department
- Banks County
- City of Cleveland
- City of Forest Park
In other news
NPR's Michael Levitt recently reported that a group of interns for Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski managed to take a group selfie with all of the 100 U.S. senators in just three weeks.
The interns described Ossoff as "the dreamiest" of the senators.
Warnock also sent his condolences to the people of Hawaii after wildfires erupted through Maui and Lāhainā last week.