U.S. House Passes National Defense Authorization Act

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Rep. Tom Graves on Thursday voted for and the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 5515), annual legislation that authorizes funding for the Department of Defense.

“This bipartisan bill continues and strengthens President Trump’s plan to rebuild the military,” said Rep. Graves. “It also makes key investments that support Georgia’s contribution to our national defense, including essential funds for surveillance aircraft stationed at Robins Air Force Base and investments in new cyber warfare tools and capabilities at Fort Gordon.”

After voting the act, Rep. Scott DesJarlais said, “During my visits to Arnold Air Force Base, Redstone Arsenal and the Y-12 National Security Complex, civilian and military personnel alike have underscored the need for a consistent commitment to high-tech defense research and testing. We must not simply keep pace with China and Russia, but instead must make sure the United States always has superior ability on the ground, at sea, in the air and in space.

He recently spoke on the House Floor in favor of fully funding the NNSA, responsible for military applications of nuclear science. Tennessee’s Oak Ridge/Y-12 complex plays an integral role in the field. In addition, the NDAA increases troop numbers, gives them their largest pay increase in nine years, and supplies military branches with advanced equipment and warfighting platforms. Over the past few years, high-profile naval and air accidents have highlighted the nation’s need to rebuild its depleted fighting forces, said Rep. DesJarlais.

He said, “Leading from behind, the previous administration’s strategy, led to a deterioration of our military, while foreign adversaries took the opportunity to assert themselves across the globe. Russia, China and Iran advanced in their regions. North Korea and Islamic terrorism became more aggressive, filling the vacuum that our retreat from global leadership created.

“With a new Commander-in-Chief and Congress, working to Make America Secure Again, we are on a path to greater safety and prosperity for the American people. Today’s defense bill reaffirms our commitment to our friends and allies in Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia, and partner nations depending on U.S. assistance to stop threats. National security is our government’s number-one duty, and I am honored to provide necessary resources to the brave men and women, including many Tennessee Volunteers, protecting the United States.”

Below is a list of the bill’s highlights:

  • Helps rebuild the military by authorizing $639.1 billion for the Department of Defense and defense-related activities;

  • Provides for a 2.6 percent pay raise for servicemembers;

  • Supports President Trump’s proposal for a military parade and national celebration to honor our troops;

  • Requires the Air Force to continue the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) replacement program, which is stationed at Robins Air Force Base;
  • Strengthens the readiness of our nation’s cyber mission forces by investing in training for the workforce and by fielding new cyber warfare tools and capabilities.
  • Funds the A-10C Warthog wing replacement program, including those aircraft stationed at Moody Air Force Base;

  • Modernizes Army Armored Brigade Combat Team vehicles at Fort Stewart;

  • Authorizes multiyear procurement authority for C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, which is manufactured in Marietta, GA; 

  • Authorizes an additional $85 million for additional Black Hawk helicopters for the Army National Guard; 

  • Supports funding for the Columbia Class ballistic missile submarine program, which will replace the current generation of submarines at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay. 

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