House Passes Defense Bill to Strengthen Military Readiness, Defense Communities
Washington, DC – Congressman Kevin McCarthy released the following statement upon passage of the National Defense Authorization Act:
“Today, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2016. This bill – which now awaits the President’s signature – was a joint effort by the House and Senate to develop a single reform package.
“Over the last several months, I have worked to enhance our nation’s Research, Development, Testing and Evaluation infrastructure, including the world-class facilities here in Kern County. As the birthplace of supersonic flight and the nerve center of today’s commercial space and advanced aeronautics industry, East Kern and the Antelope Valley is a national resource that should be further developed.
“I am proud of our community’s contributions to our national security and defense readiness and today’s passage of the National Defense Authorization Act continues to make the important investments to keep our nation safe and community strong.”
Here are just a few of the important things this bill accomplishes:
- Fully funds the United States Military at the level requested by the Department of Defense, including $89 billion for overseas operations countering Russian aggression and Islamic Extremism.
- Raises Troop pay by 1.3% and blocks cuts to Commissaries and Housing for dual-military couples which had been proposed by the President.
- Keeps the A-10 Warthog flying and funds other proven weapons systems – including the F-18 Super Hornet and Javelin anti-tank missile – by cutting headquarters staff and wasteful bureaucracy.
- Authorizes military commanders to allow their troops to carry firearms at recruiting centers and DoD facilities.
- Overhauls the Defense hiring system so that laboratories like China Lake can directly hire twice as many scientists as before. At Edwards Air Force Base, acquisition managers now have a greater say in the types of jobs they offer to top-rate engineers and scientists.
- Sets aside land for a dedicated Unmanned Aerial Vehicle testing range at China Lake, so the base remains a cutting edge facility for the next generation of aircraft.
For more information on the National Defense Authorization Act, the text of the conference report and summaries of the bill can be found at the House Armed Services Committee website athttps://armedservices.house.gov/index.cfm/ndaa-home?p=ndaa.