CONGRESSMAN BISHOP ON FUNDING OUR NATIONAL SECURITY
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) supported the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) conference report for Fiscal Year 2016. The agreement authorizes $515 billion, in discretionary base budget authority, including roughly $496.4 billion for the Department of Defense base budget and $18.6 billion for defense-related activities of the Department of Energy. However, the report would also authorize more than $89.2 billion for DOD overseas contingency operations. The Administration requested $50.9 billion. The report identifies the difference of roughly $38.3 billion as discretionary budget authority in support of base budget requirements.
“Passage of the FY 2016 National Defense Authorization Act protects our bases, strengthens our military capabilities, and brings about a collective sigh of relief from service members and their families who have sacrificed so much to receive so little in return. Among our highest priorities as a nation should be the defense of our citizens and the values and freedoms we hold dear and the support and protection of those who so bravely put their lives on the line. Mission and family readiness at Fort Benning, the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany, Robins Air Force Base, and other bases in Georgia are vital to our national defense and to our communities, realities that this bill underscores in a very prominent fashion.”
The report institutes a minimal one-time increase of TRICARE Pharmacy co-pays and would implement a more robust financial benefit training program to improve the financial literacy and preparedness of service members. The report requires the Department to take into consideration the recommendations of the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission and the Boston Consulting Group report on commissaries and provide an implementation plan to execute a cost-neutral system.
The report prevents the Department of Defense from conducting another round of BRAC. The measure authorizes funding for train-and-equip efforts in Syria, Iraq, and Ukraine as well as $3.8 billion for the Afghan National Security Forces. The measure extends the administration's authority to train and equip Syrian rebels fighting both ISIS and the Assad regime and authorizes funding to help train the Iraqi Army in its fight against ISIS.
The NDAA conference report was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 370 to 58 and goes to the President for his signature. For more information regarding the Continuing Resolution and its provisions, please click here.