Senator Bob Corker announced his opposition to the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act because it authorizes spending above limits set by the Budget Control Act of 2011, as well as the recent budget agreement. He voted against ending debate on NDAA since only two amendments were allowed to be considered, and he voted “no” on final passage of the bill Thursday night.
“Washington’s refusal to appropriately deal with our fiscal issues flies in the face of the courage and sacrifices of our men and women in uniform. Our country’s deficits weaken the nation they fight to protect, so I don’t think contributing to the spend-now-pay-later mentality of Congress is an appropriate way to honor their service,” said Senator Corker.
Senator Lamar Alexander announced that he would vote in favor of the act.
“The National Defense Authorization Act is the most important legislation affecting the military that Congress considers,” Senator Alexander said. “I am voting for this legislation because it ensures that the men and women wearing the uniform of our Armed Services are paid, and gives them the support they need to fight for our freedoms and keep us safe.”
The National Defense Authorization Act authorizes funding for the Department of Defense on a range of fronts. It includes military pay – which would expire for combat troops without passage of this legislation – and construction projects impacting members of the military and their families. It also provides funding for weapons programs, in addition to addressing a range of policies, including the proposed United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.
Specifically, the legislation:
- Provides military pay, including a one percent across-the-board pay raise for military personnel. Pay for combat personnel would have expired at the end of 2013.
- Provides funding for military construction projects in Tennessee, including: $137 million at Fort Campbell, $18 million at McGree Tyson Air National Guard Base near Knoxville, $4.3 million for the Navy in Memphis and $2.2 million at Arnold Engineering Development Center in Tullahoma.
- Prohibits funding from being used to implement any part of the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty without advice and consent of the U.S. Senate, of which Alexander said, “The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty violates the Second Amendment rights of Tennesseans and all Americans by failing to protect the lawful ownership and use of firearms.”
- Includes more than 30 provisions related to combatting sexual assault in the military.