WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (PA-15) last night voted for the Conference Report to H.R. 1540, the Fiscal Year 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. The Conference Report, the product of bipartisan and bicameral negotiations, authorizes funding for national security programs administered by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD).

“I am pleased the current spell of political wrangling in Washington has not impacted Congress’s ability to pass critical national security legislation like H.R. 1450,” said Rep. Dent. “This bill ensures members of our armed forces, especially those stationed in Afghanistan and remaining in Iraq, possess the training, resources, and equipment they need to win the global war on terror. It also guarantees our military remains the most powerful and modern force in the world, fully capable of defending the American people from potential foreign aggressors and international terrorist networks.”

The bill authorizes $554 billion for DOD, including $115.5 billion for overseas military operations and $10 billion for the continued development of a missile defense system to protect the American homeland. H.R. 1450 also requires the President to sanction entities, including central banks, who engage in financial transactions with the Central Bank or Iran. Additionally, the measure freezes aid to Pakistan until the DOD develops a new strategy to improve the effectiveness of American assistance and confirms Pakistan is taking steps to eliminate domestic-based threats to American forces operating in Afghanistan.

Furthermore, the bill establishes a new requirement that foreign terrorists be subject to military custody. This applies to foreign nationals associated with Al-Qaeda and other international terrorist networks who participate in the planning or execution of an attack or attempted attack against the United States. The bill explicitly exempts U.S. citizens from the requirement.