Senator Lamar Alexander said the Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday approved a bill that will provide a 3.1 percent pay raise for service members, the largest increase since 2010. The bill also provides record funding to research and develop advanced technologies to keep the U.S. Military the strongest in the world
He said, “Governing is about setting priorities, and this bill shows our priority is the men and women who serve in our armed forces. This funding bill provides a total of $694.9 billion for our national defense, a $20.5 billion increase over fiscal year 2019. The bill also includes a 3.1 percent pay raise for the men and women who defend our freedoms – including those serving at Fort Campbell, Naval Support Activity Mid-South in Millington, and Arnold Air Force Base, in Tullahoma. This bill includes a record level of funding for defense research and development – which will ensure that the United States has an advantage over our adversaries and allows us to maintain the strongest military in the world.
“This bill also includes more than $850 million to ensure the men and women serving in our National Guard have the resources they need to keep our country safe during catastrophes, and increased funding for hypersonic research. Finally, the bill also includes a program to help military spouses find good paying jobs.”
The Fiscal Year 2020 Department of Defense Appropriations bill provides:
· 3.1 percent pay raise for military personnel – including those stationed at Fort Campbell, Naval Support Activity Mid-South, and Arnold Air Force Base.
· The bill includes important funding to continue modernization of our nuclear arsenal.
· $105.1 billion for Department of Defense research, development, test and evaluation programs, including hypersonics research, technological research, and medical research,—a record level of funding for defense research and development.
· $70.6 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations funding to help ensure our military men and women are properly trained and equipped when deployed to places like Afghanistan.
· Funding for 1,339,500 active duty troops and 800,800 reserve troops.
· $33.9 billion for Defense Health Programs and $1.04 billion for medical research at the Department of Defense.
· Over $850 million for the National Guard and Reserve Equipment to modernize our reserve forces and ensure that they have the equipment they need.
· $4 million to fund pilot program that was included in the Senate Defense Authorization bill which will help states work together and reduce barriers that prevent military spouses from finding employment.
· $1.7 billion in emergency spending to support disaster recovery for those affected by hurricanes, flooding and earthquakes earlier this year.
On Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the Fiscal Year 2020 Department of Defense Appropriations bill. The bill is now ready for consideration by the full Senate.