CONGRESSMAN BISHOP REGARDING SUPPORTING OUR NATIONAL DEFENSE
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 277 to 147 and goes to the Senate for its consideration. To support our nation’s service members, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) voted for the passage of H.R. 4909. The agreement authorizes $602.2 billion in discretionary base budget authority, including roughly $543.4 billion for the Department of Defense base budget. Additionally, the legislation provides $58.8 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) accounts, $23.1 billion of which will be used to authorize activities outside of Overseas Contingency Operations.
“The FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act investment aims to protect our bases, strengthen our military capabilities, and support those who so bravely put their lives on the line. Unfortunately, the Majority has added a highly controversial budget gimmick in order to shirk their budgeting responsibilities. By using emergency wartime funds to pay for non-wartime activities, Peter robs Paul to pay Mary. Unfortunately, Paul defends our national security and is tasked with defeating ISIS. In time, the Majority’s OCO gimmick will have very real consequences as overseas operations’ funding runs out five months early. Certainly, in today’s uncertain environment, now is not the time to play games with our nation’s national security.
“Nevertheless, despite the Majority’s budget gimmick, I cannot vote against the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and military families relying on this bill’s authorizations, and am hopeful the conference report reflects a more responsible budget agreement and continues Congress’ support for the war fighting effort. Among my highest priorities are the Mission and family readiness at Fort Benning, the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany, Robins Air Force Base, at other bases in Georgia, and of the Georgia National Guard -- all of which are vital to our national defense and to our communities, realities that this bill underscores in a very prominent fashion.”
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2017 is the primary way Congress meets its most important constitutional obligation to provide for the common defense. It authorizes the vital funding required to react and prepare for unprecedented threats, uncertainty, technological change, ensuring the full readiness of the nation’s military. The FY 2017 NDAA supports an average 2.1 % pay increase for military personnel. It also authorizes $7.8 billion for military construction and family housing.
On May 17, in a speech to the Navy League, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said, “I am obliged to address the budget gimmickry included in the proposed NDAA in the House…a proposal to underfund DOD’s overseas war fighting accounts…and spend that money on programmatic items we did not request. This approach is deeply troubling and flawed for several reasons. First and foremost, it’s gambling with war fighting money at a time of war – proposing to cut off funding for ongoing operations in the middle of the fiscal year…It’s a step in the direction of unraveling the Bipartisan Budget Act, which provided critical stability that DOD needs…And it’s another road to nowhere, with uncertain chances of ever becoming law, and a high probability of leading to more gridlock and another continuing resolution…Particularly concerning is the potential impact of this proposal on the readiness of our force.”
HIGHLIGHTS FOR GEORGIA
- $4.82 million for a SOF tactical unmanned aerial vehicle hangar at Fort Benning
- $30.9 million for a personnel recovery 4-bay hanger/helo mx unit at Moody Air Force Base
- $25 million for a medical clinic replacement at Fort Gordon
- $29 million for an access control point at Fort Gordon
- $10.6 million for a company Operations Facility at Fort Gordon
- $90 million for a cyber protection team ops facility at Fort Gordon
- $14.8 million for an automated qualification/training range at Fort Stewart
For more information regarding the NDAA and its provisions, please click here.