(Washington, D.C.) Representative Charlie Dent (PA-15) voted to support our troops and ensure that our national security priorities are properly funded through today’s House passage of the conference agreement to H.R. 1735, the Fiscal Year 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The bill passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 270-156.
“This bill is a critical measure to ensure our national security priorities are being met, provide our service members with the support they deserve, and ensure that our military is able to remain trained and equipped to address the numerous threats facing the United States and our allies,” said Dent. “It meets the needs of all the branches of our Armed Forces as well as the needs of our military personnel and their families. Most importantly, it aligns funding with priorities and against likely future threats,” Dent continued.
The NDAA fulfills Congress’ Constitutional responsibility to "provide for the common Defense” by setting funding authorization and priorities for the Department of Defense (DOD) and for certain national security related programs within the Department of Energy (DOE). The bill authorizes $611.9 billion for the funding of national defense operations and programs, which is equivalent to the total amount requested by the President and the Pentagon for FY16.
Key components in the bill include funding to combat ISIL, the authorization of defensive aid for Ukraine and further support to European Reassurance Initiative programs, the establishment of a new 401(k)-style retirement system that will allow service members with less than 20 years to build up a nest egg and accrue retirement benefits for their service, a 1.3% pay raise for our troops, language preventing the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States, the preservation of the valuable A-10 Close Air Support Fighter and the enhancement of Defense Department cybersecurity efforts. The bill also prohibits a new Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round from taking place, which will ensure that Pennsylvania’s critical defense installations remain intact, and several provisions that will support our National Guard forces.
The bill also includes a commonsense measure that allows our men and women in uniform to go armed, including carrying personal firearms, at DOD installations, reserve centers, and recruiting centers.
Representative Dent, as Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, recognizes the significant challenges that face our troops and their families every day and supported this legislation to ensure that those men and women continue to receive their pay and benefits and have the tools and authorities that are needed to successfully carry out their missions in an uncertain world.
“Providing for our nation’s service members is one of the most fundamental roles of Congress and I am pleased that the House and Senate could come together in bipartisan fashion to approve this legislation,” concluded Dent.
CONTACT: Shawn Millan (610) 770-3490